Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Knowledge

"Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor, but, even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it." -

"Those who, in the confidence of superior capacities or attainments, neglect the common maxims of life, should be reminded that nothing will supply the want of prudence; but that negligence and irregularity, long continued will make knowledge useless, with ridiculous, and genius contemptible." -

"Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"I hold myself indebted to any one from whose enlightened understanding another ray of knowledge communicates to mine. Really to inform the mind is to correct and enlarge the heart." -

"All wish to possess knowledge, but few, comparatively speaking, are willing to pay the price." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Self-knowledge is the primary step in conscious evolutionary change. When people confront and integrate their individual fears and limitations, they facilitate the confrontation and integration of our racial, national, and planetary fears. Lasting social change is only possible when individual consciousness has first been changed." - Gloria D. Karpinski

"Self-knowledge brings tranquillity to the mind, and then only can truth come into being. Truth cannot be sought after. Truth is the unknown, and that which you seek is already known. Truth comes into being unsought when the mind is without prejudice, when there is the understanding of the whole process of ourselves." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"What is important is to free ourselves from ideas, from nationalism, from all religious beliefs and dogmas, so that we can act, not according to a pattern or an ideology, but as needs demand... It is only when the mind is free of idea and belief that it can act rightly... and freedom from ideas can take place only through self-awareness and self-knowledge." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Do not see with your eyes, don't hear with your ears, don't think with your mind, embrace the primal one, no knowledge, no self, go with nature, participate in nature, be one with nature and a long life will come naturally." -

"He who always seeks more light the more he finds, and finds more the more he seeks, is one of the few happy mortals who take and give in every point of time. The tide and ebb of giving and receiving is the sum of human happiness, which he alone enjoys who always wishes to acquire new knowledge, and always finds it." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"But it is the knowledge of necessary and eternal truths that distinguishes us from the mere animals and gives us Reason and the sciences, raising us to the knowledge of ourselves and of God. And it is this in us that is called the rational soul or mind. It is also through the knowledge of necessary truths, and through their abstract expression, that we rise to acts of reflection, which make us think of what is called I, and observe that this or that is within us: and thus, thinking of ourselves, we think of being, of substance, of the simple and the compound, of the immaterial, and of God Himself, conceiving that what is limited in us is in Him without limits." -

"We may say that we are immune from bondage in so far as we act with a distinct knowledge, but that we are the slaves of passion in so far as our perception are confused... In truth we will only that which pleases us: but unhappily what pleases us now is often a real evil, which would displease us if we had the eyes of understanding open." -

"Since the mind, in all its thoughts and reasonings, hath no other immediate object but its own ideas, which it alone does or can contemplate, it is evident that our knowledge is only conversant about them... Knowledge then seems to me to be nothing but the perception of the connection of and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our ideas. In this alone it consists. Where this perception is, there is knowledge, and where it is not, there, though we may fancy, guess, or believe, yet we always come short of knowledge." - John Locke

"The knowledge of our own being we have by intuition. The existence of a God, reason clearly makes known to us, as has been shown. The knowledge of existence of any other thing we can have only by sensation: for there being no necessary connection of real existence with any idea a man hath in his memory; nor of any other existence but that of God with the existence of any particular man: no particular man can know the existence of any other being but only when, by actual operating upon him, it makes itself perceived by him. For, the having the idea of anything in our mind, no more proves the existence of that thing, than the picture of a man evidences his being in the world, or the visions of a dream make thereby a true history." - John Locke

"Everything was possessed of personality, only different from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that was to feel beauty... Observation was certain to have its rewards. Interest, wonder, admiration grew, and the fact was appreciated that life was more than mere human manifestation; it was expressed in a multitude of forms. This appreciation enriched Lakota existence. Life was vivid and pulsating; nothing was casual and commonplace. The Indian lived - lived in every sense of the word - from his first to his last breath." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

"The two essential factors of progress: morality and knowledge." - Luigi Luzzatti

"Knowledge of the soul would unfailingly make us melancholy if the pleasures of expression did not keep us alert and of good cheer." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"Fear is like fire: If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled, it will rise up and destroy you. Men's actions depend a great deal upon fear. We do things either because we enjoy doing them or because we are afraid not to do them. This sort of fear has not relation to physical or moral courage. It is inspired by the knowledge that we are not adequately prepared to face the future and the events it may bring - poverty perhaps, or injury, or death." - John F. Milburn

"Greatness of soul is not so much mounting high and pressing forward, as knowing how to put oneself in order and circumscribe oneself. It regards as great all that is enough and shows its elevation by preferring moderate things to eminent ones. There is nothing so beautiful and just as to play the man well and fitly, nor any knowledge so arduous as to know how to live this life well and naturally; and of all our maladies the most barbarous is to despise our being." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. But yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, like Herillus the philosopher, who placed in it the sovereign good, and held that it was in its power to make us wise and content. That I do not believe, nor what others have said, that knowledge is the mother of all virtue, and all vice is produced by ignorance. If that is true, it is subject to a long interpretation." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Knowledge is an excellent drug; but no drug has virtue enough to preserve itself from corruption and decay, if the vessel be tainted and impure wherein it is put to keep." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Knowledge is the mother of all virtue; all vice proceeds from ignorance." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Lying is an ugly vice... Since mutual understanding is brought about solely by way of words, he who breaks his word betrays human society. It is the only instrument by means of which our wills and thoughts communicate, it is the interpreter of our soul. If it fails us, we have no more hold on each other, no more knowledge of each other. If it deceives us, it breaks up all our relations and dissolves all the bonds of our society." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Many persons, after they become learned cease to be good; all other knowledge is hurtful to him who has not the science of honesty and good nature." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge. We try all the ways that can lead us to it. When reason fails us, we use experience.. which is a weaker and less dignified means. But truth is so great a thing that we must not disdain any medium that will lead us to it." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"The sum and total of man’s ignorance lie in the misconception of the power that surround his identity. He must realize that though his intellect is but a grain in the sands of knowledge, yet hid in that grain is the essence of the Whole." - Mystical Script NULL

"Zeal without knowledge is like expedition to a man in the dark." - Joseph Fort Newton

"Man gains freedom only through the use of his highest faculties. Materialism makes him more and more a slave to the forces of the phenomenal world... Our present-day materialism points in this direction - that is, in the direction of the enslavement of man by mechanisation and by its direct results, by state organisations, uniformity, the sacrifice of independent intelligence, the sweeping away of individual differences, local customs, local diversity, and all the infinite branchings of humanity that enrich life... Man is made free by ‘truth’. The truth spoken here is equated with mind. This kind of truth begins with self-knowledge." - Maurice Nicoll

"The highest purpose of intellectual cultivation is, to give a man a perfect knowledge and mastery of his own inner self." -

"What is good” I asked in a musing mood. Order, said the law court; Knowledge said the school; Truth, said the wise man; Pleasure, said the fool; Love, said the maiden; Beauty, said the sage. Fame, said the soldier; Equity, said the seer. Spoke my heart sadly: “The answer is not here.” then within my bosom softly this I heard: “Each heart holds the secret: Kindness is the word.”" -

"No heart is empty of the humor of curiosity, the beggar being as attentive, in his station, to an increase of knowledge, as the prince." - Ronald E. Osborn

"You may glean knowledge by reading, but you must separate the chaff from the wheat by thinking." - Ronald E. Osborn

"If the physician understands things exactly and sees and recognizes all illnesses in the macrocosm outside man, and if he has a clear idea of man and his whole nature, then and only then is he a physician. Then he may approach the inside of man; then he may examine his urine, take his pulse, and understand where each thing belongs. This would not be possible without profound knowledge of the outer man, who is nothing other than heaven and earth." -

"Knowledge is the treasure, but judgment is the treasurer of a wise man." - William Penn

"Knowledge has three degrees: opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. To the last I subordinate reason. It is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known." - Plotinus NULL

"Knowledge, if it does not determine action, is dead to us." - Plotinus NULL

"Those divinely possessed and inspired have at least the knowledge that they hold some greater thing within them, though they cannot tell what it is; from the movements that stir them and the utterances that come from them they perceive the power, not themselves, that moves them: I the same way, it must be, we stand towards the Supreme when we hold nous pure; we know the Divine Mind within, that which gives Being and all else of that order: but we know, too, that other, know that it is none of these, but a nobler principle than anything we know as Being; fuller and greater; above reason, mind and feeling; conferring these powers, not to be confounded with them." - Plotinus NULL

"We ourselves possess beauty when we are true to our own being; our ugliness is in going over to another order; our self-knowledge, that is to say, is our beauty; in self-ignorance we are ugly." - Plotinus NULL

"Until man places on tolerance and open-mindedness a value equal to the value that he places on material possessions, he will continue to be stranded on an island surrounded by his own prejudices, ideas, preconceived opinions, and knowledge that is limited by the horizon of his own ignorance." - Cecil F. Poole

"Knowledge descries; wisdom applies." - Francis Quarles

"The height of all philosophy is to know thyself; and the end of this knowledge is to know God. Know thyself, that thou mayest know God; and know God, that thou mayest love him and be like him. In the one thou art initiated into wisdom; and in the other perfected in it." - Francis Quarles

"The great comprehensive truths, written in letters of living light on every page of our history, are these: Human happiness has no perfect security but freedom; freedom, none but virtue; virtue, none but knowledge; and neither freedom nor virtue has any vigor or immortal hope except the principles of the Christian faith..." - James H. Aughey

"If self-knowledge be a path to virtue, virtue is a much better one to self-knowledge. The more pure the soul becomes, it will, like certain precious stones that are sensible to the contact if poison, shrink from the fetid vapors of evil impressions." -

"We’re drowning in information and starving for knowledge." - Rutherford D. Rogers

"Education as a political weapon could not exist if we respected the rights of children. If we respected the rights of children, we should educate them so as to give them the knowledge and the mental habits required for forming independent opinions; but education as a political institution endeavors to form habits and to circumscribe knowledge in such a way as to make one set of opinions inevitable." -

"Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce. What it should produce is a belief that knowledge is attainable in a measure, though with difficulty; that much of what passes for knowledge at any given time is likely to be more or less mistaken, but that the mistakes can be rectified by care and industry... Knowledge, like other good things, is difficult, but not impossible; the dogmatist forgets the difficulty, the skeptic denies the possibility. Both are mistaken, and their errors, when widespread, produce social disaster." -

"Right conduct can never, except by some rare accident, be promoted by ignorance or hindered by knowledge." -

"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind... the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be." -

"Knowledge of ourselves teaches us whence we come, where we are and whither we are going. We come from God and we are in exile; and it is because our potency of affection tends towards God that we are aware of this state of exile." - John of Ruysbroeck, also St. John of Ruysbroeck, Jan van Ruusbroec, Jan (or Johannes) van Ruysbroeck NULL