Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Battle

"Neurosis can be understood best as the battle between tendencies within an individual; deep character analysis leads, if successful, to the progressive solution." - Erich Fromm, fully Erich Seligmann Fromm

"Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning. " - Erwin Rommel, fully Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel

"A battle won is a battle which we will not acknowledge to be lost." - Ferdinand Foch

"A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it. " - Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey

"Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing. That's my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"Life is a battle between faith and reason in which each feeds upon the other, drawing sustenance from it and destroying it." - Richard Niebuhr, fully Helmut Richard Niebuhr

"Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. " - Harry S. Truman

"No plan of battle ever survives contact with the enemy. " - Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, fully Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Molke

"A man should never put on his best trousers when he goes out to battle for freedom and truth." - Henrik Ibsen, aka Henrik Johan Ibsen

"Not satisfied with great principles, they were avaricious of great achievements. They subdued forests, organized emigration, marched westward under the star of empire. They achieved Louisburg and Concord and Lexington, and Paul Revere's ride and the Charter Oak and Bennington and Gaspee Point, and Harvard and Yale and Bowdoin and Dartmouth. They preserved the union, annihilated slavery, crushed repudiation, made the promises of the nation equal to gold. They have spoken the word of protest and pleading in behalf of the Chinaman and the Indian and the African, in behalf of a reformed civil service, and of honest elections. And where has there been a battle for God and humanity that they and their sons have not been in it?" - Herman Lincoln Wayland

"When you are hoping for something positively or negatively, you are projecting your own desire; you will succeed in your desire, but that is only another substitution, and so the battle is on again. This desire to gain or to avoid is still within the field of opposition, is it not? See the false as the false, then the truth is. You don’t have to look for it. What you seek you will find, but it will not be truth. It is like a suspicious man finding what he suspects, which is comparatively easy and stupid. Just be passively aware of this total thought process, and also of the desire to be free of it." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"The belief that man is an irresolute creature pulled this way and that by two forces of equal strength, alternately winning and losing the battle for his soul; the conviction that human life is nothing more than an uncertain struggle between heaven and hell; the faith in two opposed entities, Satan and Christ - all this was bound to engender those internal discords in which the soul, excited by the incessant fighting, stimulated as it were by the constant promises and threats, ends up by giving in and prostitutes itself to whichever of the two combatants has been more obstinate in its pursuit." - Joris-Karl "J.K." Huysmans, pseudonym for Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans

"A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded. " - J. R. Miller, fully James Russell Miller

"Human character is never found "to enter into its glory," except through the ordeal of affliction. Its force cannot come forth without the offer of resistance nor can the grandeur of its free will declare itself, except in the battle of fierce temptation." - James Martineau

"It is the ultimate wisdom of the mountains that we are never so much human as when we are striving for what is beyond our grasp, and that there is no battle worth the winning save that against our own ignorance and fear." - James Ramsey Ullman

"Nine requisites for contented living: Health enough to make work a pleasure. Wealth enough to support your needs. Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them. Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. Faith enough to make real the things of God. Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future. " - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other. " - John Stuart Mill

"Renowned for conquest, and in council skilled, their courage dwells not in a troubled flood of mounting spirits, and fermenting blood: Lodged in the soul, with virtue overruled, inflamed by reason, and by reason cooled,in hours of peace content to be unknown. And only in the field of battle shown: To souls like these, in mutual friendship joined, Heaven dares intrust the cause of humankind." - Joseph Addison

"The hardest battle you are ever going to have to fight is the battle to be just you." - Leo Busacaglia

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping toward destruction. Therefore, everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interest of everyone hangs on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us." - Ludwig von Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

"Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language. " - Ludwig Wittgenstein, fully Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein

"The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual - for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost." - M. Scott Peck, fully Morgan Scott Peck

"Look too on this poor planet of ours, Torn by the storms of mysterious powers, Evil contending with good from its birth, Wrenching in battle the heartstrings of earth,— Ah! what infinities circle us here, Strangeness and wonderment swathing the sphere!" - Martin Tupper, fully Martin Farquhar Tupper

"To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity." - Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson

"Law is not born of nature, near the springs frequented by the first shepherds; law is born from real battles, victories, massacres, conquests which have their dates and their heroes of horror. The law is born in torched villages, ravaged lands; it is born with the notorious innocents suffering in the throes of death as the sun rises. But this does not mean that the law and the State are a kind of armistice in these wars, or the definitive sanction of victories. The law is not pacification, because under the law, war continues to rage within all the mechanisms of power even the most lawful. It is war that is the motor of institutions and of order: peace, right down to the smallest of its cogs, obscurely engages in war. In other words, we must decypher war in peace: war is the very cypher of peace. Thus we are at war with each other; a battle front runs through our entire society, continuously and permanently, and it is this battle front which places each of us in one camp or another. There is no neutral subject. We are of necessity someone's adversary." - Michel Foucault

"Intellect takes us along in the battle of life to a certain limit, but at the crucial moment it fails us. Faith transcends reason. It is when the horizon is the darkest and human reason is beaten down to the ground that faith shines brightest and comes to our rescue." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"A true soldier does not argue as he marches, how success is going to be ultimately achieved. But he is confident that if he only plays his humble part well, somehow or other the battle will be won. In is that spirit that every one of us should act. It is not given to us to know the future. But it is given to everyone of us to know how to do our own part well. " - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

" I have freed myself from each and every restraint of religion, ethics, and social responsibility and the result is that I have made myself into a question mark. I cannot accept the old order. I cannot make a new order for myself. I wish I could be a plain and simple Socialist or Progressive. People generally take me to be a Progressive, and I call myself one too. But I am truly a decadent. The bitterness, despair, reclusiveness and extreme individuation in my story “ƒar≥mj≥dµ” is an example of that. I want to infuse my stories with a spirit that will create hope for a new world and a new life for humanity. But my stories are severing even the threads of hope that remain. I cannot grasp the spirit of unity. I am bonded with the spirit of disunity. So aren’t my stories harmful and poisonous for the new life? Aren’t sick temperaments my examples? Is it justifiable that I write such stories at a time when there is a battle going on for the fate of humanity? That I should write stories about the illusions and imagined narcissistic fancies of an utterly personal nature? […] I too have no “character.” My opinions and thoughts change with the wind. Only despair is my constant feeling." - Muhammad Hussan Askari

"Children of any religion who have true faith must realize that God is the only One who knows all of everything. Therefore, only God can judge whether a person has faith, certitude, and determination or not and whether a person lives with that purity that can be called Islam or not. No one else can give that judgment. Do not wave your religion like a banner and go out to capture others. Only one kind of war is permissible in the eyes of God: the war you wage within yourself to defeat the demonic forces of lust, anger, jealousy, desire for revenge, and other evil feelings and attributes that may exist within your heart. God has sent each of the prophets as witnesses to the grace of God and as supports to help us in this inner war. This is the reason for the Qur'an. It is to help the true Muslim fight this inner battle and win victory over his own base desires that God sent the Messenger with the Qur'an." - Bawa Mahaiyadden, fully Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

"Unhappy the general who comes on the field of battle with a system." - Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon I

"The battle is all over except the "shouting" when one knows what is wanted and has made up his mind to get it, whatever the price may be." - Napoleon Hill

"In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world." - Nicholas D. Kristof, fully Nicholas Donabet Kristof

"What grief is not taken away by time? What passion will survive an unequal battle with it? I knew a man in the bloom of his still youthful powers, filled with true nobility and virtue, I knew him when he was in love, tenderly, passionately, furiously, boldly, modestly, and before me, almost before my eyes, the object of his passion - tender, beautiful as an angel - was struck down by insatiable death. I never saw such terrible fits of inner suffering, such furious scorching anguish, such devouring despair as shook the unfortunate lover. I never thought a man could create such a hell for himself, in which there would be no shadow, no image, nothing in the least resembling hope" - Nikolai Gogol, fully Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol or Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol

"When I understood the task, it was not with a resolve such as men often make. With me it was a sacred vow, a question of life and death. I knew that I would perish if I failed. Now I felt that the battle was won. Back in the deep recesses of the brain was the solution, but I could net yet give it outward expression. " - Nikola Tesla

"You may have the bravery of a strong fighter, but unless you possess the intelligent strength of discriminating knowledge, you will not turn the tide in the battle with samsara. So possess the intelligent strength of discriminating knowledge!" - Padmasamabhava, "The Lotus-Born", aka Guru Rinpoche "Precious Guru" or Lopon Rinpoche or Padum in Tibet NULL

"The battle is long and arduous. Let there be no mistake as to that. Go not forth to this battle without counting the cost. Ages have gone to the strengthening of the foe. Ages of conflict must be spent, ere the foe, wholly conquered, becomes the servant, the Soul’s minister to mankind." - Patañjali NULL

"From the depths of slumber, As I ascend the spiral stairway of wakefulness, I whisper: God! God! God! Thou art the food, and when I break my fast Of nightly separation from Thee, I taste Thee, and mentally say: God! God! God! No matter where I go, the spotlight of my mind Ever keeps turning on Thee, And in the battle din of activity my silent war-cry is ever: God! God! God! When boisterous storms of trials shriek And worries howl at me, I drown their noises, loudly chanting: God! God! God! When my mind weaves dreams With threads of memories, On that magic cloth I do emboss: God! God! God! Every night, in time of deepest sleep, My peace dreams and calls: Joy! Joy! Joy! And my joy comes singing evermore: God! God! God! In waking, eating, working, dreaming, sleeping, Serving, meditating, chanting, divinely loving, My soul constantly hums, unheard by any: God! God! God!" - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"If the world is an aggregate of relatively independent regions, then any assumption of universal laws is false and a demand for universal norms tyrannical: only brute force (or seductive deception) can then bend the different moralities so that they fit the prescriptions of a single ethical system. And indeed, the idea of universal laws of nature and society arose in connection with a life-and-death battle: the battle that gave Zeus the power over the Titans and all other gods and thus turned his laws into the laws of the universe." - Paul Feyerabend, fully Paul Karl Feyerabend

"Human beings are the only ones in nature who are aware that they will die. For that reason and only for that reason, I have a profound respect for the human race, and I believe that its future is going to be much better than its present. Even knowing that their days are numbered and that everything will end when they least expect it, people make of their lives a battle that is worthy of a being with eternal life. What people regard as vanity-leaving great works, having children, acting in such a way as to prevent one's name from being forgotten- I regard as the highest expression of human dignity. " - Paulo Coelho

"Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, ‘May I have permission to go into battle with you?’ Fear said, ‘Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission.’ Then the young warrior said, ‘How can I defeat you?’ Fear replied, ‘My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power.’ In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. " - Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

"Men of courage, not satisfied with words, but ever searching for the means to transform them into action, — men of integrity for whom the act is one with the idea, for whom prison, exile, and death are preferable to a life contrary to their principles, — intrepid souls who know that it is necessary to dare in order to succeed, — these are the lonely sentinels who enter the battle long before the masses are sufficiently roused to raise openly the banner of insurrection and to march, arms in hand, to the conquest of their rights." - Peter Kropotkin, fully Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin

"He that fights and runs away, May turn and fight another day; But he that is in battle slain, Will never rise to fight again." - Tacitus, fully Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus NULL

"What we do battle with is so small, what battles us is so large." - Rainer Maria Rilke, full name René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke

"Life is a battle between faith and reason in which each feeds upon the other, drawing sustenance from it and destroying it." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"We have to distinguish between people we can win over and those we can have a clear public conversation with. We are winning the battle on evangelical Christian college campuses it's just under the radar. We can't give up on everybody. We have to take back the faith." - Jim Wallis

"The ideological clash between Keynesians and neoliberals (represented to a certain degree in the escalating all-out warfare between the US Democratic and Republican political parties) will no doubt continue and even intensify. But the ensuing heat of battle will yield little light if both philosophies conceal the same fundamental errors. One such error is the belief that economies can and should perpetually grow." - Richard Heinberg

"I believe in the battle - whether it's the battle of a campaign or the battle of this office, which is a continuing battle." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"You cannot win a battle in any arena merely by defending yourself." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"Of all hands in the world, it was not the hand that I wanted or dreamed of touching, ... We, the soldiers who have returned from battle stained with blood, we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes, we who have attended their funerals and cannot look into the eyes of their parents, we who have come from a land where parents bury their children, we who have fought against you, the Palestinians - we say to you today in a loud and clear voice: Enough of blood and tears. Enough. ...The time for peace has come." - Yitzhak Shamir, born Icchak Jaziernicki

"Rose-Morals - I. -- Red. Would that my songs might be What roses make by day and night -- Distillments of my clod of misery Into delight. Soul, could'st thou bare thy breast As yon red rose, and dare the day, All clean, and large, and calm with velvet rest? Say yea -- say yea! Ah, dear my Rose, good-bye; The wind is up; so; drift away. That songs from me as leaves from thee may fly, I strive, I pray. II. -- White. Soul, get thee to the heart Of yonder tuberose: hide thee there -- There breathe the meditations of thine art Suffused with prayer. Of spirit grave yet light, How fervent fragrances uprise Pure-born from these most rich and yet most white Virginities! Mulched with unsavory death, Grow, Soul! unto such white estate, That virginal-prayerful art shall be thy breath, Thy work, thy fate." - Sidney Lanier