Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Thought

"Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"Wise men weigh the advantages of any course of action against its drawbacks, and move not an inch until they can see what the result of their action will be; but while they are deep in thought, the men with self-confidence ‘come and see and conquer.’" - Ahad HaAm, pen name, born Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg

"The greatest manifestation of your love for the Almighty can be expressed on your day of death. Before your death, you might be thinking about how you have not fulfilled all of your wishes and plans. In the moments before your death you might have complaints against the Almighty, or you might fatalistically accept your death by saying, What can be done? My body is giving in to the laws of nature. The doctors have given up hope.” Both of these attitudes are wrong You now face the greatest challenge of your life. You have the potential to submit yourself to the will of the Almighty with love. This level takes preparation. If a person has not mastered control of his thoughts, he is likely to waste his last moments thinking of petty resentments and desires. Frequently confusion and fear of death swallow up every other thought unless one has prepared for that moment." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"Be not dilatory in doing, nor confused in conversation, nor vague in thought; leave thyself leisure in thy life." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Gentleness in the gait is what simplicity is in the dress. Violent gesture or quick movement inspires involuntary disrespect. One looks for a moment at a cascade; but one sits for hours, lost in thought, and gazing upon the still water of a lake. A deliberate gait, gentle manners, and a gracious tone of voice - all of which may be acquired - give a mediocre man an immense advantage over those vastly superior to him. To be bodily tranquil, to speak little, and to digest without effort are absolutely necessary to grandeur of mind or of presence, or to proper development of genius." - Honoré de Balzac

"Even pure thought is a glimpse of God." -

"Memory is the cabinet of imagination, the treasury of reason, the registry of conscience, and the council-chamber of thought." - Giambattista Basile, aka Giovan Battista Basile

"Those who refuse the long drudgery of thought, and think with the heart rather than the head, are ever the most fiercely dogmatic in tone." -

"Man is created by thought; that which he thinks upon in our life becomes in another." - Pierre de Bérulle

"My thoughts are not your thought, neither are your ways my ways." -

"Give up the notion that there is a final state to attain. Spiritual life consists of ongoing practice undertaken as a lifetime work. This realization breeds humility, especially when we realize that in our initial infatuation with enlightenment, we underestimate the amount of inner work necessary to free us from our addictive patterns of thought and behavior." - Stephan Bodian

"To speak well supposes a habit of attention which shows itself in the thought; by language we learn to think and above all to develop thought." - Carl Victor de Bonstetten

"Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire. A generous habit of thought and action carries with it an incalculable influence." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Discourtesy does not spring merely from one bad quality, but from several - from foolish vanity, from ignorance of what is due to others, from indolence, from stupidity, from the distraction of thought, from contempt of others, from jealousy." - Jean de La Bruyère

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of he who draws the carriage." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever, or amiable." - Samuel Butler

"All that a man does outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward thought. To work effectually, he must think clearly; to act nobly, he must think nobly. Intellectual force is a principal element of the soul’s life, and should be proposed by every man as the principal end of his being." - William Ellery Channing

"Poetry is the music of thought, conveyed to us in music of language." -

"Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"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." -

"Thought precedes the will to think, and error lives ere reason can be born. Reason, the power to guess at right and wrong, the twinkling lamp of wand'ring life, that winks and wakes by turns fooling the follower 'twixt shade and shining." - William Congreve

"Action is consolatory. It is the enemy; of thought and the friend of flattering illusions." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

"The object of art is to crystallize emotion into thought, and then to fix it in form." - Francois Delsarte

"Spend time thinking about the virtues of other people. Do not merely do this as a passing thought, but try to feel pleasure in thinking of their virtues." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." -

"He is the wisest and happiest man who, by constant attention of thought discovers the greatest opportunity of doing good, and breaks through every opposition that he may improve these opportunities." - Philip Doddridge

"Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action. If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains." - Helen Gahagan Douglas

"Being and thought are one." -

"The vital force in business life is the honest desire to serve. Business, it is said, is the science of service. He profits most who serves best. At the very bottom of the wish to render service must be honesty of purpose, and, as I go along through life, I see more and more that honesty in word, thought, and work means success. It spells a life worth living and in business clean success." - Abba Eban, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban

"If we stretch our thought as far as they can reach, eternity is still before us." -

"We never reach our ideals, whether of mental or moral improvement, but the thought of them shows us our deficiencies, and spurs us on to higher and better things." - Tyron Edwards

"Be unselfish. That is the first and final commandment for those who would be useful, and happy in their usefulness. If you think of yourself only, you cannot develop because you are choking the source of development, which is spiritual expansion through thought for others." - Charles W. Eliot

"Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life - the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it - can understand the grief of one who falls from the serene activity into the absorbing soul wasting struggle." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"Books are the beehives of thought; laconics the honey taken from them." -

"Freedom does not consist in the dream of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives or systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves - two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject." - Friedrich Engels

"Passion overcometh sober thought; and this is cause of direst ills to men." - Euripedes NULL

"Our system of thought and opinion, is often the only history of our heart. Men do not so much will according to their reason, as reason according to their will." - Immanual Hermann Fichte

"The one and only formative power given to man is thought. By his thinking he not only makes character, but body and affairs, for "as he thinketh within himself, so is he."" - Lowell Fillmore

"Do you know what real poverty is? It is never to have a big thought or a generous impulse." - Jerome P. Fleishman

"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

"Whatever may be true of men’s creed, nothing is clearer than the fact that the personality and the sovereignty of God are not a large factor in the practical life and thought of our age." - Charles W. Garman

"Until there be correct thought, there cannot be right action and when there is correct thought, right action will follow." - Henry George

"There are few who have at once thought and capacity for action. Thought expands, but lames; action animates, but narrows." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"It is, most fundamentally, because moral judgments are universablizable that we can speak of moral thought as rational (to universalize is to give the reason); and their prescriptivity is very intimately connected with our freedom to form our own moral opinions (only those free to think and act need a prescriptive language)." - Richard M. Hare, fully Richard Mervyn Hare

"Thought is invisible nature; nature, visible thought." - Heinrich Heine

"Thought precedes action as lightning does thunder." - Heinrich Heine

"A thing in itself never expresses anything. It is the relation between things that gives meaning to them and that formulates a thought. A thought functions only as a fragmentary part in the formulation of an idea." - Hans Hoffman

"A happy life is made up of little things in which smiles and small favors are given habitually. A gift sent, a letter written, a call made, a recommendation given, transportation provided, a cake made, a book lent, a check sent - things which are done without hesitation. Kindness isn't sacrifice so much as it is being considerate for the feelings of others, sharing happiness, the unselfish thought, the spontaneous and friendly act, forgetfulness of our own present interests." - Carl Holmes