Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Self

"The reason we’re here is to exercise personal responsibility, to evolve the higher self and to influence that development in others." - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis "Lew" Alcinder, Jr.

"Esteeming others merely for their agreement with us in religion, opinion, and manner of living is only a less offensive kind of self-adoration." - Thomas Adam

"More than all, and above all Washington was master of himself. If there be one quality more than another in his character which may exercise a useful control over the men of the present hour, it is the total disregard of self when in the most elevated positions for influence and example." - Charles Francis Adams II

"There is no such thing as a "self-made" man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success." - George Matthew Adams

"The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"True friendship... always involves the dominance of benevolent impulses, tending toward the benefit of the beloved, whereas the counterfeits of friendship spring primarily or purely from acquisitive desire - seeking something for one’s self." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"Wise men weigh the advantages of any course of action against its drawbacks, and move not an inch until they can see what the result of their action will be; but while they are deep in thought, the men with self-confidence ‘come and see and conquer.’" - Ahad HaAm, pen name, born Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg

"It is dangerous to abandon one’s self to the luxury of grief; it deprives one of courage, and even of the wish for recovery." -

"It is dangerous to abandon one's self to the luxury of grief; it deprives one of courage, and even the wish for recovery." -

"A man's true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examinations, and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not that which he thinks and says and does." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Never esteem anything as of advantage to thee that shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Self-control and understanding, righteousness and courage, there is nothing in life more profitable than these." - Apocrypha NULL

"The greatest of virtues, self-control." - Apocrypha NULL

"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer - into selflessness which links us with all humanity." - Nancy Astor, fully Lady Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor

"It is axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people because, when we are insensitive in our dealings with others, we cannot be aware of it at the time: conscious insensitivity is a self-contradiction." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"Of all afflictions, the worst is self-contempt." - Berthold Auerbach

"Love has to spring spontaneously from within. It is no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. Love and coercion can never go together; but though Love cannot be forced on anyone, It can be awakened in him through Love itself. Love is essentially self-communicative. Those who do not have It catch It from those who have It. True love is unconquerable and irresistible; and It goes on gathering power and spreading Itself, until eventually It transforms everyone whom It touches." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"[Paraphrase] Self consciousness, while glorious for what is has done, is at the same time baneful, because it precludes man from entering the Cosmic Conscious life, which leads to the infinite - which alone can explain God." - Honoré de Balzac

"Honesty rare as a man without self-pity, kinders as large and plain as a prairie wind." - Stephen Vincent Benét

"It is the whole soul, in fact, that gives rise to the free decision, and the act will be so much the freer the more the dynamic series with which it is connected tends to be the fundamental self... but the moments at which we thus grasp ourselves are rare, and that is why we are rarely free." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"Obedience to duty means resistance to self." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"Learn to look with an equal eye upon all beings, seeing the one Self in all." - S'rîmad Bhâgavatam, aka Bhâgavata Purâna or Bhāgavata

"To be born is to suffer: to grow old is to suffer: to die is to suffer: to lose what is loved is to suffer: to be tied to what is not loved is to suffer: to endure what is distasteful is to suffer. In short, all the results of individuality, or separate self-hood, necessarily involve pain or suffering." - Subhadra Bhikshu, pen name for Friedrich Zimmermann

"With our finite minds we cannot presume to know if there is a Purpose. We sense, however, the presence of something greater than we can comprehend, a force as yet unknown to us - perhaps even to be unknown. So we accept our situation, learn from it, and do the best we can, resting on faith, despair, or cynicism, depending on the individual. Overriding all this must be an obligation - self-imposed or externally impressed - to do the best one can for others, to relieve suffering and to exercise compassion. We are all in this together, for life is a common, not an individual, endeavor." - Harry Blackmun, fully Harold "Harry" Andrew Blackmun

"Such is the infatuation of self-love, that, though in general doctrine of the vanity world all men agree, yet almost everyone flatters himself that his own case is to be an exception from the common rule." - Hugh Blair

"In other living creatures ignorance of self is nature; in man it is vice." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"I had the opportunity to deliver babies... In each of these numinous moments, I knew that life had meaning; each experience was accompanied by an upwelling of gratitude and humility. These moments, which can be called an experience of the self, or archetype of meaning, are akin to the act of finally seeing the Holy Grail after a long quest... It is through these moments of grace and gratitude that we acquire a sense of meaning and a desire to live a meaningful life. The personal challenge is now." - Jean Shinoda Bolen

"No man or woman has achieved an effective personality who is not self-disciplined. Such discipline must not be an end in itself, but must be directed to the development of resolute Christian character." - Abel Bonnard

"All censure of a man’s self is oblique praise." - James Boswell

"Excessive sensibility is only another name for morbid self-consciousness." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Our first and last love is - self-love." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Self-distrust is the cause of most of our failures. In the assurance of strength; there is strength, and they; are the; weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their powers." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Self-distrust is the cause of most of our failures. In the assurance of strength, there is strength, and they are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their own powers." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"The worst deluded are the self-deluded." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"The goal of all education, preaching, and instruction is the development of mature individuals who will understand that difficulties in life are Divine-ordained challenges to overcome and opportunities for growth, and not excuses for defeat and self-ruination." - Aaron M. Brafman

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"Anger is self-immolation." - Phillips Brooks

"Only the soul that with an overwhelming impulse and a perfect trust gives itself up forever to the life of other men, finds the delight and peace which such complete self-surrender has to give." - Phillips Brooks

"The most amiable people are those who least wound the self-love of others." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Self-interest is the most ingenious and persuasive of all the agents that deceive our consciences, while by means of it our unhappy and stubborn prejudices operate in their greatest force." - William Cullen Bryant

"Suffering should lead man to self-inspection... to the admission of errors... and to prayer and forgiveness." - Bűchler Sándor or Alexander Bűchler

"Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment." - Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

"When a person who was self conscious only, enters into cosmic consciousness - he knows without learning certain things... that the universe is not a dead machine but a living presence... that in its essence and tendency it is infinitely good... that individual existence is continuous beyond what is called death." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"He who beholds in all beings in the self and the self in all beings, he never turns away from it. When to a man who understands, the self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that unity?" - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"I am not collecting my knowledge from letters and books, but I have it within my own Self; because heaven and earth with all their inhabitants, and moreover God himself, is in man." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"There is nothing that can not be accomplished by the spirit of gratitude and self-sacrifice." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"There is nothing that can be called a “Self,” and there is no such thing as “mine” in all the world." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"He never errs who sacrifices self." -

"Self-confidence is not hope; it is the self-judgment of your own internal forces in their relation to the world without, which results from the failure of many; hopes and the non-realization of many fears." -