Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"if we do not find new goals for ourselves and plan our transition from a growth-based economy to a healthy equilibrium economy, we will end up with a much less desirable " - Richard Heinberg

"On the ride back south, she tapped all the anger-management tricks they'd given her in job training. They played across her windshield like PowerPoint slides. Number One: It's not about you. Number Two: Your plan is not the world's. Number Three: The mind can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - Richard Powers

"I hate this fast growing tendency to chain men to machines in big factories and deprive them of all joy in their efforts - the plan will lead to cheap men and cheap products." - Richard Wagner, fully Wilhelm Richard Wagner

"I seemed to be the only person I knew without a plan that would put the world on its feet and wipe the tear from every eye." - Robertson Davies

"If I had my way books would not be written in English, but in an exceedingly difficult secret language that only skilled professional readers and story-tellers could interpret. Then people like you would have to go to public halls and pay good prices to hear the professionals decode and read the books aloud for you. This plan would have the advantage of scaring off all amateur authors, retired politicians, country doctors and I-Married-a-Midget writers who would not have the patience to learn the secret language." - Robertson Davies

"One receives the impression from his writings that he made it his plan to read any book whatever that no one else can bear to read." - Robertson Davies

"We ought to have a plan to bring our people home, ... I'm not suggesting any particular deadline, but I think our men and women ought to be brought home. The National Guard, in particular, ought to be here serving our country when we have storms like Katrina." - Robert Byrd, fully Robert Carlyle Byrd

"It may be that we should stop putting so much emphasis in our own minds on the monetary value of a college education and put more emphasis on the intangible social and cultural values to be derived from learning. The time may be coming when we will have to start accepting the idea that education is life, not merely a preparation for it." - Seymour E. Harris

"I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full-bloom from my brow -- they came from the heart of a great nation." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"It's time we reduced the federal budget and left the family budget alone." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"First, [the leaders] identified the adaptive challenge – the gap between aspirations and reality – and focused attention on the specific issues created by that gap. Recognizing that they were working with a problem that existing technical expertise could not solve satisfactorily, they shifted from giving authoritative solutions to a plan for managing people’s adaptive problem-solving." - Ronald A. Heifetz

"For Gandhi to challenge these ways of life demanded knowing them deeply, by experience, by operating close to the frontline, where the stakeholders of India lived. Gandhi could speak to people, to their hopes, fears, weaknesses, and needs because he spent time knowing them. He could touch and inspire people because they touched and inspired him." - Ronald A. Heifetz

"The more that social democracy develops, grows, and becomes stronger, the more the enlightened masses of workers will take their own destinies, the leadership of their movement, and the determination of its direction into their own hands." - Rosa Luxemburg, aka Rosalia Luxemburg, "Bloody Rosa"

"This silence, this moment, every moment, if it's genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There's nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, 'Be more silent.' Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"Whoever acts with respect will get respect." - Rumi, fully Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rumi NULL

"Basically, morphic fields are fields of habit, and they've been set up through habits of thought, through habits of activity, and through habits of speech. Most of our culture is habitual..." - Rupert Sheldrake, fully Alfred Rupert Sheldrake

"Our nation was created in ways that allow human potential to prosper, and it created the greatest nation for people in the history of humanity. Now Obama is dismantling it, because he has no appreciation for our greatness. In fact, he resents it. He blames this country for whatever evils he sees around the world." - Rush Limbaugh

"Don’t hold yourselves cheap, seeing that the creator of all things and of you estimates your value so high, so dear, that he pours out for you every day the most precious blood of his only-begotten Son." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"It is His good pleasure that we remain always in the holy joy of His love." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"I don't think there is a need for an entity like God in my life." - Salman Rushdie, fully Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie

"The trade union movement represents the organized economic power of the workers... It is in reality the most potent and the most direct social insurance the workers can establish." - Samuel Gompers

"The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The sin of smiling whilst Louise was weeping, the sin of shedding my own tears and not hers. The sin of being another being." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own." - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

"There's something in the human personality which resents things that are clear, and conversely, something which is attracted to puzzles, enigmas, and allegories." - Stanley Kubrick

"Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day." - Stephan Jay Gould

"In his anti-Darwinian book... (and eponymously named The Neck of the Giraffe), Francis Hitching tells the story... The need to survive by reaching ever higher for food is, like so many Darwinian explanations of its kind, little more than a post hoc speculation. Hitching is quite correct, but he rebuts a fairy story that Darwin was far too smart to tell - even though the tale later entered our high school texts as a classic case nonetheless." - Stephan Jay Gould

"To live in the present moment is a miracle. The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now." - Thich Nhất Hanh

"Indeed, he seemed to approach the grave as a hyperbolic curve approaches a straight line -- less directly as he got nearer, till it was doubtful if he would ever reach it at all." - Thomas Hardy

"It was that period in the vernal quarter when we may suppose the Dryads to be waking for the season. The vegetable world begins to move and swell and the saps to rise, till in the completest silence of lone gardens and trackless plantations, where everything seems helpless and still after the bond and slavery of frost, there are bustlings, strainings, united thrusts, and pulls-all-together, in comparison with which the powerful tugs of cranes and pulleys in a noisy city are but pigmy efforts." - Thomas Hardy

"Were I to commence my administration again, the first question I would ask respecting a candidate would be, Does he use ardent spirits?" - Thomas Jefferson

"Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." - Thomas Jefferson

"Let no one hope to find in contemplation an escape from conflict, from anguish or from doubt. On the contrary, the deep, inexpressible certitude of the contemplative experience awakens a tragic anguish and opens many questions in the depths of the heart like wounds that cannot stop bleeding. For every gain in deep certitude there is a corresponding growth of superficial ‘doubt.’ This doubt is by no means opposed to genuine faith, but it mercilessly examines and questions the spurious ‘faith’ of everyday life, the human faith which is nothing but the passive acceptance of conventional opinion." - Thomas Merton

"But when, in the first setting out, he takes it for granted without proof, that distinctions found in the structure of all languages, have no foundation in nature; this surely is too fastidious a way of treating the common sense of mankind." - Thomas Reid

"A Farmhouse on the Wei River - In the slant of the sun on the country-side, Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane; And a rugged old man in a thatch door Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy. There are whirring pheasants, full wheat-ears, Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves. And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders, Hail one another familiarly. ...No wonder I long for the simple life And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again." - Wang Wei, aka Wang Youcheng

"May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, the parting word shall pass my lips no more!" - William Cowper

"We live in an age of 'urge'. We do nothing till somebody shoves us." - Will Rogers, fully William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers

"The last war simplified the balance of political forces in the world by reducing them to two. For the first time, it made the power of the Communist sector of mankind (embodied in the Soviet Union) roughly equal to the power of the free sector of mankind (embodied in the United States). It made the collision of these powers all but inevitable. For the world wars did not end the crisis. They raised its tensions to a new pitch. They raised the crisis to a new stage. All the politics of our time, including the politics of war, will be the politics of this crisis." - Whittaker Chambers, born Jay Vivian Chambers, aka Jay David Whittaker Chambers

"You mold your character and your future by your thoughts and acts." - Wilferd Peterson, fully Wilferd Arlan Peterson

"The major asset in this category is gold, currently a huge favorite of investors who fear almost all other assets, especially paper money (of whose value, as noted, they are right to be fearful). Gold, however, has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor procreative. True, gold has some industrial and decorative utility, but the demand for these purposes is both limited and incapable of soaking up new production. Meanwhile, if you own one ounce of gold for an eternity, you will still own one ounce at its end." - Warren Buffett, fully Warren Edward Buffett, aka Oracle of Omaha

"Spend some time observing babies and vow to emulate their joy." - Wayne Dyer, fully Wayne Walter Dyer

"We had entered an era of limitlessness, or the illusion thereof, and this in itself is a sort of wonder. My grandfather lived a life of limits, both suffered and strictly observed, in a world of limits. I learned much of that world from him and others, and then I changed; I entered the world of labor-saving machines and of limitless cheap fossil fuel. It would take me years of reading, thought, and experience to learn again that in this world limits are not only inescapable but indispensable." - Wendell Berry

"Yes, interest! The worm of interest. Are you surprised? No? Yes? One conclusion I have reached here after a year in my cell is that the only emotion people feel nowadays is interest or the lack of it. Curiosity and interest and boredom have replaced the so-called emotions we used to read about in novels or see registered on actors' faces. Even the horrors of the age translate into interest. Did you ever watch anybody pick up a newspaper and read the headline PLANE CRASH KILLS THREE HUNDRED? How horrible! says the reader. But look at him when he hands you the paper. Is he horrified? No, he is interested. When is the last time you saw anybody horrified?" - Walker Percy

"To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Who does not love freedom and truth can become a powerful man, but great – never." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Whoever lives sincerely and encounters much trouble and disappointment without being bowed down is worth more than one who has always sailed before the wind and has only known prosperity." - Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

"No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"The leap is made by dropping vanity over knowledge and by a willingness to become nothing in order to become everything." - Vernon Howard, fully Vernon Linwood Howard

"To put everything in balance is good, to put everything in harmony is better." - Victor Hugo