Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Pleasure

"From the very beginning of a person’s life one learns that the purpose of life is not uninterrupted pleasure. Every infant suffers pains and illnesses. We should not perceive illness and pain as negative. Suffering teaches us humility. We learn that we do not have complete power over ourselves." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"Reverence is an ennobling sentiment; it is felt to be degrading only by the vulgar mind, which would escape the sense of its own littleness by elevating itself into an antagonist of what is above it. He that has no pleasure in looking up is not fit so much as to look down." -

"Man is judged to be good or bad chiefly according to the pleasure of the human will; for that man is good and virtuous who takes pleasure in the works of virtue, and that man evil who takes pleasure in evil works." -

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." - Walter Bagehot

"Who loves pleasure shall be a poor man." -

"Industry is not only the instrument of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. He who is a stranger to it may possess, but cannot enjoy; for it is labor only which gives relish to pleasure. It is the appointed vehicle of every good to man. It is the indispensable condition of possessing a sound mind in a sound body." - Hugh Blair

"What a pleasure life would be to live if everybody would try to do only half of what he expects others to do." - William J. H. Boetcker, fully William John Henry Boetcker

"The most delicate, the most sensible of all pleasures, consists in promoting the pleasure of others." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Duty by habit is to pleasure turned." - Samuel Egerton Brydges

"Who ever lives looking for pleasure only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his enjoyments, idle and weak, the tempter will certainly overcome him, as the wind blows down a weak tree." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"There is no sterner moralist than pleasure." -

"Though sages may pour out their wisdom’s treasure, there is no sterner moralist than pleasure." -

"To live a life of pleasure is impossible without living a life of virtue and justice." - Cassius, fully Gaius Cassius Longinus NULL

"Pleasure can be supported by the illusion, but happiness rests upon truth." -

"Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite, are yet so contrived by nature as to be constant companions; and it is a fact that the same motions and muscles of the face are employed both in laughing and crying." - Pierre Charron

"It is impossible to remove all desires. But we have the ability to channel our desires from physical and material pleasures to spiritual endeavors... Someone who finds fulfillment in spiritual matters is not being deprived of pleasure. Rather he is gaining more pleasure than is possible in material matters." - Yehuda Leib Chasman

"The best way to overcome physical desires is to seek pleasure in spiritual maters." - Yehuda Leib Chasman

"Scandal is what one-half the world takes pleasure in inventing, and the other half in believing." - Paul Chatfield, pseudonym for Horace Smith

"Physical pleasures can give a person pleasure and happiness to some degree, but this cannot compete with the elevated pleasure that one can derive when one toils in wisdom." - Chazon Ish, named Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz

"Thoughts take up no room. When they are right, they afford a portable pleasure, which one may travel with without any; trouble or encumbrance. ," - Jeremy Collier

"Pleasure admitted in undue degree enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free." - William Cowper

"If a person demands to have everything he wishes, the lack of even a small pleasure can make him feel extremely unhappy. Excessive demands can even lead some people to consider their entire lives as worthless if they are missing some minor pleasure that they arbitrarily demand." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"In reality a major part of pleasure in obtaining things is overcoming the obstructions that stood in our way. Once we realize this, we will be able to decrease our desire for those things that are spiritually or physically harmful just by examining them objectively and seeing that we are not missing so much. At the same time, we can gain more pleasure from spiritual accomplishments by focusing on how much we are missing in this area and can feel the sense of accomplishment in overcoming the necessary difficulties." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"Pleasure comes from obtaining what we feel we are lacking. We have the ability to choose our answer to the question, “What am I lacking right now?” Some people answer materialistically. It is wiser to choose to focus on your lack of spiritual accomplishments and then you can derive pleasure from meeting those needs." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"Spend time thinking about the virtues of other people. Do not merely do this as a passing thought, but try to feel pleasure in thinking of their virtues." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"View every difficult situation as an opportunity to grow and we will feel pleasure instead of pain from such situations. Failure to do so will cause you needless suffering." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"We can learn to overcome temptations. The pleasure we derive from physical and material pleasures is to a great extent based on our own imagination. We subjectively build up our feeling of need for those phenomena by greatly exaggerating their inherent pleasure." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"The future belongs to those who are virile, to whom it is a pleasure to live, to create, to whet their intelligence on that of the others." - Henri Deterding, fully Henri Wilhelm August Deterding

"Though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence leads to inevitable destruction." - Robert Dodsley

"When a person has a large amount of any pleasure, he becomes accustomed to it and no longer feels enjoyment. If, however, a person is only able to obtain a small amount, he greatly appreciates it." - Dubner Magid, name for Rabbi Jacob ben wolf Krantz

"Pleasure's couch is virtue's grave." - Augustine Joseph Hickey Duganne

"We enjoy thoroughly only the pleasure that we give." - Alexandre Dumas, born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie

"There is no man but for his own interest hath an obligation to be honest. There may; be sometimes temptations to be otherwise; but, all cares cast up, he shall find it the greatest ease, the highest profit, the best pleasure, the most safety, and the noblest fame, to hold the horns of this altar, which in all assays, can in himself protect him." - Owen Feltham

"One situation only of the married state is excluded from pleasure: and that is, a state of indifference." - Henry Fielding

"The seven sins of the world. Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle." -

"Pain and pleasure, good and evil, come to us from unexpected sources. It is not there where we have gathered up our brightest hopes, that the dawn of happiness breaks. It is not there where we have glanced our eye with affright, that we find the deadliest gloom. What should this teach use? To bow to the great and only Source of light, and live humbly and with confiding resignation." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"There are three kinds of love; of pleasure, of profit, and of virtue." - Judah Leon Abravanel, or Abrabanel, Leo Hebraeus, Leo Ebreo, Leo the Hebrew

"He that will do anything for his pleasure, must engage himself to suffer all the pains annexed to it; and these pains, are the natural punishments of those actions, which are the beginning of more harm than good. And hereby it comes to pass that intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness with mischances; injustice with the violence of enemies: Pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; negligent government of princes, with rebellion; and rebellion, with slaughter." - Thomas Hobbes

"Ridicule, which chiefly arises from pride, a selfish passion, is but at best a gross pleasure, too rough an entertainment for those who are highly polished and refined." - Henry Home, Lord Kames

"Human happiness seems to consists in three ingredients: action, pleasure and indolence. And though these ingredients ought to be mixed in different proportions, according to the disposition of the person, yet no one ingredient can be entirely wanting without destroying in some measure the relish of the whole composition." - David Hume

"The beatitude into which the enlightened soul is delivered is something quite different from pleasure... Blessedness depends on non-attachment and selflessness, therefore can be enjoyed without satiety and without revulsion; is a participation in eternity, and therefore remains itself without diminution or fluctuation." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing. Boredom is a certain sign that we are allowing our faculties to rust in idleness. When people are bored, they generally look about for a new pleasure, or take a holiday. There is no greater mistake: what they want is some hard piece of work, some productive drudgery. Doctors are fond of sending their fashionable patients to take a rest cure. In nine cases out of ten a work cure would do them far more good." - William Ralph Inge

"No one loves to tell of scandal except to him who loves to hear it. Learn, then, to rebuke and check the detracting tongue by showing that you do not listen to it with pleasure." - Saint Jerome, aka Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymous, Hierom or Jerom NULL

"Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse." -

"Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified. He that labors in any great or laudable undertaking has his fatigues first supported by hope and afterwards rewarded by joy." -

"Men seldom give pleasure when they are not pleased themselves." -

"Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks." -

"There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain." -

"Wealth is nothing in itself, it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase, which, if we suppose it put to its best use by those that posses it, seems not much to deserve the desire or envy of a wise man. It is certain that, with regard to corporal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the passages to anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed, that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment, enlarge the capacity, or elevate the imagination; but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error, and harden stupidity." -

"Rare indulgence produces greater pleasure." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL