Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"You can only live in the present… only act in the present… only experience in the present. What you call the future, things that you may be planning, or things that you may be dreading – all this is still but a present state of mind. This is the real meaning of the traditional phrase, The Eternal Now. The only joy you can experience is the joy you experience now. A happy memory is a present joy. The only pain you can experience is the pain of the present moment. Sad memories are present pain." - Emmet Fox

"The old view that the principles of right and wrong are immutable and eternal is no longer tenable. The moral world is as little exempt as the physical world from the law of ceaseless change, of perpetual flux." - James Frazer, aka James George Frazer

"For me truth is the sovereign principle, the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. Though the path of relative truth is straight and narrow, even my Himalayan blunders have seemed trifling, for daily the conviction is growing that He alone is real and all else is unreal." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"If we believe that mankind has steadily progressed towards ahimsa (i.e., love), it follows that it has to progress towards it still further. Nothing in this world is static, everything is kinetic. If there is not progression, then there is inevitable retrogression. No one can remain without the eternal cycle, unless it be God Himself." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"It is impossible to realize perfect Truth so long as we are imprisoned in this mortal frame. We can only visualize it in out imagination. We cannot, through the instrumentality of this ephemeral body, see face to face Truth, which is eternal. That is why one has ultimately to fall back on faith." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"Art is revelation. If painting shows only what is there, it is not art. Art like fine music or high literature must carry the beholder beyond this world and all that appears in it, transport him to the shores of the eternal world and enable him to see and hear the things not given to the tongue of man to utter." - James M. Gillis

"The reality of God’s existence appears as love in the manifestation of goodness, beauty, and truth… Apart from God’s existence as living and active, existence has no ultimate meaning. However far we may look backwards in time, we cannot reach a time when the ordered beauty of the heavens – that beauty which seems overwhelming when we contemplate it – was not present. The existence of truth, order and beauty are eternal, since God is eternal." -

"I cannot believe that the life eternal is one endless idleness. If it were endless duration only, it would be endless boredom and scarcely willed by God. What we may be given to do in the next life we cannot say, and with so many forms of work in this life related to physical existence, it is useless to speculate. But if there is a fellowship of persons, God will give us tasks for their enrichment." - Georgia Harkness

"The all-important question is not whether human life will survive upon this planet. Rather, it is whether the souls of men will be fit to use God’s gift of personal survival in an eternal fellowship." - Georgia Harkness

"All souls are equal before God, so far as mere worldly eminence is concerned. Their inequality rests solely upon the degree that they have realized the eternal will by their own choice." - William Torrey Harris

"A person cannot see the beauty of life unless he remembers that the Finite (Sof) and the Infinite (Ein Sof) kiss each other; that the One who is enthroned on high is concerned with all below. We live always at one with eternity. Eternal life has been planted in our midst." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The beginning of faith is not a feeling for the mystery of living or a sense of awe, wonder, or fear. The root of religion is the question what to do with the feeling for the mystery of living, what to do with awe, wonder, or fear. Religion, the end of isolation, begins with a consciousness that something is asked of us. It is in that tense, eternal asking in which the soul is caught and in which man’s answer is elicited." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The greatest problem is not how to continue but how to exalt our existence. The cry for a life beyond the grave is presumptuous, if there is not cry for eternal life prior to our descending to the grave. Eternity is not perpetual future but perpetual presence. He has planted in us the seed of eternal life. The world to come is not only a hereafter but also a here-now." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments... Spiritual life begins to decay when we fail to sense the grandeur of what is eternal in time... Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The spirituality that flows from our actions is not fleeting, transient, or solitary in a silent cosmos. The music of refined actions, the melody of a noble soul, is woven into the tapestry of eternal music which God Himself composed." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Things not only are what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme. Awe is a sense for the transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"We dwell on the preciousness of every moment. Things of space vanish. Moments of time never pass away. Time is the clue to the meaning of life and death. Time lived with meaning is a disclosure of the eternal." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Can anyone think of believing in God without trusting Him? Is it possible to trust in God for the big things like forgiveness and eternal life, and then refuse to trust Him for the little things like clothing and food?" - Oswald Hoffmann, fully Oswald C. J. Hoffmann

"While grasping eternal truth, ideas get into the whirlpool of consideration, and thus are raised to the sphere of pure spirit and arrive at the realm of high sublimity where the souls are resting in the shadow of Divine Majesty." - Hunein ibn Ishak, also Hunain or Hunein

"The divine in the creation is only adequately represented when the whole of the time-process is gathered up into its final meaning and purpose, when, in fact, the mode of becoming is united with the mode of being. This I conceive to be the eternal world – not a world of immobility in contrast with a world of change, but a world in which the antinomy of becoming and being, of motion and rest, is transcended." - William Ralph Inge

"Religion, occupying herself with personal destinies and keeping this in contact with the only absolute realities which we know, must necessarily play an eternal part in human history." - William James

"Imbalance is the root of all misery. Every action has a reaction. But seen from the eternal view in time everything will balance itself again." - Peter W. Jedlicka

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson

"It has always been a two-way road. It is a Double Search. God is forever seeking us from the Love that comes down from Above. And man is forever striving for eternal reality and the Beauty of the Lord, our God." -

"Count on God knocking on the doors of time. God is the Seeker, and not we alone; He is anxious to swell out our time-nows into an Eternal Now by filling them with a sense of Presence." - Thomas R. Kelly, fully Thomas Raymond Kelly

"The unreflective person thinks and imagines that when he prays, the important thing, the thing he must concentrate upon, is that God should hear what he is praying for. And yet in the true, eternal sense it is just the reverse; the true relation in prayer is not when God hears what is prayed for, but when the person continues to pray until he is the one who hears, who hears what God wills." -

"All things in nature work silently. They come into being and possess nothing. They fulfill their function and make no claim. All things alike do their work, and then we see them subside. When they have reached their bloom, each returns to its origin… This reversion is an eternal law. To know that law is wisdom." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Life never stops. The torment of men will be eternal, unless the function of creating and acting and changing, living intensely through each day, be considered an eternal joy." - Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier

"The secret of eternal youth is arrested development." - Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth

"Time, although the philosophers declare it to be completely distinct from eternity, is certainly an available instrument for reaching the Eternal." - John W. Lynch

"He, the eternal, dwells concealed in the heart of all beings. Though himself devoid of all senses, he is the illuminator of all the senses, the source of their powers." - Mahanirvana Tantra, Tantra of the Great Liberation NULL

"Either the soul is immortal and we live forever and we shall not die, or it perishes with the flesh, and we shall not know then that we are dead. Live, then, as if you were eternal." -

"I have seen a place – its name is Eternal Hatred. It is built in the deepest abyss of the stones of mortal sin. Pride was the first stone – this was seen in Lucifer." - Mechthild of Magdeburg, also Mechtild NULL

"Of late, the factual world has been buried under agnosticism, and its mystery has deepened as human society has come to cover a wider territory. Usually the statements of people who have witnessed the same incident contradict one another. An extraordinary incident that shocks the whole society always contains an eternal mystery." - Yukio Mishima

"Eternal peace is a dream, and not even a beautiful one. War is a part of God’s world order. In it are developed the noblest virtues of man: courage and abnegation, dutifulness and self-sacrifice. Without war the world would sink into materialism." - Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, fully Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Molke

"Man can become part of God’s unity, which is eternal, only by forgetfulness of self." -

"There is one God, eternal truth is his name, Creator of all things, and the all-pervading spirit. Fearless and without hatred, timeless and formless. Beyond birth and death, self-enlightened." - Guru Nanak

"The message of the Bhagavad Gita is that each human life has but one ultimate end and purpose: to realize the Eternal Self within and thus to know, finally and fully, the joy of union with God, the Divine Ground of Being (Brahman). Whereas such knowledge was traditionally sought in retreat from the world, the Gita, without omitting that option, teaches that it may be attained in the midst of the world through nonattached action in the context of devotion (bhakti) to God." - Philip Novak

"We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and these interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

"I ask no risen dust to teach me immortality; I am conscious of eternal life." - Theodore Parker

"Today’s dogma holds that matter is eternal. The dogma comes from the intuitive belief of people who don’t want to accept the observational evidence that the universe was created – despite the fact that the creation of the universe is supported by all the observable data astronomy has produced so far. As a result, the people who reject the data can arguably be described as having a religious belief that matter must be eternal… Since scientists prefer to operate in the belief that the universe must be meaningless – that reality consists of nothing more than the sum of the world’s tangible constituents – they cannot confront the idea of creation easily, or take it lightly." - Arno Allan Penzias

"It is of primary importance that a certain space of time be allotted daily to meditation on eternal things. No priest can omit this without serious manifestation of negligence and without a grave loss to his soul." - Pope Pius X, aka Saint Pope Pius X and Pope of the Eucharist, born Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto NULL

"Morality is eternal and immutable." - Richard Price

"Creation is not an instantaneous act, but is an eternal process. The immanence of God which follows from this hypothesis is the pledge that evil and error, ugliness and imperfection are not ultimate. Evil has reference to the distance which good has to traverse. Error is the stage on the pathway to truth." - Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

"The Bible is primarily not man’s vision of God but God’s vision of man. The Bible is not man’s theology but God’s anthropology, dealing with man and what He asks of him rather than with the nature of God. God did not reveal to the prophets eternal mysteries but His knowledge and love of man. It was not the aspiration of Israel to know the Absolute but to ascertain what He asks of man; to commune with His will rather than with His essence." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"The religion of man… has neither temples, nor altars, nor rites, and is confined to the purely internal cult of the supreme God and the eternal obligations of morality." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"[Religion] in its highest historical forms is the interpretation both of the eternal and of the spirit of loyalty through emotion, and through a fitting activity of the imagination." - Josiah Royce

"What is all beauty in the world? The image, like quivering boughs reflected in a stream, of that eternal Orchard which abides unwithered in the hearts of Perfect Men." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"We are all one, united in our eternal image which is the image of God, and the source in us all of our life and our coming into existence." - John Ruysbroeck or The Blessed John of Ruysbroeck, originally Jan van Ruusbroek

"The contemplation of the pious is the immediate consciousness of the universal existence of all finite things, in and through the Infinite, and of all temporal things in and through the Eternal." - Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher