Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Wisdom

"The receiver of a gift is not the chooser." - Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

"Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end." - Lord Acton, John Emerich Dalberg-Acton

"Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success." - Brian Adam

"No student ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction." - Charles Kendall Adams

"Enthusiasm is a kind of faith that has been set afire." - George Matthew Adams

"Faith is the continuation of reason." - William Taylor Adams, pseudonym Oliver Optic

"The goal is the same: life itself; and the price is the same; life itself." - James Agee, fully James Rufus Agee

"A man knows not what is in the heart of his fellow." - Ahikar or Ahiqar NULL

"Do not chatter overmuch." - Ahikar or Ahiqar NULL

"He, whose first emotion on the view of an excellent production is to undervalue it, will never have one of his own to show." - John Aiken or Aikin

""Love thy neighbor" is the Torah's greatest principle." - Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

"Rejoice in adversity even more than in prosperity, for suffering brings forgiveness of sin." - Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

"Often have I heard it said, What good thing you can do, do not defer it." - Albertano of Brescia NULL

"The price of power is responsibility for the public good." - Winthrop Williams Aldrich

"There is no unmixed good in human affairs; the best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression. It is the same in the political world; the tranquillity of despotism resembles the stagnation of the Dead Sea; the fever of innovation the tempests of the ocean It would seem as if, at particular periods, from causes inscrutable to human wisdom, a universal frenzy seizes mankind; reason, experience, prudence, are alike blinded; and the very classes who are to perish in the storm are the first to raise its fury." - Archibald Alison

"Better is bread with a happy heart than riches with vexation." - Amen-em-apt NULL

"Another good thing in the heart of God is to pause before speaking." - Amen-em-apt NULL

"Better is the praise and love of men than riches in the storehouse." - Amen-em-apt NULL

"He who is silent is forgotten; he who abstains is taken at his word; he who does not advance falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed, distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow greater becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the stationary condition is the beginning of the end." -

"He who is too much afraid of being duped has lost the power of being magnanimous." -

"It is dangerous to abandon one's self to the luxury of grief; it deprives one of courage, and even the wish for recovery." -

"Knowledge, love, power - there is the complete life." -

"To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach the substance of life. Life is but a tissue of habits." -

"Fasting is only saving bread, but if you have conquered the heart you have conquered everything." - Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

"I pray every single second of my life; not on my knees, but with my work." -

"The most costly outlay is the outlay of time." - Antiphon NULL

"Never esteem anything as of advantage to thee that shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect." - 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

"Theory without experience is sterile, practice without theory is blind." -

"[Wisdom] teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude." - Apocrypha NULL

"Beware of the man of one book." -

"Moral virtue can be without some of the intellectual virtues, namely, wisdom, science and art, but not without understanding and prudence. Moral virtue cannot be without prudence, because moral virtue is habit of choosing, that is, making us choose well." -

"Prudence considers the means of acquiring happiness, but wisdom considers the very object of happiness." -

"A faithless heart betrays the head unsound." - John Armstrong

"Virtue and sense are one; and, trust me, still a faithless heart betrays the head unsound." - John Armstrong

"The worst bankrupt in the world is the man who has lost his enthusiasm. Let a man lose everything else in the world but his enthusiasm and he will come through again to success." - H. W. Arnold

"If there is no justice, there is no peace." - Bahya ben Asher ibn Halawa, also known as Rabbeinu Behaye

"In a great romance, each person basically plays a part that the other really likes." -

"The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances." - Aśvaghoṣa NULL

"Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"It is axiomatic that we should all think of ourselves as being more sensitive than other people because, when we are insensitive in our dealings with others, we cannot be aware of it at the time: conscious insensitivity is a self-contradiction." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"Man desires to be free and he desires to feel important. This places him in a dilemma, for the more he emancipates himself from necessity the less important he feels." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don't know." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"He that does not respect confidence will never find happiness in his path. The belief in virtue vanishes from his heart; the source of nobler actions becomes extinct in him." - Joseph von Auffenberg

"The ability to find fault is believed, by some people, to be a sure sign of great wisdom, when, in most cases, it only indicates narrowness of mind and ill nature." - Arthur Aughey