Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"The natural object is always adequate symbol." -

"Justice is that which is most primitive in the human soul, most fundamental in society, most sacred among ideas, and what the masses demand today with most ardor. It is the essence of religions and at the same time the form of reason, the secret object of faith, and the beginning, middle and end of knowledge. What can be imagined more universal, more strong, more complete than justice?" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

"Perception, as we here understand it, hath always an object distinct from the at by which it is perceived; an object which may exist whether it be perceived or not. I perceive a tree that grows before my window; there is here an object which is perceived, and an act of the mind by which it is perceived; and these two are not only distinguishable, but they are extremely unlike in their natures." - Paul Reichmann

"There are two kinds of constancy in love: one results from ever finding fresh qualities to admire in the object of our love; the other results from taking a pride in our own loyalty." -

"If you are possessed by so great a craving for life, reflect that the things which vanish from our gaze... are not annihilated: they merely end their course and do not perish. And death, which we far and shrink from, merely interrupts life but does not take it away. The day will return when we shall be restored to the light. Many would object to this, but they are returned without memory. I mean to show you later that everything which seems to perish merely changes. Since you are destined to return, depart with a tranquil mind." -

""Keep aloof from sadness," says an Icelandic writer, "for sadness is a sickness of the soul." Life has, indeed, many ills, but the mind that views every object in its most cheering aspect, and every doubtful dispensation as replete with latent good, bears within itself a powerful and perpetual antidote. The gloomy soul aggravates misfortune, while a cheerful smile often dispels those mists that portend a storm." - Lydia Sigourney, fully Lydia Huntley Sigourney, née Lydia Howard Huntley

"The real object of education is to give children resources that will endure as long as life endures; habits that time will ameliorate, not destroy; occupation that will render sickness tolerable, solitude pleasant, age venerable, life more dignified and useful, and death less terrible." - Sydney Smith

"As the love of God is man's highest happiness and blessedness, and the ultimate end and aim of all human actions, it follows that he alone lives by the Divine law who loves God not from fear of punishment, or from love of any other object... but solely because he has knowledge of God." -

"The ultimate aim of Government is not to rule or restrain by fear, not to exact obedience, but on the contrary, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself and others. The object of government is not to hang men from rational beings into puppets, but to enable them to develop their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled... The true aim of Government is liberty." -

"The greed of gain has no time or limit to its capaciousness. Its one object is to produce and consume. It has pity neither for beautiful nature nor for living human beings. It is ruthlessly ready without a moment's hesitation to crush beauty and life out of them, molding them into money." -

"The object of education is to give man the unity of truth... I believe in a spiritual world - not as anything separate from this world - but as its innermost truth. With the breath we draw we must always feel this truth, that we are living in God. Born in this great world, full of the mystery of the infinite, we cannot accept our existence as a momentary outburst of chance drifting on the current of matter toward an eternal nowhere. We cannot look upon our lives as dreams of a dreamer who has no awakening in all time. We have a personality to which matter and force are unmeaning unless related to something infinitely personal, whose nature we have discovered, in some measure, in human love, in the greatness of the good, in the martyrdom of heroic souls, in the ineffable beauty of nature which can never be a mere physical fact nor anything but an expression of personality." -

"We can look upon a road from two different points of view. One regards it as dividing us from the object of desire; in that case we count every step of our journey over it as something attained by force in the face of obstruction. The other sees it as the road which leads us to our destination; and as such is part of our goal. It is already the beginning of our attainment, and by journeying over it we can only gain that which in itself it offers to us." -

"Life is a place of service, and in that service one has to suffer a great deal that is hard to bear, but more often to experience a great deal of joy. But that joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." -

"I have said that the soul is not more than the body, and I have said that the body is not more than the soul, and nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's self is, and whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud, and I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth, and to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times, and there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero, and there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheel'd universe, and I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God, for I who am curious about each am not curious about God, (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and about death.) I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least, nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself. Why should I wish to see God better than this day? I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, in the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass, I find letters from God dropt in the street, and everyone is sign'd by God's name, and I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go, others will punctually come for ever and ever. " - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Nothing is ever really lost, or can be lost, no birth, identity, form - no object of the world. Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing; appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain. Ample are time and space - ample the fields of Nature. The body, sluggish, aged, cold - the embers left from earlier fires, the sun now low in the west rises for mornings and for noons continual; to frozen clods ever the spring’s invisible law returns, with grass and flower and fruits and corn." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"The poet is the equable man, not in him but off from him things are grotesque, eccentric, fail of their full returns, nothing out of its place is good, nothing in its place is bad, he bestows on every object or quality its fit proportion, neither more nor less, he is the arbiter of the diverse, he is the key... As he sees the farthest he has the most faith, his thoughts are the hymns of the praise of things, in the dispute on God and eternity he is silent, he sees eternity less like a play with a prologue and denouement, he sees eternity in men and women, he does not see men and women as dreams or dots." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"The object of war is peace." - Henry Merritt Wriston

"All neurotic symptoms have as their object the task of safeguarding the patient’s self-esteem." -

"The first sign of love to God is not to be afraid of death, and to be always waiting for it. For death unites the friend to his friend - the seeker to the object which he seeks." - Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali

"The object of art is to give life a shape." -

"Violence never settles anything right: apart from injuring your own soul, it injures the best cause. It lingers on long after the object of hate has disappeared from the scene to plague the lives of those who have employed it against their foes." - Obafemi Awolowo, fully Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo, commonly known as Awo

"The most characteristic mark of a great mind is to choose some one important object, and pursue it for life." - Anna Letitia Barbauld

"The object of government in peace and in war is not the glory of rulers or of races, but the happiness of the common man." - William Henry Beveridge

"The world is full of paradox. For example, [in Buddhism] though no notion of a creator is entertained, great stress is laid upon the need for faith and piety. By faith is meant not trust in a benevolent diety avid for love, praise and obedience, but conviction that beyond the seeming reality misreported by our senses which is inherently unsatisfactory, lies a mystery which, when intuitively unsatisfactory, lies a mystery which, when intuitively perceived, will give our lives undreamed-of meaning and endow the most insignificant object with holiness and beauty." - John Blofeld, fully John Eaton Calthorpe Blofeld

"Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one’s anger, the more so when the provocation is extreme. For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others." -

"In spite of the fact that religion looks backward to revealed truth while science looks forward to new vistas and discoveries, both activities produce a sense of awe and a curious mixture of humility and arrogance in practitioners. All great scientists are inspired by the subtlety and beauty of the natural world that they are seeking to understand. Each new subatomic particle, every unexpected object, produces delight and wonderment. In constructing their theories, physicists are frequently guided by arcane concepts of elegance in the belief that the universe is intrinsically beautiful." - Paul Davies

"Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last. Imagine that you are doing this but that it is essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature…. in order to found that edifice on its unavenged tears. Would you consent to be the architect on those conditions?" -

"The object and aim of all divine commands is to love God truly, and to cleave to him." -

"A love that does not discriminate seems to me to forfeit a part of its own value, by doing an injustice to its object; and secondly, not all men are worthy of love." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"It is earnestly desired that each man should be wise enough to govern himself without the intervention of any compulsory restraint; and, since government, even in its best state, is an evil, the object principally to be aimed at is that we should have as little of it as the general peace of human society permit." - William Godwin

"Man knows himself only to the extent that he knows the world. Every fresh object, contemplated with deliberation, opens a new faculty within us. Steiner: The truth is exactly the reverse, man knows the world to the extent to which he knows himself." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"How does one find Reality? Truth is radical subjectivity. With the collapse of the illusions of duality, including the supposed `reality’ of a separate `self’, there remains only the state of the Infinite `I’, which is the manifestation of the Unmanifest as the Self. There is neither subject nor object. Like infinite space, there is no distance, time, duration, or locality. All prevails simultaneously. All is self-evident, self-aware, self-revealing, and total." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"Love is beyond duality; it does not need a subject or an object. It is a quality of Reality which is independent of circumstances." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the pubic interests… Call them… Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or whatever name you please, they are the same parties still, and pursue the same object." - Thomas Jefferson

"The world is sacred. It can’t be improved. If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it. If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it... The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"To secure to each laborer the whole product of his labor, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government." - Abraham Lincoln

"The purpose of the Holy Life does not consist in acquiring alms [or] honor... nor in gaining morality [or] concentration... That unshakable deliverance of the heart: that indeed, is the object of the Holy Life, that is its essence, that is its goal." - Majjhima Nikāya

"Deity cannot be understood through a knowledge of timeless qualities of goodness and perfection, but only by sensing the living acts of God’s concern and his dynamic attentiveness in relation to man, who is the passionate object of his interest." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"Fear is the anticipation and expectation of evil or pain, as contrasted with hope which is the anticipation of good. Awe, on the other hand, is the sense of wonder and humility inspired by the sublime or felt in the presence of mystery. Fear is “a surrender of the succors which reason offers,” awe is the acquisition of insights which the world holds in store for us. Awe, unlike fear, does not make us shrink from the awe-inspiring object, but, on the contrary, draws us near to it. That is why awe is compatible with both love and joy." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"The object of this life is not death but a greater expression of life." - Baird T. Spalding

"All who allow themselves a wrong liberty make themselves their own aim and object." - Henry Suso

"Beyond the senses are the objects; beyond the object is the mind. Beyond the mind is the intellect; beyond the intellect is the unmanifest. This is the end. There is nothing beyond." - Katha Upanishad

"What did grieve me was the idea of being excluded from the transcendent kingdom to which only the truly great has access and wherein truth abides. I preferred to die rather than live with that truth… [the very moment of death] was the centre and object of life… the instant when, for an infinitesimal fraction of time, pure truth, naked, certain and eternal, enters the soul." - Simone Weil

"Quantum theory requires us to give up the idea that the electron, or any other object, has, by itself, any intrinsic properties at all." - David Bohm, fully David Joseph Bohm

"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing." - Thomas Edison, fully Thomas Alva Edison

"Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an orientation of character which determines the relatedness of a person to the world as a whole, not toward one "object" of love." -

"The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish good results while the strongest, by dispersing his effort over many chores, may fail to accomplish anything." - Og Mandino

"The modern era, dedicated to repeatable experimental data, buried something valuable that cannot be resurrected by scientific language: namely, the qualities of knowing that rely on unification between an observer and the object observed." - Helen Palmer

"An object in possession seldom retains the same charm it had in pursuit." -