Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

World

"He who reforms himself, has done much toward reforming others; and one reason why the world is not reformed, is, because each would have others make a beginning, and never thinks of himself doing it." - Thomas Adams

"Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"There is nothing in the world better for the purification of the soul than the curbing of idle talk." - Agnon Schmuel Yoseph Agnon, pseudonym of Samuel Joseph Czaczkes

"Every person in the world waits for signs of recognition and affection from others." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"The only person who can have “everything” is one who can be satisfied with his minimum requirements of food and clothing, and the Creator is the center of his world." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"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

"Real joy seems dissonant from the human character in its present condition; and if it be felt, it must come from a higher region, for the world is shadowed by sorrow; thorns array the ground; the very clouds, while they weep fertility on our mountains, seem also to shed a tear on man’s grave who departs, unlike the beauties of summer, to return no more; who fades unlike the sons of the forest, which another summer beholds new clothed, when he is unclothed and forgotten." - Dwight Douglas Andrews

"Do not consider anything for your interest which makes you break your word, quit your modesty, or inclines you to any practice which will not bear the light, or look the world in the face." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"A man who truly wants to make the world better should start by improving himself and his attitudes." - Fred de Armond

"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

"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

"Do not yearn for any other situation in the world besides the one you actually find yourself in." - Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon, aka Rabbi Avraham Maimuni, aka Rabbeinu Avraham ben ha-Rambam NULL

"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.

"So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise, and their conscience that is wrong." - Walter Bagehot

"Enthusiasm moves the world." -

"To live in the presence of great truths and eternal laws, to be led by permanent ideals - that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him, and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him." - Honoré de Balzac

"Unrequited love is the meaning of life. We’re here to love but not to be loved, to give but not receive. Our mission in this world is to improve humanity and leave a better history than we found. Only selfless love has such power. Only love without interest or expectation of reward can change human beings... To give love without receiving love is the truest love and brings the greatest happiness there is in life." - Adolfo Barcella

"Custom governs the world; it is the tyrant of our feelings and our manners and rules the world with the hand of a despot." - John Bartlett

"Paganism attributes the creation of the world to blind chance." - Richard Baxter

"Use sin as it will use you; spare it not, for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the whole world. Use it, therefore, as a murderer should be used; kill it before it kills you; and though it brings you to the grave, as it did your head, it shall not be able to keep you there. You love not death; love not the cause of death." - Richard Baxter

"To revenge a wrong is easy, usual, and natural, and, as the world thinks, savors of nobleness of mind; but religion teaches the contrary, and tells us it is better to neglect than to require it." - J. Beaumont

"Every man must, in a measure, be alone in the world. No heart was ever cast in the same mould as that which we bear within us." - Eric Berne, born as Leonard Bernstein

"What is man? An angel, an animal, a void, a world, a nothing surrounded by God, indigent of God, capable of God, filled with God, if it so desires." - Pierre de Bérulle

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" -

"Such is the infatuation of self-love, that, though in general doctrine of the vanity world all men agree, yet almost everyone flatters himself that his own case is to be an exception from the common rule." - Hugh Blair

"The world of imagination is the world of eternity. It is the divine bosom into which we shall all go after the death of the vegetated body. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation, of vegetation, is finite and temporal. There exist in that eternal world the permanent realities of everything which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature." - William Blake

"There is no knowledge for which so great a price is paid as a knowledge of the world; and no one ever became an adept in it except at the expense of a hardened or a wounded heart." - Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, Lady Blessington, born Margaret Power

"Perhaps the most important lesson the world has learned in the past fifty years is that it is not true that "human nature is unchangeable."" - Bruce Bliven

"Young people imagine there is great value in fame. Those with life experience know that in truth publicity is extremely short-lived. The nature of the world is that every piece of news makes an impression for only a very short time. After those few minutes the impression is erased and quickly forgotten. It is as if it never was." - Yosef Leib Bloch, fully R' Yosef Yehudah Leib Bloch

"We walk, and our religion is shown (even in the dullest and most insensitive person) in how we walk. Or to put it more accurately, living in this world means choosing, choosing to walk, and the way we choose to walk is infallibly and perfectly expressed in the walk itself. Nothing can disguise it. The walk of an ordinary man and of an enlightened man are as different as that of a snake and a giraffe." - R. H. Blyth, fully Reginald Horace Blyth

"Zen is the unsymbolism of the world." - R. H. Blyth, fully Reginald Horace Blyth

"If you want to earn more - learn more. If you want to get more out of the world you must put more into the world. For, after all, men will get no more out of life than they put into it." - William J. H. Boetcker, fully William John Henry Boetcker

"It is one thing to be carried through an endless life, another thing to embrace the whole presence of an endless life together, which is manifestly proper to the divine Mind. The temporal world seems to emulate in part that which it cannot fully obtain or express, tying itself to whatever presence there is in this exiguous and fleeting moment - a presence which, since it carries a certain image of that abiding Presence, gives to whatever may partake of it the quality of seeming to have being. But because it could not stay, it undertook an infinite journey of time; and so it came to pass that, by going, it continued that life, whose plenitude it could not comprehend by staying." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers." - Abel Bonnard

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

"The extent of poverty in the world is much exaggerated. Our sensitiveness makes half our poverty; our fears - anxieties for ills that never happen - a greater part of the other half." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure and good, without the world being the better for it, without somebody being helped an comforted by the very existence of that goodness." - Phillips Brooks

"We seldom repent of speaking little, very often of speaking too much; a vulgar and trite maxim, which all the world knows, but which all the world does not practice." - Jean de La Bruyère

"The Cosmos is not dead matter but a living Presence, the soul of man is immortal... the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all... the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"The life which is in man is eternal, as all life is eternal; that the soul of man is as immortal as God is; that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"There is nothing that can be called a “Self,” and there is no such thing as “mine” in all the world." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Satipatthana Sutta - The Foundation of Mindfulness Translated from Pali: A monk lives contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness, and grief; he lives contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating consciousness in consciousness, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief; he lives contemplating mental objects in mental objects, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief." - Satipatthana Sutra NULL

"Do good. This should be the aim of every human being, to make the world better for their having lived." - Eldress Harriet Bullard

"If there is a virtue in the world at which we should always aim, it is cheerfulness." -

"Self-confidence is not hope; it is the self-judgment of your own internal forces in their relation to the world without, which results from the failure of many; hopes and the non-realization of many fears." -

"The vices and the virtues are written in a language the world cannot construe; it reads them in a vile translation, and the translators are Failure and Success." -