Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Survival

"Selfishness can be a virtue. Selfishness is essential to survival, and without survival we cannot protect those whom we love more than ourselves." -

"Immortality is participation in the eternal now of the divine Ground: survival is persistence in one of the forms of time. Immortality is the result of total deliverance." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The self is the metaphoric construct of identity and agency, the hypothetical piece of turf on which we construct our strategies for survival, the notion around which we focus our instincts for self-preservation, our needs for self-approval, and the boundaries of our self-interest." - Joanna Macy, fully Joanna Rogers Macy

"Life is an instinct for growth, for survival, for the accumulation of forces, for power." -

"While the law (of competition) may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is the best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department." - Andrew Carnegie

"We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival." -

"Despite the dazzling successes of modern technology and the unprecedented power of modern military systems, they suffer from a common and catastrophic fault. While providing us with a bountiful supply of food, with great industrial plants, with high-speed transportation, and with military weapons of unprecedented power, they threaten our very survival." - Barry Commoner

"Learning - learning - learning: that is the secret of Jewish survival." -

"I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and, above all, compassion." - Kurt Hahn, fully Kurt Martin "the rod" Hahn

"Any careful study of living things, whether wolves, bears or man, reminds one of the same direct truth; also of the clarity of the fact that evolution itself is obviously not some process of drowning being clutching at straws and climbing from suffering and trail and virtual expiration to tenuous, momentary survival. Rather, evolution has been a matter of days well-lived, chameleon strength, energy, zappy sex, sunshine stored up, inventiveness, competitiveness, and the whole fun of busy brain cells." - Edward Hoagland, fully Edward Morley Hoagland

"Overpopulation... has created conditions favorable to the survival of the unfit and the elimination of the fit." - William Ralph Inge

"Mere survival has always been the surface, bottom-line surface for our existence... Survival alone does not ennoble us... True meaning... can be found in what we’ve yet to accomplish, in the realm of the unknown. We must resolve to look deep within, at the unrealized potential of our unevolved selves. Materially, the unknown is one vast nothingness; potentially, it is all things. The unknown within us is where all dreams, thoughts and genius are frozen. The act of searching to make known the unknown triggers the brain. It allows us to incorporate, in ourselves, a greater consciousness, lighting the way for our dreams to enact themselves. Although we seem small in comparison with the whole universe, we are equipped with the greatest cosmic hookup ever created: the human brain. The brain - linked unconsciously to the infinite mind where the unknown resides - only facilitates thoughts, it does not create it. In struggling to find the answer to why we exist, we awaken the infinite mind to the unknown, making known the unknown, bringing meaning to our existence and commonness to all." - J. Z. Knight, fully Judy Zebra Knight, born Judity Darlene Hampton

"Brotherhood is the very price and condition of man's survival." -

"Evolutionism, purporting to explain all and everything solely and exclusively by natural selection for adaption and survival, is the most extreme product of the materialistic utilitarianism of the nineteenth-century. The inability of twentieth-century thought to rid itself of this imposture is a failure which may well cause the collapse of the Western civilization." -

"Eventually we'll have to confront the fact that world suffering is the result of ill-conceived thoughts taking form through misdirected action. If we're going to survive as a species, we must relinquish - to unprecedented levels, - qualities such as greed, hatred, and delusion. In other words, our very survival depends on accelerated levels of psychological and spiritual maturation." - Roger N. Walsh

"To act without rapacity, to use knowledge with wisdom, to respect interdependence, to operate without hubris and greed are not simply moral operatives. They are an accurate scientific description of the means of survival." - Barbara Mary Ward, Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth, Lady Robert Jackson

"The more we get out of the world the less we leave, and in the long run we shall have to pay our debts at a time that may be very inconvenient for our own survival." -

"Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through. If by eternity is understood not endless temporal duration but timelessness, then he lives eternally who lives in the present. Our life is endless in the way that our visual field is without limit. The temporal immortality of the human soul, that is to say, its eternal survival after death, is not only in no way guaranteed, but this assumption in the first place will not do so for us what we always tried to make it do. Is a riddle solved by the fact that I survive for ever? Is this eternal life not as enigmatic as our present one? The solution of the riddle of life in space and time lies outside space and time." -

"Fear is an emotion indispensable for survival." -

"Love rests on the preservation of our species; art is our instinctive instrument for the preservation of the individual, of the unique man, woman and child, and the means of evolution of us all into something able and worthy of survival on the living earth." - Earle Birney, fully Earle Alfred Birney

"Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival." - René Dubos, fully René Jules Dubos

"Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and through concern for future generations, the proper care of the environment." -

"The all-important question is not whether human life will survive upon this planet. Rather, it is whether the souls of men will be fit to use God’s gift of personal survival in an eternal fellowship." - Georgia Harkness

"If practically everything in one’s life depends on the evolution of the level of one’s consciousness, it would seem that, aside from the mere survival needs, developing the level of consciousness would eclipse all other endeavors in importance. That would seem to be so, but that has to be integrated into the overall context of one’s life. Endeavors and activities can remain the same but need to be recontextualized and repositioned within a spiritual framework. To spiritualize one’s life, it is necessary only to shift one’s motive. To constantly be aware of one’s actual motive tends to bring up positionality and the pairs of opposites, such as gain versus service or love versus greed." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"Sentient species think (to the extent that this is possible for their species) and act rationally most of the time. To do otherwise reduces the species chances of survival because their home (the universe) is rationally (i.e., causally) constructed. The universe’s causality binds thinking, language and intelligence together." - David Hockey

"Democracy is not a mere consequence, a certain stage in the development of society. It is the condition on which the survival of productive forces depends." - Wei Jingsheng or Jing-sheng

"Human morality is composed of four interconnecting principles: a genetic predisposition toward survival, the neural development of the brain, a social imperative toward group cohesion, and a cognitive propensity to make distinctions between right and wrong and good and evil. Our moral continuum appears to be strongly influenced by the degrees of connectedness we feel with others; the more connected we feel, the more we act with generosity, compassion and fairness." - Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

"Revolution is a universal rule of evolution. Revolution is a universal principle of the world. Revolution is the essence of the struggle for survival or destruction in a time of transition… Revolution turns slaves into masters." - Zou Rong

"There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning." - Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

"Young people, what need have you to follow the trendy slogans of these intellectual leaders? You ought better to gather some comrades and pool together all you energies; go forward in one common impetus, following what appears to be the path of survival. All together you will never be short of strength. If you encounter a deep forest, you can always hack your way through; you can open up the wilderness; you can dig wells in the desert. Why should you stick to old ruts and beg for guidance of these wretched guides?" - Lu Xun, or Lu Hsün, pen name of Zhou Shuren

"Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival." -

"It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value." -

"Life itself appears to me as an instinct for growth, for survival, for the accumulation of forces, for power. Whenever the will to power fails there is disaster." -

"Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans." - Adlai Ewing Stevenson

"Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans." -

"Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans." -

"The ultimate value of life depends on awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival." - Aristotle NULL

"The human race’s prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenseless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenseless against ourselves." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value." - Arthur C Clarke, formally Sir Arthur Charles Clark

"There is no death in a living universe, but only changes of form. The so-called problem of survival is whether or not the ensouling life persists after the dissolution of its form." - Arthur W Osborn

"Reason is man's primary tool for survival." - Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum

"The art of survival is the art of lying to yourself heroically, continuously, creatively. The senses lie to the mind; the mind lies to the senses. The truth-seeker is a liar; he is hunting for happiness, not truth." - Benjamin De Casseres

"A nation without the means of reform is without the means of survival." - Edmund Burke

"Man started out as a "weak thing of the world" and evolved "to confound the things that are mighty." And within the human species, too, the weak often develop aptitudes and devises which enable them not only to survive but to prevail over the strong. Indeed, the formidableness of the human species stems from the survival of its weak. Were it not for the compassion that moves us to care for the sick, the crippled, and the old there would probably would have been neither culture or civilization. The crippled warrior who had to stay behind while the manhood of the tribe went out to war was the storyteller, teacher, and artisan. The old and the sick had a hand in the development of the arts of healing and of cooking. One thinks of the venerable sage, the unhinged medicine man, the epileptic prophet, the blind bard, and the witty hunchback and dwarf." - Eric Hoffer

"All larger organisms, including ourselves, are living testimonies to the fact that destructive practices do not work in the long run. In the end, the aggressors always destroy themselves, making way for others who know how to cooperate and get along. Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity." - Fritjof Capra

"One of the paradoxical lessons of the nuclear age is that at the moment when we are acquiring an unparalleled command over nature, we are forced to realize as never before that the problems of survival will have to be solved above all in the minds of men. In this task the fate of the mammoth and the dinosaur may serve as a warning that brute strength does not always supply the mechanism in the struggle for survival." - Henry Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

"The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool." - Jane Wagner

"If peace and survival are to be achieved, the search must almost certainly go beyond the effort to find a balance in thermonuclear terror." - John Kenneth Galbraith, aka "Ken"

"A positive emotional state entrains, or unites, our systems for thought, feeling, and action; shifts our concentration and energy toward support of our intellectual and creative forebrain (old mammalian and neocortex); and allows us to both learn and remember easily. In very young children, the primary caregiver’s emotional state determines the child’s state, and therefore the child’s development in general. Any kind of negative response, any form of fear or anger shifts our attention and energy from verbal-intellectual brain to our oldest survival brain. This shift shortchanges our intellect, cripples our learning and memory, and can lock our neocortex into service of our lower brain." - Joseph Chilton Pearce, aka Joe

"The worst is yet to come, however. Far more devastating that this pruning is that nature then brings about a corresponding increase of the connecting links of the emotional circuits in this cyngulate gyrus with the lower survival fight-or-flight structures of the amygdala, that neural module linked directly with our ancient defense and survival system in the reptilian brain. In this way, a sharp curtailment of connections with the higher, transcendent frequencies of mind and heart is brought about in order to shift growth toward the lower, protective survival systems." - Joseph Chilton Pearce, aka Joe