Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Reality

"Among today’s adept practitioners, the lie has long since lost its honest function of misrepresenting reality. Nobody believes anybody, everyone is in the know. Lies are told only to convey to someone that one has no need either of him or his good opinion. the lie, once a liberal means of communication, has today become one of the techniques of insolence enabling each individual to spread around him the glacial atmosphere whose shelter he can thrive." -

"Life in this world is a very important reality, but it is not the ultimate reality... True growth in this world always calls for a dying to my own sinfulness, individualism and selfishness so that I might come closer to my true self in relationship to all others and to God. Thus, in the end, life and death are not diametrically opposed. Life involves a dying and dying is a way of life." - Charles Curran

"Too many moralists begin with a dislike of reality." - Clarence Shepard Day, Jr.

"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

"Some people gauge their value by what they own. But in reality the entire concept of ownership of possessions is based on an illusion. When you obtain a material object, it does not become part of you. Ownership is merely your right to use specific objects whenever you wish and that no one has a right to take them away from you. How unfortunate is the person who has an ambition to cleave to something impossible to cleave to. Such a person will not obtain what he desires and will experience suffering." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"Much on earth is hidden from us, but to make up for that we have been given a precious mystic sense of our living bond with the other world, with the higher heavenly world, and the roots of our thoughts and feelings are not here but in other worlds. That is why the philosophers say that we cannot apprehend the reality of things on earth." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"He who does reverence to his own sect, while disparaging the sects of others wholly from attachment to his own, with intent to enhance the glory of his own sect, in reality by such conduct inflicts the severest injury on his own sect. Concord therefore is meritorious, to wit, hearkening and hearkening willingly to the Law of Piety, as accepted by other people." - Edicts of Ashoka NULL

"Freedom does not consist in the dream of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives or systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves - two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject." - Friedrich Engels

"The dignity of man lies in his ability to face reality in all its meaninglessness." - Martin Esslin, fully Martin Julius Esslin

"Our doctrine here is therefore that all reality... is brought forth solely by the imagination." - J. G. Fichte, fully Johann Gottlieb Fichte

"Do people love truth? On the contrary, mankind has employed its subtlest ingenuity and intelligence in efforts to evade or conceal it... Do human beings love justice? The sordid travesties in our courts year after year suggest that they love justice only for themselves. Do they love peace? Can anyone seriously ask the question? Do they love freedom? Only for those who share their views. Love of peace, freedom, justice, truth - this is a myth that has been created by the folk mind, and if the artist does not look behind the myth to the reality, he will indeed wander amid the phantoms which he creates." - Vardis Fisher, fully Vardis Alvero Fisher

"The unconscious is the true psychic reality; in its inner nature it is just as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly communicated to us by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the reports of our sense-organs." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set at night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The grand difficulty is to feel the reality of both worlds, so as to give each its due place in our thoughts and feelings, to keep our mind’s eye and our heart’s eye ever fixed on the land of promise, without looking away from the road along which we are to travel toward it." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"Fantasies are more than substitutes for unpleasant reality; they are also dress rehearsals, plans. All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination." - Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

"Your true nature is not lost in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of enlightenment. It was never born and can never die. It shines through the whole universe, filling emptiness, one with emptiness. It is without time or space, and has no passions, actions, ignorance, or knowledge. In it there are no things, no people, and no Buddhas; it contains not the smallest hairbreadth of anything that exists objectively; it depends on nothing and is attached to nothing. It is all-pervading, radiant beauty: absolute reality, self-existent and uncreated. How then can you doubt that the Buddha has no mouth to speak with and nothing to teach, or that the truth is learned without learning, for who is there to learn? It is a jewel beyond all price." - Huang Po, also Huángbò Xīyùn

"Each is driven by the most relentless, persistent instinct man possesses: the instinct for meaning, transcendence, wholeness and truth... Reality is a continuum that extends from thinking to the denser world of physical form." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"The mere reality of life would be inconceivably poor without the charm of fancy, which brings in its bosom, no doubt, as many vain fears as idle hopes, but lends much oftener to the illusions it calls up a gay flattering hue than one which inspires terror." -

"Deliverance is out of time into eternity, and is achieved by obedience and docility to the eternal Nature of Things. We have been given free will, in order that we may will our self-will out of existence and so come to live continuously in a “state of grace.” All our actions must be directed, in the last analysis, to making ourselves passive in relation to the activity and the being of divine Reality. We are, as it were, aeolian harps, endowed with the power either to expose themselves to the wind of the Spirit or to shut themselves away from it." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"If there is freedom... there is a spiritual Reality, which it is the final end and purpose of consciousness to know; then all life is in the nature of an intelligence test, and the higher the level of awareness and the greater the potentialities of the creature, the more searchingly difficult will be the questions asked." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"It is in the light of our beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality that we formulate our conceptions of right and wrong; and it is in the light of our conceptions of right and wrong that we frame our conduct." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Knowledge of what is happening now does not determine the event. What is ordinarily called God’s foreknowledge is in reality a timeless now-knowledge, which is compatible with the freedom of the human creature’s will in time." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The Godhead is impassable; for where there is perfection and unity, there can be no suffering. The capacity to suffer arises where there is imperfection, disunity and separation from an embracing totality; and the capacity is actualized to the extent that imperfection, disunity and separateness are accompanied by an urge towards the intensification of these creaturely conditions. For the individual who achieves unity within his own organism and union with the divine Ground, there is an end of suffering. The goal of creation is the return of all sentient beings out of separateness and that infatuating urge-to-separateness which results in suffering, through unitive knowledge, into the wholeness of eternal Reality." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The human species... capacity for good is infinite, since they can, they desire, make room within themselves for divine Reality. But at the same time their capacity for evil is, not indeed infinite (since evil is always ultimately self-destructive and therefore temporary), but uniquely great. Hell is total separation from God, and the devil is the will to that separation... To be diabolic on the grand scale, one must, like Milton’s Satan, exhibit in a high degree all the moral virtues, except only charity and wisdom." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The idolatrous worship of ethical values in and for themselves defeats its own object - and defeats it not only because... there is a lack of all-around development, but also and above all because even the highest forms of moral idolatry are God-eclipsing and therefore guarantee the idolater against the enlightening and liberating knowledge of Reality." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"What we do depends in large measure upon what we think, and if what we do it evil, there is good empirical reason for supposing that our thought patterns are inadequate to material, mental or spiritual reality." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"To do nothing is in every man’s power; we can never want an opportunity of omitting duties. The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible, because it is only a mere cessation of activity; but the return to diligence is difficult, because it implies a change from rest to motion, from privation to reality." -

"I have often seen individuals who simply outgrow a problem which had destroyed others. This ‘outgrowing’, revealed itself on further experience to be the raising of the level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through the widening of his view, the insoluble problem, lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out in contrast to a new and strong life-tendency. It was not repressed and made unconscious, but merely appeared in a different light, and so became different itself. What, on a lower level, had led the wildest conflicts and emotions full of panic, viewed from the higher level of the personality, now seemed like a storm in the valley seen from a high mountain top. This does not mean that the thunderstorm is robbed of its reality; it means that instead of being in it, one is now above it." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"Our unconscious existence is the real one and our conscious world a kind of illusion, an apparent reality constructed for a specific purpose like a dream which seems a reality as long as we are in it." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"Whatever you believe is true - for you. We do not act outside of our perception of reality." - Gloria D. Karpinski

"Reality comes into being only when the mind is still, not made still. Therefore, there must be no disciplining of the mind to be still. When you discipline yourself, it is merely a projected desire to be in a particular state. Such a state is not the state of passivity... Liberation is from moment to moment in the understanding of what is, when the mind is free, not made free. It is only a free mind that can discover, not a mind molded by a belief or shaped according to a hypothesis. Such a mind cannot discover. There can be no freedom is there is conflict, for conflict is the fixing of the self in relationship." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"The experience of another is not valid for the understanding of reality. But the organized religions throughout the world are based on the experience of another and, therefore, are not liberating man but only binding him to a particular pattern that sets man against man. Each one of us has to start anew, afresh, for what we are, the world is. The world is not different from you and me. This little world of our problems, extended, becomes the world and the problems of the world." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"The commandment to love the Almighty requires that we should be willing to give up our lives if necessary out of love for Him. If a person has internalized that in reality he is a soul and his body is merely an outer garment that he temporarily wears, he will find it relatively easy to fulfill the commandment of giving up his life is need be. He does not feel as if he is sacrificing himself for he always retains his soul. His body which he is sacrificing is not himself but only an outer garment. For such a person giving up his life is not the ultimate sacrifice since his body is not an integral part of his identity." - Yechezkail Levenstein

"When a person is born, he finds the world in a certain organized fashion. As he grows up, he tries to adjust himself to the assumptions that are accepted in the world. He views each event that occurs with the same perspective as the other people of his generation. These perspectives originated in the past and have been handed down from parents to children. These assumptions are taken for granted to such an extent that most people react to the accepted perspective of the world as if they were laws of the universe that cannot be changed. They are accepted as reality and are not challenged. Only a small minority of people obtain the necessary wisdom to look at the world with complete objectivity. They take a critical look at teach and every thing and try to understand everything as it really is instead of accepting the general prevalent outlook. Those who try to investigate the origin of every perspective will perceive everything in a much different light than is commonly accepted." - Yeruchem Levovitz, aka The Mashgiach

"No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself, who would not exchange the finest show for the poorest reality, who does not so love his work that he is not only glad to give himself for it, but finds rather a gain than a sacrifice in the surrender." - James Russell Lowell

"You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it." -

"Reverie is the groundwork of creative imagination; it is the privilege of the artist that with him is not as with other men an escape from reality, but the means by which he accedes to it." -

"Be sure, when you think you are being extremely tactful, that you are not in reality running away from something you ought to face." - Frank Medlicott, fully Brigadier Frank Medlicott

"Perhaps a reasonable apprehension of poverty is more paralyzing than the reality." - James Cotter Morison, fully James Augustus Cotter Morison

"Death is a fact in our natural reality - that is, in our sense-given experience of life - and as long as we cannot understand that we apprehend though the senses only a minute part of total existence and reality, we cannot escape from the violent effect of its suggestion." - Maurice Nicoll

"If the universe be in man (as a scale of reality) as well as man in the universe, then if a man gives an inferior explanation of the universe it will react on himself; he will limit himself and remain inferior to his own potential being." - Maurice Nicoll

"We live in a narrow reality, partly conditioned by our form of perception and partly made by opinions that we have borrowed, to which our self-esteem is fastened. We fight for our opinions, not because we believe them but because they involve the ordinary feeling of oneself. Though we are continually being hurt owing to the narrowness of the reality in which we dwell, we blame life, and do not see the necessity of finding absolutely new standpoints. All ideas that have a transforming power change our sense of reality." - Maurice Nicoll

"Granted that nothing is ‘given’ as real except our world of desires and passions, that we can rise or sink to no other ‘reality’ than the reality of our drives - for thinking is only the relationship of these drives to one another." -

"When one speaks of humanity, the idea is fundamental that this is something that separates and distinguishes man from nature. In reality, however, there is no such separation: ‘natural’ qualities and those called properly ‘human’ are indivisibly grown together. Man, in his highest and most noble capacities, is wholly nature and embodies its uncanny dual character. Those of his abilities which are awesome and considered inhuman are perhaps the fertile soil out of which alone all humanity... can grow." -

"Activity is the only reality." -

"I believe that being true to the self is the most important thing in life - to have a free heart, a pure soul and a pure mind. We all live, or should live, for the fulfillment of the self. We are all mirror images of each other; whatever we feel in ourselves we feel in others. I believe that we create our own lives... Intuition should play the main role in everything we do. Through the creative source of the mind and the unlimited power of the spirit all our deepest wishes come true. For me the meaning is that we are all one, and the only true reality is the spirit. Believing in the power of spirit is simply to have a passion for life, to learn, to grow, to evolve and most of all to love, and live each day and each moment of the day to the fullest." - Tatjana Patitz

"The earth we live on is so small that even if someone was honored by everyone on our planet it is still insignificant. Also, a person’s lifetime is so short that even if he received honor and approval his entire life, it is so short in comparison with eternity. This is the ultimate success an approval-seeker can hope for, but the reality is that even if you spend you entire life trying to win the approval of others, only a small number of people will know and approve of you. The approval you do gain lasts a very short time and is soon forgotten as if it never was." - Bachya Ibn Pekudah

"They who give, hoping to receive a requital, such as praise or honor... are in reality making a bargain." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality." - Otto Rank, born Otto Rosenfeld

"Everyone has, I think, in some quiet corner of his mind, an ideal home waiting to become a reality." - Paige Rense, aka Paige Rense Noland