Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"What I like, or one of the things I like, about motoring is the sense it gives one of lighting accidentally, like a voyager who touches another planet with the tip of his toe, upon scenes which would have gone on, have always gone on, will go on, unrecorded, save for this chance glimpse. Then it seems to me I am allowed to see the heart of the world uncovered for a moment." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"Where the Mind is biggest, the Heart, the Senses, Magnanimity, Charity, Tolerance, Kindliness, and the rest of them scarcely have room to breathe." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"Who shall measure the hat and violence of the poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?" - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for." - Vicki Robin

"I said that someone looks down on each of us in difficult hours — a friend, a wife, somebody alive or dead, or a God — and he would not expect us to disappoint him. He would hope to find us suffering proudly — not miserably — knowing how to die." - Viktor Frankl, fully Viktor Emil Frankl

"Do not long after the departed, who conduct (men) afar. Ascend from the darkness, come to the light. We lay hold of thy hands." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness a more humane society will not emerge." - Václav Havel

"Women and young people develop their separate estimates of their tastes." - Vauvenargues, Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues NULL

"The image of the Buddha on the altar is clearly not a divinity or Sage. It is a representation, an artistic image ... that points back to human who realized the highest wisdom. The Buddha cultivated his nature to an awakened state. The image symbolizes his realization of humanity's potential and aspiration for the highest goodness and compassion. When you bow, symbolically you honor your own potential for great wisdom. Furthermore, bowing is good exercise. It is not idol worship, which is superstitious and passive. Bowing to the Buddha is a practice of a principle; it is dynamic and active." - Hsuan Hua, aka An Tzu and Tu Lun

"If a person leads an ‘active’ life, as Wiggs had, if a person has goals, ideals, a cause to fight for, then that person is distracted, temporarily, from paying a whole lot of attention to the heavy scimitar that hangs by a mouse hair just about his or her head. We, each of us, have a ticket to ride, and if the trip be interesting (if it’s dull, we have only ourselves to blame), then we relish the landscape (how quickly it whizzes by!), interact with our fellow travelers, pay frequent visits to the washrooms and concession stands, and hardly ever hold up the ticket to the light where we can read its plainly stated destination: The Abyss. Yet, ignore it though we might in our daily toss and tussle, the fact of our impending death is always there, just behind the draperies, or, more accurately, inside our sock, like a burr that we can never quite extract. If one has a religious life, one can rationalize one’s slide into the abyss; if one has a sense of humor (and a sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised), one can minimalize it through irony and wit. Ah, but the specter is there, night and day, day in and day out, coloring with its chalk of gray almost everything we do. And a lot of what we do is done, subconsciously, indirectly, to avoid the thought of death, or to make ourselves so unexpendable through our accomplishments that death will hesitate to take us, or, when the scimitar finally falls, to insure that we ‘live on’ in the memory of the lucky ones still kicking." - Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

"On the right side-panel of the verbose and somewhat tautological box of Cheerios, it is written, If you are not satisfied with the quality and/or performance of the Cheerios in this box, send name, address, and reason for dissatisfaction—along with entire boxtop and price paid—to: General Mills, Inc., Box 200-A, Minneapolis, Minn., 55460. Your purchase price will be returned. It isn’t enough that there is a defensive tone to those words, a slant of doubt, an unappetizing broach of the subject of money, but they leave the reader puzzling over exactly what might be meant by the performance of the Cheerios." - Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

"Anon, as patient as the female dove when that her golden couplets are disclosed, his silence will sit drooping." -

"Wisdom is learning what to overlook." - William James

"Now since our eternal state is as certainly ours, as our present state; since we are as certainly to live forever, as we now live at all; it is plain, that we cannot judge of the value of any particular time, as to us, but by comparing it to that eternal duration, for which we are created." - William Law

"Love is enough: draw near and behold me ye who pass by the way to your rest and your laughter, and are full of the hope of the dawn coming after; for the strong of the world have bought me and sold me and my house is all wasted from threshold to rafter. — pass by me, and hearken, and think of me not!" - William Morris

"When you walk through the storm, hold your head high and don't be afraid of the dark! At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet song of the lark. Walk on through the wind walk on through the rain though your dreams be tossed & blown walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you'll never walk alone!" - Douglas Adams, fully Douglas Noel Adams

"Our aversion to lying is commonly a secret ambition to make what we say considerable, and have every word received with a religious respect." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"The business of conception is to present us with an exact transcript of what we have felt or perceived. But we have, moreover, a power of modifying our conceptions, by combining the parts of different ones together, so as to form new wholes of our own creation. I shall employ the word imagination to express this power, and I apprehend that this is the proper sense of the word, if imagination be the power which gives birth to the productions of the poet and the painter. The operations of imagination are by no means confined to the materials which conception furnishes, but may be equally employed about all the subjects of our knowledge." - Dugald Stewart

"Don't do your own dirty work if you can find someone to do it for you." - Egyptian Proverbs

"What America demands in her black champions is a brilliant, powerful body and a dull, bestial mind." - Eldridge Cleaver, fully Leroy Eldridge Cleaver

"Human beings tend to discredit the things he cannot understand for some reason." - Elif Safak

"The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time." - Elif Safak

"He showed me a sketch he'd drawn once during meditation. It was an androgynous human figure, standing up, hands clasped in prayer. But this figure had four legs, and no head. Where the head should have been, there was only a wild foliage of ferns and flowers. There was a small, smiling face drawn over the heart. To find the balance you want, Ketut spoke through his translator, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"I watched them, thinking that little girls who make their mothers live grow up to be such powerful women." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Meditation vs. Prayer = Listening vs. Talking" - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Little Words when you are gone, there is nor bloom nor leaf, nor singing sea at night, nor silver birds; and I can only stare, and shape my grief in little words. I cannot conjure loveliness, to drown the bitter woe that racks my cords apart. The weary pen that sets my sorrow down feeds at my heart. There is no mercy in the shifting year, no beauty wraps me tenderly about. I turn to little words- so you, my dear, can spell them out." - Dorothy Parker

"He... was attached by ties stronger than reason could break -- chains, forged by habit, which it would be cruel to attempt to loosen." - Emily Brontë, fully Emily Jane Brontë, aka pseudonym Ellis Bell

"Do not hesitate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing." - Ethiopian Proverbs

"A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression." - Ezra Pound, fully Ezra Weston Loomis Pound

"Then they wondered if there were men in the stars. Why not? And as creation is harmonious, the inhabitants of Sirius ought to be huge, those of Mars middle-sized, those of Venus very small. Unless it is the same everywhere. There are businessmen, police up there; people trade, fight, dethrone their kings." - Gustave Flaubert

"The worshiper is the father of the gods." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien