Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"A good conscience is to the soul what health is to the body; it preserves constant ease and serenity within us; and more than countervails all the calamities and afflictions which can befall us from without." - Joseph Addison

"Philosophy as practice does not mean its restriction to utility or applicability, that is, to what serves morality or produces serenity of soul." - Karl Jaspers, fully Karl Theodor Jaspers

"And joy is everywhere; It is in the Earth's green covering of grass; In the blue serenity of the Sky; In the reckless exuberance of Spring; In the severe abstinence of grey Winter; In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame; In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright; In Living; In the exercise of all our powers; In the acquisition of Knowledge; In fighting evils... Joy is there Everywhere." -

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me." - Michael S. Josephson

"The body should be triangular, the mind circular. The triangle represents the generation of energy and is the most stable physical posture. The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited techniques. The square stands for solidity, the basis of applied control. " - Morihei Ueshiba

"If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work...the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp. The light from a desk a cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious." - Muriel Spark, fully Dame Muriel Sarah Camberg Spark

"Ultimate serenity is the coming to rest of all ways of taking things, the repose of named things; no truth has been taught by a Buddha for anyone, anywhere." - Nāgārjuna, fully Acharya Nāgārjuna NULL

"Death is the point at which knowledge fails, and when knowledge fails, mind fails. And when mind fails, there is a possibility of truth penetrating you. But people don’t know. When somebody dies you don’t know what to do, you are very embarrassed. When somebody dies it is a great moment to meditate. I always think that each city needs a Death Center. When somebody is dying and his death is very, very imminent he should be moved to the Death Center. It should be a small temple where people who can go deep in meditation should sit around him, should help him to die, and should participate in his being when he disappears into nothing. If you are identified with anything, you will suffer death. Life has to be a joy, a dance, a celebration. And when death comes, it has to be welcomed with silence, with serenity — wholeheartedly, not holding anything back. This is a way to kill death itself." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? " - Patañjali NULL

"Now an extraordinary and helpful fact is that by making Mind the object of our attention, not only does the serenity which is its nature begin to well up of its own accord but its steady unchanging character itself helps spontaneously to repel all disturbing thoughts. " - Paul Brunton, born Hermann Hirsch, wrote under various pseudonyms including Brunton Paul, Raphael Meriden and Raphael Delmonte

"Too much stress cannot be laid...upon the admonition that we seek so far as possible to live in the lives of other people. By sharing in the misfortunes of others, and rejoicing in their happiness, you add to your own emotional serenity and stability. " - Ralph A. Habas, fully Ralph Alfred Habas

"All men who live with any degree of serenity live by some assurance of grace." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that can be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other" - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"Hence, it is true to say that the citizens of earth and heaven are united in the celebration of this Council. The role of the saints in heaven is to supervise our labors; the role of the faithful on earth, to offer concerted prayer to God; your role, to show prompt obedience to the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit and to do your utmost to answer the needs and expectations of every nation on earth. To do this you will need serenity of mind, a spirit of brotherly concord, moderation in your proposals, dignity in discussion, and wisdom in deliberation. God grant that your zeal and your labors may abundantly fulfill these aspirations. The eyes of the world are upon you; and all its hopes. " - Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, aka Vatican II

"Venerable Brothers, Mother Church rejoices that by the singular gift of Divine Providence, the long awaited day has finally dawned. Here at St Peter’s tomb, under the auspices of the Virgin Mother of God... the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is solemnly opened... ‘The greatest concern of the ecumenical Council is that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more effectively. That doctrine embraces the whole of man, body and soul. And since man is a pilgrim on this earth, it commands him to move steadily towards heaven... it is necessary that the Church should never depart from the sacred treasure of the truth inherited from the fathers. But at the same time, she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life in the modern world, which have opened new avenues to the Catholic apostolate... ‘The substance of the ancient doctrine of the Deposit of Faith is one thing, but the way in which it is presented is another." - Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, aka Vatican II

"What each individual really needs can only be known by himself; what he should contribute he can determine through his insight into the situation as a whole." - Rudolf Steiner, fully Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner

"For too long the issue of government aid to church related organizations has been a divisive force in our society and in the Congress. It has erected communication barriers among our religions and fostered intolerance." - Sam Ervin, fully Samuel James "Sam" Ervin, Jr.

"When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight." - Thich Nhất Hanh

"Religion fails if it cannot speak to men as they are." - William Barclay

"Power dements even more than it corrupts, lowering the guard of foresight and raising the haste of action." - Will Durant, fully William James "Will" Durant

"The easiest thing to do, whenever you fail, is to put yourself down by blaming your lack of ability for your misfortunes." - Washington Irving

"Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others." - Wayne Dyer, fully Wayne Walter Dyer

"Your IQ is an illusion. You can change that number around drastically by changing what is on the tests." - Wayne Dyer, fully Wayne Walter Dyer

"The beginning is perhaps more difficult than anything else, but keep heart, it will turn out all right." - Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

"What can we say if once the hidden forces of sympathy and love have been roused in us?" - Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

"There was a star riding through clouds one night, and I said to the star, 'Consume me'." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"All the crimes of man begin with the vagrancy of childhood." - Victor Hugo

"As the health and strength or weakness of our bodies is very much owing to their methods of treating us when we were young, so the soundness or folly of our minds is not less owing to those first tempers and ways of thinking which we eagerly received from the love, tenderness, authority, and constant conversation of our mothers." - William Law

"The truth is on the march and nothing will stop it." - Emile Zola