Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"To face the inevitable is to confront something sacred. As long as anything is uncertain, the roads are open in more than one direction, and right and wrong may have many aspects. But let the issue be determined, let the die be cast, and acceptance and adjustment become our immediate duty. Until God’s will be known, we may work and wrestle and pry to carry our point, to save the day, to win the prize, spurred only the more by the uncertainty; of the result. But let the result be known, however dark and disappointing, and we should view it in the light of God’s plan to make us His evident children, and ask what we are to learn, what next we are to do." - Author Unknown NULL

"The instinct of conventionality, horror of uncertainty, and vested interests, all militate against the acceptance of a new idea." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"The simplest truths often meet the sternest resistance and are slowest in getting general acceptance." - Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

"When a man argues for victory and not for truth, he is sure of just one ally, that is the devil. Not the defeat of intellect, but the acceptance of the heart is the only true object in fighting with the sword of spirit." - George MacDonald

"Living apart and at peace with myself, I came to realize more vividly the meaning of the doctrine of acceptance. To refrain from giving advice, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others, to refrain, even though the motives be the highest, from tampering with another's way of life - so simple, yet so difficult for an active spirit. Hands off!" - Henry Miller, aka Henry Valentine Miller

"Nonviolence does not mean acceptance, but resistance - not waiting, but acting. It is not at all passive. It involves strikes, boycotts, non-cooperation, mass demonstrations, and sabotage, as well as appeals to the conscience of the world, even to individuals in the oppressing group who might break away from their past." - Howard Zinn

"Transparent Man, who is seen and seen through, foolish, who has nothing left to hide, who has become transparent through self-acceptance; his soul is loved, wholly revealed, wholly existential; he is just what he is, freed from paranoid concealment, from the knowledge of his secrets and his secret knowledge; his transparency serves as a prism for the world and the not-world. For it is impossible reflectively to know thyself; only the last reflection of an obituary may tell the truth, and only God knows our real names." - James Hillman

"Responsibility is to oneself; and the highest form of it is irresponsibility to oneself which is to say the calm acceptance of whatever responsibility to other and things comes a-long." - John Cage, fully John Milton Cage, Jr.

"God made thee perfect, not immutable; and good he made thee, but to persevere he left it in thy power, ordained thy will by nature free, not over-rul’d by Fate inextricable, or strict necessity; our voluntarie service he requires, not our necessitated, such with him findes no acceptance, nor can find, for how can hearts, not free, be tri’d whether they serve willing or not, who will but what they must by Destinie, and can no other choose?" - John Milton

"Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us." - Marianne Williamson

"Acceptance is not a state of passivity or inaction. I am not saying you can't change the world, right wrongs, or replace evil with good. Acceptance is, in fact, the first step to successful action. If you don't fully accept a situation precisely the way it is, you will have difficulty changing it. Moreover, if you don't fully accept the situation, you will never really know if the situation should be changed." - Peter McWilliams, fully Peter Alexander McWilliams

"The antiquity and general acceptance of an opinion is no assurance of its truth." - Pierre Bayle

"The accepted and betrothed lover has lost the wildest charms of his maiden in her acceptance of him. She was heaven whilst he pursued her as a star, she cannot be heaven if she stoops to such a one as he." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The making of a gift is superior to the acceptance of a gift." - Mahabharata or The Mahabharata NULL

""Psychological modernism," an uncritical acceptance of the values of the modern world. It includes blind faith in technology, inordinate attachment to material gadgets and conveniences, uncritical acceptance of the march of scientific progress, devotion to the electronic media, and a life-style dictated by advertising. This orientation toward life also tends toward a mechanistic and rationalistic understanding of matters of the heart." - Thomas Moore

"Wisdom is the marriage of intellect's longing for truth and soul's acceptance of the labryinthine nature of the human condition." - Thomas Moore

"Children learn what they live. If children live with criticism,they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear,they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity,they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy. If children live with jealousy,they learn what envy is. If children live with shame,they learn to feel guilty. If children live with tolerance,they learn to be patient. If children live with encouragement,they learn to be confident. If children live with praise,they learn to appreciate. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world. If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous. If children live with honesty and fairness, they learn what truth and justice are. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and those around them. If children live with friendliness, they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live. If children live with serenity, they learn to have a peace of mind. With what are your children living? " -

"Children learn what they live. If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive. If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves. If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy. If children live with jealousy, they learn what envy is. If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient. If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident. If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate. If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves. If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world. If children live with recognition, they learn to have a goal. If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous. If children live with honesty and fairness, they learn what truth and justice are. If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and those around them. If children live with friendliness, they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live. If children live with serenity, they learn to have a peace of mind. With what are your children living?" - Dorothy Law Nolte

"While irrational faith is the acceptance of something as true only because an authority or the majority says so, rational faith is rooted in an independent conviction based upon one's own productive observing and thinking in spite of the majority's opinion." - Erich Fromm, fully Erich Seligmann Fromm

"The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain. " - George McGovern, fully George Stanley McGovern

"Differentiate between acceptance and approval." - Haim Ginott, fully Haim G. Ginott, orignially Ginzburg

"Alas! says the soul that is enlightened to see itself, I am not only mean, but vile. 'I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? wherewith shall such a polluted, obnoxious creature as I am, appear before a holy God? Can my services atone for my sins, or what service can I perform that is not defiled and rendered unworthy of acceptance by the evil of my heart?" - John Newton, fully John Henry Newton

"I suppose the process of acceptance will pass through the usual four stages: i) this is worthless nonsense; ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; iii) this is true, but quite unimportant; iv) I always said so." - J. B. S. Haldane, fully John Burdon Sanderson Haldane

"If our basic concepts are impregnable to analysis, then we must not be surprised that the ultimate answers are not attainable by reason alone. If it is impossible to define “goodness,” “value,” or “fact,” how should we ever succeed in defining what we mean by God? Every religious act and judgment involves the acceptance of the ineffable, the acknowledgment of the inconceivable. When the basic issues of religion, such as God, revelation, prayer, holiness, commandments, are dissolved into pedestrian categories and deprived of sublime relevance, they come close to being meaningless." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Not only should we be unashamed of grief, confident that its expression will not permanently hurt us, but we should also possess the wisdom to talk about our loss and through that creative conversation with friends and companions begin to reconstruct the broken fragments of our lives... should not resist the sympathy and stimulation of social interaction. We should learn not to grow impatient with the slow healing process of time . . . We should anticipate these stages in our emotional convalescence: unbearable pain, poignant grief, empty days, resistance to consolation, disinterestedness in life, gradually giving way under the healing sunlight of love,friendship, social challange, to the new weaving of a pattern of action and the acceptance of the irresistible challenge of life." - Joshua L. Liebman, fully Joshua Loth Liebman

"The genuine rationalist does not think that he or anyone else is in possession of the truth; nor does he think that mere criticism as such helps us achieve new ideas. But he does think that, in the sphere of ideas, only critical discussion can help us sort the wheat from the chaff. He is well aware that acceptance or rejection of an idea is never a purely rational matter; but he thinks that only critical discussion can give us the maturity to see an idea from more and more sides and to make a correct judgement of it." - Karl Popper, fully Sir Karl Raimund Popper

"Perfect love is rare indeed - for to be a lover will require that you continually have the subtlety of the very wise, the flexibility of the child, the sensitivity of the artist, the understanding of the philosopher, the acceptance of the saint, the tolerance of the scholar and the fortitude of the certain. " - Leo Busacaglia

"It is on the acceptance or rejection of the theory of the Unity of all in Nature, in its ultimate Essence, that mainly rests the belief or unbelief in the existence around us of other conscious beings besides the Spirits of the Dead." - Helena Blavatsky, aka Helena Petrovna "H.P." Blavatsky or Madame Blavatsky, born Helena von Hahn

"Accepting people as they are has the miraculous effect of helping them improve. Acceptance doesn't prohibit growth; rather, it fosters it." - Marianne Williamson

"After an argument, silence may mean acceptance or the continuation of resistance by other means." - Mason Cooley

"We must, however, not deceive ourselves – this naive belief does not exist nowadays even among common people, and it cannot be revived by backwards oriented (rückwärts gerichtete) considerations and measures. Since to believe means to consider something true (fürwahrhalten), and the growing knowledge of the nature, proceeding forwards incessantly along incontestably reliable path, had led to the result that for a man educated at least slightly in natural sciences it is entirely (schlechterdings) impossible to consider as reliable many reports about extraordinary events contradicting natural laws, about miracles (Naturwunder) which used to be generally accepted as essential support and confirmation (Bekräftigung) of religious teachings and which people considered formerly as facts without critical examination (Bedenken). The one who takes his religion really seriously and cannot tolerate that it gets into contradiction with his knowledge (Wissen), is facing the question of conscience whether he can still honestly consider himself to be a member of religious community which in its confession (Bekenntnis) contains belief in miracles. For a certain period of time many a believer could find a kind of reconciliation in an effort to take the middle way and to restrict his belief to acceptance (Anerkennung) of few miracles, considered to be extremely important. However, such a position is not tenable for a long time. The belief in miracles must retreat step by step before relentlessly and reliably progressing science and we cannot doubt that sooner or later it must vanish completely (zu Ende gehen muss). " - Max Planck, fully Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck

"You, my Eternal Friend, witness now that I forgive anyone who hurt or upset me or who offended me…May no one be punished because of me. May no one suffer from karmic consequences for hurting or upsetting me. Help me, Eternal Friend, to keep from offending You and others. Help me to be thoughtful and not commit outrage by doing what is evil in Your eyes. Whatever sins I have committed, blot out, please, in Your abundant kindness, and spare me suffering or harm. Help me become aware of the ways I may have unintentionally or intentionally hurt others, and please give me guidance and strength to rectify those hurts and to develop the sensitivity to not continue acting in a hurtful way. Let me forgive others, let me forgive myself, but also let me change in ways that make it easy for me to avoid paths of hurtfulness to others. I seek peace, let me BE peace. I seek justice, let me be just. I seek a world of kindness, let me be kind. I seek a world of generosity, let me be generous with all that I have. I seek a world of sharing, let me share all that I have. I seek a world of giving, let me be giving to all around me. I seek a world of love, let me be loving beyond all reason, beyond all normal expectation, beyond all societal frameworks that tell me how much love is “normal,” beyond all fear that giving too much love will leave me with too little. And let me be open and sensitive to all the love that is already coming to me, the love of people I know, the love that is part of the human condition, the accumulated love of past generations that flows through and is embodied in the language, music, recipes, technology, literature, religions, agriculture, and family heritages that have been passed on to me and to us. Let me pass that love on to the next generations in an even fuller and more explicit way. Source of goodness and love in the universe, let me be alive to all the goodness that surrounds me. And let that awareness of the goodness and love of the universe be my shield and protector. Hear the words of my mouth and may the meditations of my heart find acceptance before You, Eternal Friend, who protects and frees me so that I may fully engage in the work of Tikkun – the healing and transformation of the world social and economic order, the planet, and myself." - Michael Lerner

"One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying." - Morris West, fully Morris Langlo West

"It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price…. One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return of love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying." - Morris West, fully Morris Langlo West

"Man works primarily for his own self-respect and not for others or for profit. . . the person who is working for the sake of his own satisfaction, the money he gets in return serves merely as fuel, that is, as a symbol of reward and recognition, in the last analysis, of acceptance by one's fellowmen." - Otto Rank, born Otto Rosenfeld

"My nightmares relate all of man's inhumanity to man---to our willing acceptance of cruelty to the other animals." - Paul Harvey, fully Paul Harvey Aurandt

"Absolute faith, the acceptance of being accepted. Of course, in the state of despair there is nobody and nothing that accepts. But there is the power of acceptance itself which is experienced. Meaninglessness, as long as it is experienced, includes an experience of the power of acceptance. To accept this power of acceptance consciously is the religious answer of absolute faith, of a faith which has been deprived by doubt of any concrete content, which nevertheless is faith and the source of the most paradoxical manifestation of the courage to be." - Paul Tillich, fully Paul Johannes Tillich

"With the eventual acceptance of Darwin's theory we reach a modern understanding of nature, one which has since then changed in detail rather than in fundamentals. Only those who prefer religious faith to beliefs based on reasoning and evidence can still maintain that the human species is the special darling of the entire universe, or that other animals were created to provide us with food, or that we have divine authority over them, and divine permission to kill them. " - Peter Singer

"This perpetual industry amid external pursuits, also diverts the mind from the study of mysteries, to the acceptance and en joyment of facts, and hence the public mind turns away from predestination and reprobation and absolutism, not simply be cause it has developed a consciousness of freedom, but also because in the long association with facts, it has lost love for the study of the incomprehensible, in both religion and philosophy. In this casting off of old garments, it no more cheerfully throws away the inconceivable of Christianity, than tne incon ceivable of Kant and Spinoza. In thisabandonment,there is no charge of falsehood cast upon the old mysteries ; they may or may not be true ; there is only a passing them by as not being in the line of the current wish or taste, raiment for a past age, perhaps for a future, but not acceptable in the present. " - David Swing, aka Professor Swing

"Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and unique history of our childhood. Is it possible then, with the help of psychoanalysis, to free ourselves altogether from illusions? History demonstrates that they sneak in everywhere, that every life is full of them-perhaps because the truth often would be unbearable. And yet for many people the truth is so essential that they must pay dearly for its loss with grave illness. On the path of analysis we try, in a long process, to discover our own personal truth. This truth always causes much pain before giving us a new sphere of freedom-unless we content ourselves with already conceptualized, intellectual wisdom based on other people's painful experiences, for example that of Sigmund Freud. But then we shall remain in the sphere of illusion and self-deception." - Alice Miller, née Rostovski

"Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing." - Rachel Naomi Remen

"Physical pleasure is a sensual experience no different from pure seeing or the pure sensation with which a fine fruit fills the tongue; it is a great unending experience, which is given us, a knowing of the world, the fullness and the glory of all knowing. And not our acceptance of it is bad; the bad thing is that most people misuse and squander this experience and apply it as a stimulant at the tired spots of their lives and as distraction instead of a rallying toward exalted moments." - Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

"Such biological ideas as the 'survival of the fittest,' whatever their doubtful value in natural science, are utterly useless in attempting to understand society... The life of a man in society, while it is incidentally a biological fact, has characteristics that are not reducible to biology and must be explained in the distinctive terms of a cultural analysis... the physical well-being of men is a result of their social organization and not vice versa ... Social improvement is a product of advances in technology and social organization, not of breeding or selective elimination... Judgments as to the value of competition between men or enterprises or nations must be based upon social and not allegedly biological consequences; and ... there is nothing in nature or a naturalistic philosophy of life to make impossible the acceptance of moral sanctions that can be employed for the common good." - Richard Hofstadter

"As for an afterlife, there has been a general decline in the general acceptance of it as a certainty, and though a few rationalists may be pleased, to many people this has added a new terror to death. We are reluctant, in the main, to consider the disappearance of ourselves and consequently all we feel and know. Every man's death is, literally, the end of a world if he dies without hope. We have exchanged Gone Elsewhere for Gone Nowhere." - Robertson Davies

"God dwelleth high above man’s dwelling-place, Ye multitudes, come praise and honour Him, Huzzah before the King whose name is God, Sound joyous flourishes upon the trumpet. His creatures fear His glory more than man When awful deeds are wrought, for dread is He. The day shall be when at the sound of trumpet Thy people to the Mount of Olives flock, And they, according to Thy word, shall go With shouting and with tumult and perceive The thunders, lightnings, and the trumpet’s sound. Regard the people nestling in Thy shadow, And trustfully proclaiming that perchance Again the Lord of hosts will gracious be And marvels once again be wrought in thunder And lightning and thick cloud upon the Mount And pealing of the Shofar. Consecrate Yourselves again to-day unto His service, And should again your glad redemption dawn, Uplift yourselves sublime above all else, And mark the banner flown upon the mountains What time the horn resounds. O Lord, whose dread Sets all the world’s inhabitants a-tremble, Be herald of good tidings to the people, So staunch beneath the adversary’s yoke. Thus when the ram’s horn poureth forth its note And ye shall hear the Shofar’s long-drawn peal, Thanksgiving offer up to God and song, And tell His mighty deeds and chant His praise According to the measure of His greatness. O praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, So shall the Merciful show graciousness To you who cry, and as of old restore Your captives, yea the Lord of hosts o’er you Shall keep His watch, with trumpet-blasts for warning." - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"Hence, it is true to say that the citizens of earth and heaven are united in the celebration of this Council. The role of the saints in heaven is to supervise our labors; the role of the faithful on earth, to offer concerted prayer to God; your role, to show prompt obedience to the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit and to do your utmost to answer the needs and expectations of every nation on earth. To do this you will need serenity of mind, a spirit of brotherly concord, moderation in your proposals, dignity in discussion, and wisdom in deliberation. God grant that your zeal and your labors may abundantly fulfill these aspirations. The eyes of the world are upon you; and all its hopes. " - Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, aka Vatican II

"What makes us holy and pleasing to God is what our vocation demand of us, and not what our own will chooses." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"My readers at that time were still men of letters; but there had to be other people waiting to read my poems." - Salvatore Quasimodo

"To reestablish peace and harmony on earth... and to bring the glory of God back to earth, is proclaimed on every page of the Word of God as the result and aim of Torah." - Samson Raphael Hirsch

"So with the children. It is even more important that religious exercises should not be made irksome and burdensome to them. Too much of a good thing is bad for them. I would not require them to be all the livelong day in a treadmill of religious work. They will be disgusted and hate the service, which should be always attractive to them and a delight. It is a serious question with ministers how to make the pulpit useful and pleasant to the young. Preachers with the gift of talking to children--a gift not so rare as is often thought--sometimes give a brief discourse to the children before the regular sermon. The objection to that practice is that children take it as their portion and dismiss the sermon that follows from their attention altogether. Now the art of talking to children does not consist in baby-talk or little stories or poor jokes. A man need not be a mountebank in order to interest the young in what he is saying. Children are not fools. If a man is simple in his words and earnest in his manner, children will hear with attention and get instruction from a sermon that is designed for the whole people." - Samuel I. Prime, fully Samuel Irenaeus Prime