Great Throughts Treasury

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


"Local newspapers may be lulling themselves into a false sense of security by thinking they can reverse their subscriber loss somehow, some way. Barring some amazing innovation that no one has yet envisioned, and that’s certainly a possibility, print media subscriber loss will not be reversed under any circumstances. A company depending on unheard-of innovation for its survival is about as effective as you depending on the lottery to cover your retirement." - Drew Curtis

"O, call back yesterday, did time return, And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men! To-day, to-day, unhappy day too late, O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state; For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead, Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispersed, and fled." - William Shakespeare

"Well, we never expected this! they all say. No one liked her. They all said she was pretentious, awkward, difficult to approach, prickly, too fond of her tales, haughty, prone to versifying, disdainful, cantankerous, and scornful. But when you meet her, she is strangely meek, a completely different person altogether! How embarrassing! Do they really look upon me as a dull thing, I wonder? But I am what I am." - Murasaki Shikibu, aka Lady Murasaki

"Isn't connecting people to distant lands and culture one of the strengths of good literature?" - Elif Safak

"Writers write without thinking. These theories are applied later, when literary critics and scholars weigh every sentence of the writer. And when you read these theories, people have the impression that novelists deliberately create stories like this, which is not true." - Elif Safak

"She thought a major proposed to her, though he seemed rather old, but he was so much confused and had such a mumbly moustache she could not be certain." - Elizabeth Bowen, Full name Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen

"A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"I'd learned enough from life's experiences to understand that destiny's interventions can sometimes be read as invitation for us to address and even surmount our biggest fears. It doesn't take a great genius to recognize that when you are pushed by circumstance to do the one thing you have always most specifically loathed and feared, this can be, at the very least, an interesting growth opportunity." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your inner contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Real, sane, mature love—the kind that pays the mortgage year after year and picks up the kids after school—is not based on infatuation but on affection and respect." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Richard didn't even have time to ask if I thought I'd ever amount to anything in this life before I looked him eye to eye and said, I already have, mister." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Still it is true that many same-sex couples want nothing more than to join society as fully integrated socially responsible family-centered taxpaying Little League-coaching nation-serving respectably married citizens. So why not welcome them in Why not recruit them by the vanload to sweep in on heroic wings and save the flagging and battered old institution of matrimony from a bunch of apathetic ne'er-do-well heterosexual deadbeats like me." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Your tears are my prayers." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Meditation practice is like piano scales, basketball drills, ballroom dance class. Practice requires discipline; it can be tedious; it is necessary. After you have practiced enough, you become more skilled at the art form itself. You do not practice to become a great scale player or drill champion. You practice to become a musician or athlete. Likewise, one does not practice meditation to become a great meditator. We meditate to wake up and live, to become skilled at the art of living." - Elizabeth Lesser

"We are born with a body that experiences pain and comfort, a heart that suffers and feels joy, a mind that strives and is peaceful, a spirit that yearns for both solitude and communion with others, and a contract on earth that has a beginning and an end. Each one of us knows this, and yet, each one of us spends much of our time swimming against the current of life's reality. The spiritual path teaches us how to float on our backs, relaxed and aware, in the waters of reality. The Buddhists define spirituality as shamatha, or 'tranquil abiding.'" - Elizabeth Lesser

"The great law of denial belongs to the powerful forces of life, whether the case be one of coolish baked beans, or an unrequited affection." - Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, fully Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward

"All important things in art have always originated from the deepest feeling about the mystery of Being." - Emil Nolde

"The only way of enduring one disaster after the next is to love the very idea of disaster: if we succeed, there are no further surprises, we are superior to whatever occurs, we are invincible victims." - Emil M. Cioran

"If you were coming in the fall, I'd brush the summer by, with half a smile and half a spurn,as housewives do a fly. If I could see you in a year,I'd wind the months in balls, and put them each in separate drawers, until their time befalls." - Emily Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

"Refuse to tolerate anything less than harmony. You can have prosperity no matter what your present circumstances may be. You can have health and physical fitness. You can have a happy and joyous life. You can have a good home of your own. You can have congenial friends and comrades. You can have a full, free, joyous life, independent and untrammeled. You can become your own master or your own mistress. But to do this you must definitely seize the rudder of your own destiny and steer boldly and firmly for the port that you intend to make." - Emmet Fox

"The law of circulation is a Cosmic Law. That means that it is true everywhere and on all planes. The law is that constant rhythmical movement is necessary to health and harmony. Now the opposite of circulation is congestion, and it may be said that all sickness, in harmony, or trouble of any kind is really due to some form of congestion. If you think this subject out for yourself you will be fascinated to find how generally true it is, and in what unexpected places it appears. Much ill health is due to emotional congestion. This leads to congestion of the nerve, blood, and lymphatic fluids, producing disease. The depression belief under which the country labored for ten years was a case of congestion. There was plenty of raw material, machinery, and skill, and a very wide- spread demand for goods; but a case of congestion occurred! The dust bowl trouble and its allied misfortune, the floods, is, of course, an example of congestion. War itself is really due to frustrated circulation on many planes of existence. Some students of metaphysics shut their minds to the reception of new truth, and this always produces mental congestion and a failure to demonstrate. You should treat yourself two or three times a week for free circulation on all planes-by claiming that God is bringing this about." - Emmet Fox

"The only part of our religion that is real is the part we express in our daily lives. Ideals that we do not act out in practice are mere abstract theories and have no real meaning. Actually, such pretended ideals are a serious detriment, because they drug the soul into a false sense of security. If you want to receive any benefit from your religion you must practice it, and the place to practice it is right here where you are, and the time to do it is now. Divine Love is the only real power. If you can realize this fact even dimly it will begin to heal and harmonize every condition in your life within a few hours. The way to realize this fact is to express it in every word you speak, in every business transaction, in every social activity, and, in fact, in every phase of your life. An early New Thought writer said: "Knead love into the bread you bake; wrap strength and courage in the parcel you tie for the woman with the weary face; hand trust and candor with the coin you pay to the man with the suspicious eyes." This is beautifully said, and it sums up the Practice of the Presence of God." - Emmet Fox

"What are you doing about your future? Are you content to let things just drift along as they are, hoping, like Mr. Micawber, for something to "turn up"? If you are, be assured that there is no escape in that way. Nothing ever will turn up unless you exercise your Free Will and go out and turn it up for yourself by becoming acquainted with the Laws of Life, and applying them to your own individual conditions. That is the only way. Otherwise the years will pass all too swiftly, leaving you just where you are now, if not worse off, for there is no limit to the result of thought either for good or evil." - Emmet Fox

"I also think people should never turn down an opportunity to hold a baby. There's something about the feeling of a new baby in your arms that just fixes you." - Erin McKean

"The cultivation and expansion of needs is the antithesis of wisdom. It is also the antithesis of freedom and peace. Every increase in needs tends to increase one's dependence on outside forces over which one cannot have control, and therefore increases existential fear. Only by a reduction of needs can one promote a genuine reduction in those tensions which are the ultimate causes of strife and war." - E. F. Schumacher, fully Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher

"Anytime you feel negative emotion, stop and say: 'Something is important here, otherwise I would not be feeling this negative emotion. What is it that I want?' And then simply turn your attention to what you DO want. In the moment that you turn your attention to what you want, the negative attraction will stop, and in the moment the negative attraction stops, the positive attraction will begin. And in that moment, your feelings will change from not feeling good to feeling good." - Ester and Jerry Hicks

"Anytime you have physical discomfort of any kind, whether you call it emotional or physical pain within your body, it ALWAYS means the same thing: "I have a desire that is summoning energy, but I have a belief that is not allowing, so I've created resistance in my body." The solution, every single time, to the releasing of discomfort and pain is the relaxation and the reaching for the feeling of relief." - Ester and Jerry Hicks

"It is so easy to make the finding of the path so much more complicated than it really needs to be because from within you know if you have been willing to tune yourself to feeling good, no matter what, so that that's what matters most to you...then in your natural quest for joy you'll just keep being on your path...your path unfolds." - Ester and Jerry Hicks

"When you are thinking of money in the way that will make it come to you, you always feel good. When you are thinking of money in the way that keeps it from coming to you, you always feel bad. That is how you know the difference." - Ester and Jerry Hicks

"You are on the leading edge of thought, taking thought beyond that which it has been before." - Ester and Jerry Hicks

"You will know your path by the fun of it." - Ester and Jerry Hicks

"Hence arises a perception which represents them to us as distant and limited; and which consequently implies the idea of some extension." - Étienne Bonnot de Condillac

"There were two reasons why persons of any abilities, that attempted this kind of music, could not help meeting with success. The first is, that without doubt they pitched upon such pieces, as in the course of reciting, they had been accustomed to render particularly expressive; or at least they imagined some such. The second is the surprise, which this music must needs have produced by its novelty. The greater the surprise she greater the impression of the music." - Étienne Bonnot de Condillac

"These two arts associated themselves with that of gesture, their elder sister, and known by the name of Dance. From whence there is reason to conjecture, that some kind of dance, and some kind of music and poetry, might have been observed at all times, and in all nations." - Étienne Bonnot de Condillac

"But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing." - Eugene Peterson

"Forgiveness is the last word. I take no interest in eliminating the tension between justice and forgiveness by taking justice off the table." - Eugene Peterson

"The Latin words humus, soil/earth, and homo, human being, have a common derivation, from which we also get our word 'humble.' This is the Genesis origin of who we are: dust - dust that the Lord God used to make us a human being. If we cultivate a lively sense of our origin and nurture a sense of continuity with it, who knows, we may also acquire humility." - Eugene Peterson

"The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so." - Gore Vidal, fully Eugene Luther Gore Vidal

"What is in question is a kind of book reviewing which seems to be more and more popular: the loose putting down of opinions as though they were facts, and the treating of facts as though they were opinions." - Gore Vidal, fully Eugene Luther Gore Vidal

"It's a totally ridiculous, completely unsexy word. If you use it during sex, trying to be politically correct-- Darling, could you stroke my vagina?-- you kill the act right there. I'm worried about vaginas, what we call them and don't call them." -

"Formal prayer is a practical device, not a spiritual necessity. It makes direct suggestions to our souls: it reminds us of realities which we always tend to forget." - Evelyn Underhill

"One of the marks of an educated man today is to know what not to read--what not to see or what not to listen to." - Ezra Taft Benson

"We had better take our small pain now than our greater loss later. There were souls who wished afterwards that they had stood and fought with Washington and the founding fathers, but they waited too long—they passed up eternal glory. There has never been a greater time than now to stand up against entrenched evil. And while the gentiles established the Constitution, we have a divine mandate to preserve it. But unfortunately today in this freedom struggle, many gentiles are showing greater wisdom in their generation than the children of light." - Ezra Taft Benson

"People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf." - Ezra Pound, fully Ezra Weston Loomis Pound

"In order to join vigorously in the moral work of the world I must believe that somehow the best I can accomplish will endure, will leave its trace on things, will aid the final consummation." - Felix Adler

"One who speaks fair words feeds you with an empty spoon." -

"The tree is not felled at one blow." -

"Wise men change their minds, fools never." -