Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Soul

"Just as a tested and rugged virtue of the moral hero is worth more than the lovely, tender, untried innocence of the child, so is the massive strength of a soul that has conquered truth for itself worth more than the soft peach-bloom faith of a soul that takes truth on trust." - Francis Ellington Abbot

"Conscience is God’s deputy in the soul." - Thomas Adams

"There is nothing in the world better for the purification of the soul than the curbing of idle talk." - Agnon Schmuel Yoseph Agnon, pseudonym of Samuel Joseph Czaczkes

"Thou canst not tell how rich a dowry sorrow gives the soul, how firm a faith and eagle sight of God." - Dean Alford, fully Clarence "Dean" Alford

"The company of a good man is the light of the soul, of an evil man the poison of life." - Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

"Embellish the soul with simplicity, with prudence, and everything which is neither virtuous nor vicious. Love all men. Walk according to God; for, as a poet hath said, his laws govern all." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgment. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and a vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Our dispositions will be suitable to that which we most frequently think on; for the soul is, as it were, tinged with the colour and complexion of its own thoughts." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts. Dye it then with a continuous series of such thoughts as these: that where a man can live, there he can also live well." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"The one thing worth living for is to keep one's soul pure." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"To live happily is an inward power of the soul." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Your disposition will be suitable to that which you most frequently think on; for the soul is, as it were, tinged with the color and complexion of its own thoughts." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"The character of the human will is of moment; because, if it is wrong, these motions of the soul will be wrong, but if it is right, they will be not merely blameless, but even praiseworthy." -

"The intellectual soul, because it can comprehend universals, has a power extending to the infinite; therefore it cannot be limited by nature either to certain fixed natural judgments, or to certain fixed means whether of defense or of clothing, as is the case with other animals, the souls of which have knowledge and power in regard to fixed particular things. Instead of all these, man has by nature his reason and his hands, which are the organs of organs, since by their means man can make for himself instruments of an infinite variety, and for any number of purposes." -

"The soul is known by its acts." -

"When... the thing in which there is good is nobler than the soul itself, in which is the idea understood, by comparison with such a thing the will is higher than the intellect. But when the thing which is good is less noble than the soul, then even in comparison with the thing the intellect is higher than the will. Therefore the love of God is better than the knowledge of God; but, on the contrary, the knowledge of corporeal things is better than the love of them. Absolutely, however, the intellect is nobler than the will." -

"Know then, whatever cheerful and serene supports the mind, supports the body too; hence, the most vital movement mortals feel is hope, the balm and lifeblood of the soul." - John Armstrong

"Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul, is the best gift of heaven; a happiness that, even above the smiles and frowns of fate, exalts great Nature’s favorites; a wealth that ne’er encumbers, nor can be transferr’d." - John Armstrong

"A cheerful spirit is one of the most valuable gifts ever bestowed upon humanity by a kind Creator. It is the sweetest and the most fragrant flower of the Spirit, that constantly sends out its beauty and fragrance, and blesses everything within its reach. It will sustain the soul in the darkest and most dreary places of this world. It will hold in check the demons of despair, and stifle the power of discouragement and hopelessness. It is the brightest star that ever cast its radiance over the darkened soul, and one that seldom sets in the gloom of morbid fancies and foreboding imaginations." - Arthur Aughey

"Regeneration is the beginning of holiness in the soul, and admits of no progression; sanctification is carried on progressively in the heart of the renewed, and will be continued until it is completed in the concluding moments of life." - Charles Backus

"Prayer is the most perfect and most divine action that a rational soul is capable of. It is of all actions and duties the most indispensably necessary." - Augustine Baker

"Every human soul is of infinite value, eternal, free; no human being, therefore... places as not to have within his reach, in himself and others, objects adequate to infinite endeavor." -

"All we are is in the soul." - Honoré de Balzac

"Sensuality is the death of the soul." - Honoré de Balzac

"Beauty, like truth and justice, lives within us; like virtue, and like moral law, it is a companion of the soul." - George Bancroft

"The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he's got an abscess on his knee or in his soul." - Rona Barrett born Rhona Bernstein, Mrs. William Trowbridge

"Look at nature with science as a lens. The rock swarms, the clod dances; the mineral is but the vegetable stepping down, and the animal an ascending plant; the man, a beast extended; and the angel, a developed human soul." -

"I must confess, as the experience of my own soul, that the expectation of loving my friends in heaven principally kindles my love to them while on earth." - Richard Baxter

"When hospitality becomes an art, it loses its very soul." - Max Beerbohm, fully Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm

"In every community there is a class of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don't mean the criminals. For them we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power. While in the parlors of indignation the right-thinking citizen brings his heart to a boil. In here, the human bosom -- mine, yours, everybody's -- there isn't just one soul. There's a lot of souls. But there are two main ones, the real soul and a pretender soul. Now! Every man realizes that he has to love something or somebody. He feels that he must go outward. 'If thou canst not love, what art thou?' Are you with me? " - Saul Bellow

"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

"My soul is continually in my hand." -

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" -

"The voice of the Devil. All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following errors: 1. That man has two real existing principles; vis; a body and a soul. 2. That energy, called evil, is alone from body, and that reason, called good, is alone from the soul. 3. That God will torment man in eternity for the following energies. But the following contraries to these are true: 1. Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that called body is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of the soul in this age. 2. Energy is the only life, and is from the body; and reason is bound or outward circumference of energy. 3. Energy is eternal delight." - William Blake

"Having no soul union with other men can be the most damaging wound of all." - Robert Bly

"Virtue alone is the unerring sign of a noble soul." -

"Faith is the soul going out of itself for all its wants." - Thomas Boston

"The body of the sensualist is the coffin of a dead soul." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"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

"Curiosity is the spiritual adultery of the soul. Curiosity is spiritual drunkenness." - Thomas Brooks

"No man, with a man's heart in him gets far on his way without some bitter, soul-searching disappointment. Happy is he who is brave enough to push on to another stage of the journey." -

"The Cosmos is not dead matter but a living Presence, the soul of man is immortal... the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all... the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"The life which is in man is eternal, as all life is eternal; that the soul of man is as immortal as God is; that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"Not in the knowledge of things without, but in the perfection of the soul within, lies the empire of man aspiring to be more than man." -

"Rarest of all things on earth is the union in which both, by their contrasts, make harmonious their blending; each supplying the defects of the helpmate, and completing, by fusion, one strong human soul." -

"A man the monarch of his soul." - John Byron, aka 'Mad Jack'

"Your true... tragedy is enacted on the stage of a man’s soul, and with the man’s reasons as lone auditor." -

"There is no peace except where I am, saith the Lord... As space spreads everywhere, and all things move and change within it, but it moves not nor changes, so I am the space within the soul, of which the space without is but the similitude and mental image; cometh thou to inhabit me, thou hast the entrance to all life - death shall no longer divide thee from whom thou lovest. I am the sun that shines upon all creatures from within - gazest thou upon me thou shalt be filled with joy eternal. Be not deceived. Soon this outer world shall drop off - thou shalt slough it away as a man sloughs his mortal body. Learn even now to spread thy wings in that other world - the world of equality - to swim in the ocean, my child, of me and my love. (Ah! have I not taught thee by the semblance of this outer world, but its alienations and deaths and mortal sufferings - all for this? For joy, ah! joy unutterable!)" -