Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Spirit

"That poverty which is not the daughter of the spirit is but the mother of shame and reproach; it is a disreputation that drowns all the other good parts that are in man; it is a disposition to all kind of evil; it is a man’s greatest foe." - Mateo Alemán, fully Mateo Alemán y de Enero

"What is an intelligent man? A man who enters with ease and completeness into the spirit of things and the intention of persons, and who arrives at an end by the shortest route." -

"Youth is a cause of hope for three reasons... And these three reasons may be gathered from the three conditions of the good which is the object of hope - namely, that it is future, arduous and possible... For youth has much of the future before it, and little of the past; and therefore since memory is of the past, and hope of the future, it has little to remember and lives very much in hope. Again, youths, on account of the heat of their nature, are full of spirit, so that their heart expands, and it is owing to the heart being expanded that one tends to that which is arduous; therefore youths are spirited and hopeful. Likewise they who have not suffered defeat, nor had experience of obstacles to their efforts, are prone to count a thing possible to them. Therefore youths, through inexperience of obstacles and of their own shortcomings, easily count a thing possible, and consequently are of good hope." -

"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

"I live in the world, but I seem to myself not of it!.. Natural phenomena are but the shadows of the spirit form which they spring, as the human face changes under the influence of love, hatred or fear... When, O when, shall I be able to reveal its poetry? I see everywhere and in ever object unceasing motion, and in that motion a creative force forever and forever repeating and re-repeating the same simple process as to infinity. Through all nature the grand rhythms roll and heaven and earth are filled with the melody. Men are but boys chasing shadows. The spiritual significance of the world none seem to see - the infinite simplicity of its process are none care to understand." - H. B.

"Keep thy spirit pure from worldly taint by the repellent strength of virtue." - Gamaliel Bailey

"Spiritual knowledge cannot be communicated from one intellect to another, but must be sought for in the spirit of God." - Jacob Bohme, or Jacob Behmen or Jakob Böhme

"Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit." -

"My reason teaches me that land cannot be sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon and cultivate as far as necessary for their subsistence, and so long as they occupy and cultivate it they have the right to the soil, but if they voluntarily leave it then any other people have a right to settle on it. Nothing can be sold, except things that can be carried away." - Black Hawk, born Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak NULL

"Gentleness, which belongs to virtue, is to be carefully distinguished from the mean spirit of cowards and the fawning assent of sycophants." - Hugh Blair

"The fatal fondness of indulging in a spirit of ridicule, and the injurious and irreparable consequences which sometimes attend the too severe reply, can never be condemned with more asperity than it deserves. Not to offend is the first step towards pleasing. To give pain is as much an offence against humanity as against good-breeding, and surely it is as well to abstain from an action because it is sinful, as because it is unpolite." - Hugh Blair

"The spirit of true religion breathes gentleness and affability; it gives a native, unaffected ease to the behavior; it is social, kind, cheerful; far removed from the cloudy and illiberal disposition which clouds the brow, sharpens the temper, and dejects the spirit." - Hugh Blair

"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit." - Frank Borman, fully Frank Frederick Borman, II

"The spirit of the world has four kinds of spirits diametrically opposed to charity - resentment, aversion, jealousy, and indifference." -

"Without the free spirit, affluence is only a form of slavery to undisciplined desires." - Kenneth Boulding, fully Kenneth Ewart Boulding

"When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and courageous feelings, seek for no other fuel to judge thy work by; it is good, and made by a good worksman." - Jean de La Bruyère

"The wise man learns to meet the changing circumstances of life with an equitable spirit, being neither elated by success nor depressed by failure. Thus one realizes the truth of non-duality." - 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

"Learn to laugh. And most of all, learn to laugh at yourself. The person who can give a riotous account of his own faux pas, will never have to listen to another's embarrassing account of it. He will rarely know the sting of humiliation. His a delight to be with, but more important, he is enjoying his own life, and applying to his ills and errors the most soothing balm the human spirit has devised - laughter." - Margaret M. Butts

"The very heart and root of sin is in an independent spirit. We erect the idol self; and not only wish others to worship, but worship ourselves." - Richard Cecil

"We are too fond of our own will; we want to be doing what we fancy mighty things: but the great point is to do small things, when called to them, in a right spirit." - Richard Cecil

"Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict." - William Ellery Channing

"The only freedom worth possessing is that which gives enlargement to a people's energy, intellect and virtues... Progress, the growth of intelligence and power, is the end and boon of liberty; and, without this, a people may have the name, but want the substance and spirit of freedom." - William Ellery Channing

"Humility is not a weak and timid quality; it must be carefully distinguished from a groveling spirit. There is such a thing as an honest pride and self-respect. Though we may be servants of all, we should be servile to none." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality... only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Envy is an ill-natured vice, and is made up of meanness and malice. It wishes the force of goodness to be strained, and the measure of happiness abated. It laments over prosperity, and sickens at the sight of health. It oftentimes wants spirit as well as good nature." - Jeremy Collier

"No man is free who is not master of his soul and controller of his spirit." - Thomas Crombie

"Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius." -

"Life is not the creature of circumstance. Indeed, in the whole universe of everything that is, life alone, life by its very nature, is the antagonist of circumstance... If there is any one thing that is utterly clear about the nature of life, it is that it was meant to master circumstance. The spirit conquers all things when the spirit wills it, and no excuse remains when we fail to live as we wish." - Arthur Powell Davies

"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

"Piety and morality are but the same spirit differently manifested. Piety is religion with its face toward God; morality is religion with its face toward the world." - Tyron Edwards

"True humility is not an abject, groveling, self-despising spirit; it is but a right estimate of ourselves as God sees us." - Tyron Edwards

"“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

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs." - Albert Einstein

"The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit in man." - Albert Einstein

"From its first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization; wealth and again wealth and once more wealth, wealth, not of society, but of the single scurvy individual - here was its one and final aim." - Friedrich Engels

"It is useless to gather virtues without humility, for the spirit of the Lord delighteth to dwell in the hearts of the humble." -

"The best general means to insure the profitable employment of our time is to accustom ourselves to living in continual dependence upon the Spirit of God and His law, receiving, every instant, whatever He is pleased to bestow; consulting Him in every action, and having recourse to Him in our weaker moments when virtue seems to fail." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"There are two principal points of attention necessary for the preservation of this constant spirit of prayer which unites us with God; we must continually seek to cherish it, and we must avoid everything that tends to make us lose it." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"The search for truth is, as it always has been, the noblest expression of the human spirit. Man's insatiable desire for knowledge about himself, about his environment and the forces by which he is surrounded, gives life its meaning and purpose, and clothes it with final dignity... And yet we know, deep in our hearts, that knowledge is not enough... Unless we can anchor our knowledge to moral purposes, the ultimate result will be dust and ashes - dust and ashes that will bury the hopes and monuments of men beyond recovery." - Harry Emerson Fosdick

"Our best hope for the future is that the intellect - the scientific spirit, reason - should in time establish a dictatorship over the human mind. The very nature of reason is a guarantee that it would not fail to concede to human emotions, and to all that is determined by them, the position to which they are entitled. But the common pressure exercised by such a domination of reason would prove to be the strongest unifying force among men, and would prepare the way for further unifications. Whatever, like the ban laid upon thought by religion, opposes such a development is a danger for the future of mankind." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love. When Christ said that man does not live by bread alone, he spoke of a hunger. This hunger was no the hunger of the body. It was not the hunger for bread. He spoke of a hunger that begins deep down in the very depths of our being. He spoke of a need as vital as breath. He spoke of our hunger for love. Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because without it we become weak and faint. Without love our self-esteem weakens. Without it our courage fails. Without love we can no longer look out confidently at the world. We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little we destroy ourselves. With it we are creative. With it we march tirelessly. With it, and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others." - Chief Dan George

"What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit we get things done." - Arland Gilbert

"There are two kinds of artist in this world; those that work because the spirit is in them, and they cannot be silent if they would, and those that speak from a conscientious desire to make apparent to other the beauty that has awakened their own admiration." - Anna Katherine Green

"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

"Right is might, and ever was, and ever shall be so. Holiness, meekness, patience, humility, self-denial, and self-sacrifice, faith, love, each is might and every gift of the spirit is might." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"Jingshen is the Mandarin word for spirit and vivacity. It is an important word for those who would lead, because above all things, spirit and vivacity set effective organizations apart from those that will decline and die." - James L. Hayes

"As the very atoms of the earth and the stars of the sky seek harmony with the system which binds them in a cosmic unity, so the souls of men seek harmony with the Spirit which makes them one." - John Haynes Holmes

"Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; patience, governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues the hand, tramples upon temptation, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age." - George Horne

"Patience strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride, bridles the tongue, restrains the hand, and tramples upon temptations." - George Horne