Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Silence

"Deep vengeance is the daughter of deep silence." -

"Fame has no necessary conjunction with praise; it may exist without the breath of a word: it is a recognition of excellence which must be felt, but need not be spoken. Even the envious must feel it, and hate in silence." -

"If men would wound you with injuries, meet them with patience: hasty words rankle the wound, soft language, dresses it, forgiveness cures it, and oblivion takes away the scar. It is more noble by silence to avoid an injury than by argument to overcome it." - Francis Beaumont

"If men wound you with injuries, meet them with patience; hasty words rankle the wound, soft language dresses it, forgiveness cures it, and oblivion takes away the scar. It is more noble by silence to avoid an injury; than by argument to overcome it." - J. Beaumont

"Silence is the understanding of fools, and one of the virtues of the wise." -

"True penitence condemns to silence. What a man is ready to recall, he would be willing to repeat." - F. H. Bradley, fully Frances Herbert "F.H." Bradley

"A secret is like silence: you cannot talk about it, and keep it. It is like money; when once you know there is any concealed, it is half discovered." - Paul Chatfield, pseudonym for Horace Smith

"Do not hate someone who has humiliated you. Although he has transgressed, he has rendered you a service. When a person suffers humiliation in silence, it atones for his misdeeds. The situation is analogous to someone’s preparing a hot bath for you. Although it might cause you some pain, it also cleanses you. Keeping this thought in mind will prevent feelings of hatred." -

"Each soul must meet the morning sun, the new, sweet earth, and the Great Silence alone!" - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"Silence is the cornerstone of character." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"The first American mingled with her pride a singular humility. Spiritual arrogance was foreign to his nature and teaching. He never claimed that his power of articulate speech was proof of superiority over “dumb creation”; on the other hand, speech to him is a perilous gift. He believes profoundly in silence - the sign of perfect equilibrium. silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The an who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence - not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of the shining pool - his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"The Indians were religious from the first moments of life. From the moment of the mother’s recognition that she had conceived to the end of the child’s second year of life, which was the ordinary duration of lactation, it was supposed by us that the mother’s spiritual influence was supremely important. Her attitude and secret meditations must be such to instill into the receptive soul of the unborn child the love of the Great Mystery and a sense of connectedness with all creation. Silence and isolation are the rule of life for the expectant mother... Silence, love, reverence - this is the trinity of first lessons, and to these she later adds generosity, courage and chastity." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"“Desiderata" Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy." - Max Ehrmann

"Silence is an answer to a wise man." - Euripedes NULL

"As we must account for every idle word, so we must for every idle silence." - Benjamin Franklin

"Forget not that the man who cannot enjoy his own natural gifts is silence, and find his reward in the; exercise of them, will generally find himself badly off." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"There are three kinds of silence. Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil. Silence, or rest from desires and passions is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit. But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper reputation and for silence in other respects." - Madame Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvières de la Mothe Guyon

"They [trees] hang on from a past no theory can recover. They will survive us. The air makes their music. Otherwise, they live in savage silence, though mites and nematodes and spiders teem at their roots, and though the energy with which they feed on the sun and are able to draw water sometimes hundred of feet up their trunks and into their twigs and branches calls for a deafening volume of sound." - John Hay, fully John Milton Hay

"Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts; not amidst joy." - Felicia Hemans, fully Felicia Dorothea Browne Hemans

"The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Humility collects the soul into a single point by the power of silence. A truly humble man has no desire to be known or admired by others, but wishes to plunge from himself into himself, to become nothing, as if he had never been born. When he is completely hidden to himself in himself, he is completely with God." - Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

"The power of punishment is to silence, not to confute." -

"I found I had less and less to say, until finally, I became silent, and began to listen. I discovered in the silence, the voice of God." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people. It may be that our generation will have to repent not only for the diabolical actions and vitriolic words of the children of darkness, but also for the crippling fears and tragic apathy of the children of light." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"We enter our studies, and enjoy a society which we alone can bring together. We raise no jealousy by conversing with one in preference to another; we give no offense to the most illustrious by questioning him as long as we will, and leaving him as abruptly. Diversity of opinion raises no tumult in our presence: each interlocutor stands before us, speaks or is silence, and we adjourn or decide the business at our leisure." - Walter Savage Landor

"He who, silent, loves to be with us, and loves us in our silence, has touched one of the keys that ravish hearts." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"We have kept our children so busy with “useful” and “improving” activities that we are in danger of raising a generation of young people who are terrified of silence, of being alone with their own thoughts." - Eda J. LeShan

"Perseverance can lend the appearance of dignity and grandeur to many actions, just as silence in company affords wisdom and apparent intelligence to a stupid person." - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

"The sole philosophy open to those who doubt the possibility of truth is absolute silence - even mental." - Jacques Maritain

"Men fear silence as they fear solitude, because both give them a glimpse of the terror of life's nothingness." -

"The contemplative life has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence and dare to advance without fear into the solitude of your own heart... you will truly recover the light and capacity to understand what is beyond words and beyond explanation because it is too close to be explained." - Thomas Merton

"The greatest admiration gives rise, not to words, but to silence." - Musonius, fully Gaius Musonnius Rufus NULL

"True sorrow makes a silence in the heart." - Robert Nathan

"True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment." - William Penn

"Silence is man's centre... Today silence is malfunctioning noise." - Max Picard

"They all were ravished by a glimpse of heaven, where everything is known and yet forgiven, and all that is not music is pure silence." -

"Meet an accusation with silence and you make it sharper." - Publius Syrus

"The value of silence in art is its stimulation to the imagination." - James R. Quirk

"It is a delightful thought that, during the familiarity of constant proximity, the heart gathers up in silence the nutriment of love, as the diamond, even beneath the water, imbibes the light it emits. Time, which deadens hatred, secretly strengthens love." -

"It is only reason that teaches silence; the heart teaches us to speak." -

"I grew up among wise man and found that there is nothing better for man than silence. Knowledge is not the main thing, but deeds." - Sayings of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot or Pirqe Aboth) NULL

"To silence another, first be silent yourself." -

"For his entire life he was in the company of wise men and Of all the things beneficial to one’s body, silence is the best. [paraphrase]" - Shimon HaTzaddik

"That charity alone endures which flows from a sense of duty and a hope in God. this is the charity that treads in secret those paths of misery from which all but the lowest of human wretches have fled; this is that charity which no labor can weary, no ingratitude detach, no horror disgust; that toils, that pardons, that suffers; that is seen by no man, and honored by no man, but, like the great laws of Nature, does the work of God in silence, and looks to a future and better world for its reward." - Sydney Smith

"The correction of silence is what kills; when you know you have transgressed, and your friend says nothing and avoids your eye." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"The cruelest lies are often told in silence." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"What is the meaning of life? The meaning may not be expressed in words. It transcends the mind and the intellect. The meaning is to be experienced, realized... It is open to everyone who would live according to certain disciplines... The discipline of duty. Life is a field of duty, not a dance of desires... The discipline of service... We are here to help others... The opposite of love is not hate but apathy... The discipline of silence... The meaning of life is to love God and to give the service of love to the suffering children of God. And to the birds and animals who are God’s children as well." - Dada Vaswani, born Jashan Pahalraj Vaswani