Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"Life has neither material nor idealistic secrecy or mystery about it. Life is equal to itself only, hence perceiving its meaning is out of the question... The exaggeration of our mental abilities has given rise to what we perceive as “the problem” of discerning life’s purpose... If it is beyond our powers to disembowel love and beauty - we can only ravish them - it means that they are given to us not for cognition but for reflection. Similarly, the freedom of choice granted to man, a freedom denied the rest of the living species, is man’s task, a duty to exercise and fulfill, not merely an opportune option." - Andrei Bitov, fully Andrei Georgiyevich Bitov

"Where secrecy or mystery begins, vice or roguery is not far off." -

"We know that the wages of secrecy are corruption. We know that in secrecy, error undetected will flourish and subvert." - Robert Oppenheimer, fully Julius Robert Oppenheimer

"All sins were committed in secrecy. The moment we realize that God witnesses even our thoughts, we shall be free." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"[Power] waxes in secrecy and wanes in bright light." - Ted Kennedy, fully Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy

"The art of crisis management, now widely acknowledged to be the essence of statecraft, owes its vogue to the merger of politics and spectacle. Propaganda seeks to create in the public a chronic sense of crisis, which in turn justifies the expansion of executive power and the secrecy surrounding it." - Christopher Kit Lasch

"All instruction, all criticism, every reduction in choice, every manifestation of hierarchy, every act of secrecy subtly lowers people’s self-belief. Coaching, trust, openness, respect, authentic praise, freedom of choice and, of course, success raise it." - John Whitmore, fully Sir John Whitmore

"A government operating in the shadow of secrecy stands in complete opposition to the society envisioned by the framers of our Constitution." - Damon Keith, fully Damon Jerome Keith

"Secrecy and a free, democratic government don’t mix." - Harry S. Truman

"The worst policy is one made in secrecy by experts." - John Kenneth Galbraith, aka "Ken"

"Secrecy necessarily breeds suspicion." - Louis D. Brandeis, fully Louis Dembitz Brandeis

"Government secrecy is not for security reasons, overwhelmingly it's just to prevent the population from knowing what's going on. I mean, a lot of secret internal documents get declassified after thirty years or so, and if you look over the entire long record of them, there's virtually nothing in there that ever had any security-related concern." - Noam Chomsky, fully Avram Noam Chomsky

"There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"Literature is where I go to explore the highest and lowest places in human society and in the human spirit, where I hope to find not absolute truth but the truth of the tale, of the imagination of the heart." - Salman Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie

"Where there is emulation, there will be vanity; where there is vanity, there will be folly." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"The degradation of the sense of symbol in modern society is one of its many signs of spiritual decay." - Thomas Merton

"You don’t believe—I won’t attempt to make ye: You are asleep—I won’t attempt to wake ye. Sleep on! sleep on! while in your pleasant dreams Of Reason you may drink of Life’s clear streams. Reason and Newton, they are quite two things; For so the swallow and the sparrow sings. Reason says ‘Miracle’: Newton says ‘Doubt.’ Aye! that’s the way to make all Nature out. ‘Doubt, doubt, and don’t believe without experiment’: That is the very thing that Jesus meant, When He said ‘Only believe! believe and try! Try, try, and never mind the reason why!’" - William Blake

"They said this mystery never shall cease: The priest promotes war, and the soldier peace. " - William Blake

"For the eye altering alters all; the senses roll themselves in fear and the flat earth becomes a ball." - William Blake

"One of the first rules on the spiritual path is that you must attend strictly to your own business and not interfere with that of others. Your neighbor's life is sacred and you have no right to try to manage it for him. Let him alone. God has given him free will and self-determination, so why should you interfere? Many well-meaning people are constantly "butting in"" to their neighbors' lives without invitation. They pretend to themselves that their only desire is to help, but this is self-deception. It is really a desire to interfere. Interference always does more harm than good. Actually those who mind other people's business always neglect their own. The man who wants to put your house in order has always made a failure of his own life. M.Y.O.B. Of course, this does not mean that you are not to help people whenever you can; in fact, you should make it a rule to try to do at least one kind act every day; but you must do it without interfering or encroaching. When in doubt, claim Divine Guidance. It is always right to give your neighbor the right thought. Under any circumstances it can only do good to "Golden Key" him when you think of him. Don't fuss - God is running the universe." - Emmet Fox

"In the United States, the last recorded clitoridectomy for curing masturbation was performed in 1948--on a five year old girl." -