Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"By all evidence we are in the world to do nothing." - Emil M. Cioran

"Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations." - Emma Goldman

"All enjoyment is also sensation - that is, knowledge and light. It is not just the disappearance of the self, but self-forgetfulness, as a first abnegation." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"It is necessary to dig deeper, down to the very meaning of the notion of being, and to show that the origin of all being, including that of nature, is determined by the intrinsic meaning of conscious life and not the other way around." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"Otherwise than Being. It is a matter of stating the breaking apart of a destiny that reigns in essence whose fragments and modalities—despite their diversity—belong the ones to the others, that is…do not escape Order, as though the ends of the thread cut by the Parque were tied up again after being cut. It is a matter of thinking the possibility of being torn out of essence. To go where? To go into what region? To stand on what ontological plane? But to be torn out of essence contests the unconditional privilege of the question: where?…[This is a] uniqueness for which the out-of-self, the difference relative to self, is non-indifference itself in the extra-ordinary recurrence of the pronominal." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"The oneself does not rest in peace under its identity, and yet its restlessness is not a dialectical scission, nor a process equalizing difference. Its unity is not just added on to some content of ipseity, like the indefinite article which substantifies even verbs, 'nominalizing' and thematizing them. Here the unity precedes every article and every process; it is somehow itself the content." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"To become conscious of a being is then always for that being to be grasped across an ideality and on the basis of a said. Eyen an empirical, individual being is broached across the ideality of logos. Subjectivity qua consciousness can thus be interpreted as the articulation of an ontological event, as one of the mysterious ways in which its 'act of being' is deployed." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"To deny the totality of being is for consciousness to plunge into a kind of darkness, where it would at least remain as an operation, as the consciousness of that darkness. Total negation then would be impossible, and the concept of nothingness illusory." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"To ignore the true God is in fact only half an evil; atheism is worth more than the piety bestowed on mythical gods." - Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

"It is not possible that you could ever find yourself anywhere where God was not fully present, fully active, able and willing to set you free." - Emmet Fox

"The first thing that we have to realize is a fact of fundamental importance, because it means breaking away from all the ordinary prepossessions of orthodoxy. The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever. His teaching is entirely spiritual or metaphysical. Historical Christianity, unfortunately, has largely concerned itself with theological and doctrinal questions which, strange to say, have no part whatever in the Gospel teaching. It will startle many good people to learn that all the doctrines and theologies of the churches are human inventions built up by their authors out of their own mentalities… There is absolutely no system of theology of doctrine to be found in the Bible; it simply is not there." - Emmet Fox

"We rarely write the names of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon – each unique and surely of crucial significance – as here, honoring them with a capital letter. This may seem trivial, but our dislocation from nature is one of the most serious schisms in our dismembered psyche and probably the most urgent relationship we need to heal." - Ervin László

"For man, maximum excitement is the confrontation of death and the skillful defiance of it by watching others fed to it as he survives transfixed with rapture." - Ernest Becker

"In other words, it is not so much a question as to whether we are able to cure a patient, whether we can or not, but whether we should or not." - Ernest Becker

"The hope and belief is that the things that man creates in society are of lasting worth and meaning, that they outlive or outshine death and decay, that man and his products count." - Ernest Becker

"When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken." - Che Guevara, fully Ernesto “Che” Guevara

"Economic growth, which viewed from the point of view of economics, physics, chemistry, and technology, has no discernible limit must necessary run into decisive bottlenecks when viewed from the point of view of the environmental sciences. An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited." - E. F. Schumacher, fully Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher

"If we are going to stick to this damned quantum-jumping, then I regret that I ever had anything to do with quantum theory." - Erwin Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger

"We are, I believe, at the moment in grave danger of missing the 'path to perfection'." - Erwin Schrödinger, fully Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger

"This state, in which nothing definite is thought, planned, striven for, desired or expected, which aims in no particular direction and yet knows itself capable alike of the possible and the impossible, so unswerving is its power - this state, which is at bottom purposeless and egoless, was called by the Masters truly 'spiritual'. It is in fact charged with spiritual awareness and is there also called 'right presence of mind'. This means that the mind or spirit is present anywhere, because it is nowhere attached to any particular place. And it can remain present because, even when related to this or that object, it does not cling to it by reflection and thus lose its original mobility. Like water filling a pond, which is always ready to flow off again, it can work its inexhaustible power because it is free, and be open to everything because it is empty. This state is essentially a primordial state, and its symbol, the empty circle, is not empty of meaning for him who stands within it. Out of the fullness of this presence of mind, disturbed by no ulterior motive, the artist who is released from all attachment must practice his art. But if he is to fit himself self-effacingly into the creative process, the practice of the art must have the way smoothed for it. For if, in his self-immersion, he saw himself faced with a situation into which he could not leap instinctively, he would first have to bring it to consciousness. He would then enter again into all the relationships from which he had detached himself; he would be like one weakened, who considers his program for the day, but not like an Awakened One who lives and works in the primordial state. It would never appear to him as if the individual parts of the creative process were being played into his hands by a higher power; he would never experience how intoxicatingly the vibrancy of an event is communicated to him who is himself only a vibration, and how everything that he does is done before he knows it." - Eugen Herrigel

"The inspiration often seems like a tarantula bite him, shake him from sleep atavistic and in those moments it is impossible to write better than him, with far more cunning, with the most perfect taste." - Eugenio Montale

"Rain on the day you get married brings good luck." -