Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"Ah, what without a heaven would be even love! A perpetual terror of the separation that must one day come." -

"Any power must be an enemy of mankind which enslaves the individual by terror and force whether it arises under the Fascist or the Communist flag. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual." - Albert Einstein

"The mere reality of life would be inconceivably poor without the charm of fancy, which brings in its bosom, no doubt, as many vain fears as idle hopes, but lends much oftener to the illusions it calls up a gay flattering hue than one which inspires terror." -

"I have great admiration for power, a great terror of weakness, especially in my own sex, yet feel that my love is for those who overcome the mental and moral suffering and temptation through excess of tenderness rather than through excess of strength." - Anna Jameson

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

"If the basis of popular government in peacetime is virtue, its basis in a time of revolution is virtue and terror - virtue, without which terror would be barbaric; and terror, without which virtue would be impotent." -

"I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive... But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting." -

"To be feared is to fear: no one has been able to strike terror into others and at the same time enjoy peace of mind himself." -

"Extreme terror gives us back the gestures of our childhood." -

"Who knows what true loneliness is - not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

"The hatred of the youth culture for adult society is not a disinterested judgment but a terror-ridden refusal to be hooked into the... ecological chain of birthing, growing and dying. It is the demand, in other words, to remain children." - Midge Decter, fully Midge Rosenthal Decter

"The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it." - Edward Dowling, S.J.

"Reason can wrestle and overthrow terror." - Euripedes NULL

"American housewives have not had their brains shot away, nor are they schizophrenic in the clinical sense. But if... the fundamental human drive is not the urge for pleasure or the satisfaction of biological needs, but the need to grow and realize one’s full potential, their comfortable, empty, purposeless days are indeed cause for a nameless terror." - Betty Friedan

"Fear has its use, but cowardice has none. I may not put my finger into the jaws of a snake, but the very sight of the snake need not strike terror into me." -

"Science frees us in many ways... from the bodily terror which the savage feels. But she replaces that, in the minds of many, by a moral terror which is far more overwhelming." - Charles Kingsley

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror." -

"We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light." - Hildegard Von Bingen, Blessed Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Hildegard

"It was for the sake of security that the people of ancient ties turned to the Baals and other idols. Today, our oppressors turn to money and military power and to the so-called security forces. But their security is insecurity. We experience their security as intimidation and repression, terror, rape and murder. Those who turn to the idols for security demand our insecurity as the price that must be paid." - Center of Concern NULL

"Fear has its use, but cowardice has none. I may not put my finger into the jaws of a snake, but the very sight of the snake need not strike terror into me." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"The evil of the Holocaust was realized through the exercise of a certain kind of power – coercive power. It was a power that sought to dominate and control. It was a power legitimated through law, buttressed by propaganda, augmented by terror, and affected through all the institutions of society." - Mary Jo Leddy

"In the field of modern cosmology, the first principle is called “the Cosmological Principle.” It says that the universe has no center, that it has the same properties throughout. Every place in the universe has, in this sense, equal rights. How can the human race, which has evolved in a universe of such fundamental equality, fail to strive for a society without violence and terror? How can we fail to build a world in which the rights due to every human being from birth are respected?" - Fang Lizhe

"If virtue be the spring of popular government in times of peace, the spring of that government during a revolution is virtue combined with terror: virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is the only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue; it is less a distinct principle than a natural consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing wants of the country." - Maximilien Robespierre, fully Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre

"Inability to love is the central problem, because that inability masks a certain terror - terror of being touched. And if you can't be touched, you can't be changed. And if you can't be changed, you can't be alive." - James Baldwin, fully James Arthur Baldwin

"I think that taking life seriously means something such as this: that whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. Otherwise it is false. Whatever is achieved must be achieved with the full exercise of passion, of vision, of pain, of fear, and of sorrow. How do we know ... that our part of the meaning of the universe might not be a rhythm in sorrow?" -

"The one means that wins the easiest victory over reason: terror and force." - Adolph Hitler

"The one means that wins the easiest victory over reason: terror and force." -

"The great appeal of fatalism… is as a refuge from the terror of responsibility." - Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr., born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger

"Terror has its inspiration, as well as competition." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"He who strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear." - Claudian, latin Claudius Claudianus NULL

"An entire life of solitude contradicts the purpose of our being, since death itself is scarcely an idea of more terror." - Edmund Burke

"Death has but one terror, that it has no tomorrow." - Eric Hoffer

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." - Franklin D. Roosevelt, fully Franklin Delano Roosevelt, aka FDR

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." - Franklin D. Roosevelt, fully Franklin Delano Roosevelt, aka FDR

"The Universe, so far as we can observe it, is a wonderful and immense engine; its extent, its order, its beauty, its cruelty, make it alike impressive. If we dramatize its life and conceive its spirit, we are filled with wonder, terror and amusement, so magnificent is that spirit, so prolific, inexorable, grammatical and dull." - George Santayana

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." - Harry S. Truman

"Marriage is like a war. There are moments of chivalry and gallantry that attend the victorious advances and strategic retreats, the birth or death of children, the momentary conquest of loneliness, the sacrifice that ennobles him who makes it. But mostly there are the long dull sieges, the waiting, the terror and boredom. Women understand this better than men; they are better able to survive attrition." - Helen Hayes

"The "war on terror" is being used to create an atmosphere of hysteria, in which the claim of "national security" becomes an excuse to throw aside the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and to give new powers to the FBI." - Howard Zinn

"Human beings do not naturally support violence and terror. They do so only when they believe their lives or country are at stake." - Howard Zinn

"Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human sufferings and unites it with the human sufferer. Terror is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human sufferings and unites it with the secret cause." - James Joyce

"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"

"No divine terror will ever be found in the work of the man who wastes a colossal strength in elaborating toys; for the first lesson that terror is sent to teach us is, the value of the human soul, and the shortness of mortal time." - John Ruskin

"This is the true nature of home it is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from injury, but from all terror, doubt and division." - John Ruskin

"The Reality of Life is Life itself, whose beginning is not in the womb, and whose ending is not in the grave. For the years that pass are naught but a moment in eternal life; and the world of matter and all in it is but a dream compared to the awakening which we call the terror of Death." - Kahlil Gibran

"More democratic societies, including the United States, instituted measures to impose discipline on the domestic population and to institute unpopular measures under the guise of "combating terror," exploiting the atmosphere of fear and the demand for "patriotism" - which in practice means: "You shut up and I'll pursue my own agenda relentlessly." The Bush administration used the opportunity to advance its assault against most of the population, and future generations, in service to the narrow corporate interests that dominate the administration to an extent even beyond the norm." - Noam Chomsky, fully Avram Noam Chomsky

"The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion - these are the two things that govern us." - Oscar Wilde, pen name for Fingal O'Flahertie Wills

"Wickedness is a wonderfully diligent architect of misery, of shame, accompanied with terror, and commotion, and remorse, and endless perturbation." - Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen NULL

"Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to meet it." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Who, in this world, can be called pure? He whose mind is pure. Who can be called wise? He who can discriminate between the real and the unreal. Who is the greatest hero? The person who is not terror-stricken by the arrows which shoot from the eyes of a beauty. Who is poor? He who is not contented. What rolls quickly away, like drops of water from a lotus leaf? Youth, wealth and the years of a person’s life." - Adi Shankara, aka Śaṅkara Bhagavatpādācārya and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya

"Terror itself, when once grown transcendental, becomes a kind of courage." - Thomas Carlyle