Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: it has to be shattered before being ascertained.

Chance | Genius | History | Madness | Nations | Ugly |

Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

Optimism, said Cacambo, What is that? Alas! replied Candide, It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.

Madness |

Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.

Dreams | Madness | Man | Murder | Murder |

Vimala Thakar

There have been superficial blendings, as spiritual groups take up social service work and social activists join religious organizations, but a real integration of social action and spirituality at a deep, innovative level has not yet happened to any significant degree. The history of human development has been fragmentary, and the majority of people have been content with the fragmentation. It has the sanction of society. Each fragment of society has its own set of values. Among many social activists, anger, hatred, violence, bitterness, and cynicism are accepted norms, even though the effectiveness of these motivations for peaceful living has been seriously put in doubt. And indifference to the needs of the poor has had shocking acceptance among generations of spiritual people who considered higher states of consciousness much more significant than the misery of the starving millions.

Awakening | Madness | People | Security | Suicide | World |

Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.

Madness |

Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

But if sleep it was, of what nature, we can scarcely refrain from asking, are such sleeps as these? Are they remedial measures—trances in which the most galling memories, events that seem likely to cripple life forever, are brushed with a dark wing which rubs their harshness off and gilds them, even the ugliest, and basest, with a lustre, an incandescence? Has the finger of death to be laid on the tumult of life from time to time lest it rend us asunder? Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living? And then what strange powers are these that penetrate our most secret ways and change our most treasured possessions without our willing it? Had Orlando, worn out by the extremity of his suffering, died for a week, and then come to life again? And if so, of what nature is death and of what nature life?

Day | Heart | Madness | Nothing | Will |

Zoroaster, aka Zarathustra or Zarathushtra Spitama NULL

Things divine are not attainable by mortals who understand sensual things.

Madness | Reason |

Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

You have been reading Byron. You have been marking the passages that seem to approve of your own character. I find marks against all those sentences which seem to express a sardonic yet passionate nature; a moth-like impetuosity dashing itself against hard glass. You thought, as you drew your pencil there, I too throw off my cloak like that. I too snap my fingers in the face of destiny. Yet Byron never made tea as you do, who fill the pot so that when you put the lid on the tea spills over. There is a brown pool on the table - it is running among your books and papers. Now you mop it up, clumsily, with your pocket-handkerchief. You then stuff your handkerchief back into your pocket - that is not Byron; that is you; that is so essentially you that if I think of you in twenty years' time, when we are both famous, gouty and intolerable, it will be by that scene: and if you are dead, I shall weep.

Madness | Think |

Virgil, also Vergil, fully Publius Vergilius Maro NULL

The man you seek is here. I stand before you, Trojan Aeneas, torn from Libyan waves. O you who were alone in taking pity on the unutterable trials of Troy, who welcome us as allies to your city and home- a remnant left by Greeks, harassed by all disasters known on land and sea.

Madness | Order |

Tibullus, fully Albius Tibullus NULL

When thou art preparing to commit a sin, think not that thou wilt conceal it; there is a God that forbids crimes to be hidden.

Death | Madness |

William Shakespeare

And wet his grave with my repentant tears.

Madness |

William Havard

O credulity, thou hast as many ears as fame has tongues, open to every sound of truth as of falsehood.

Love | Madness | Moderation | Public | Moderation |

Douglas Adams, fully Douglas Noel Adams

Zaphod left the controls for Ford to figure out, and lurched over to Arthur. Look, Earthman, he said angrily, you've got a job to do, right? The Question to the Ultimate Answer, right? What, that thing? said Arthur, I thought we'd forgotten about that. Not me, baby. Like the mice said, it's worth a lot of money in the right quarters. And it's all locked up in that head thing of yours. Yes but ... But nothing! Think about it. The Meaning of Life! We get our fingers on that we can hold every shrink in the Galaxy up to ransom, and that's worth a bundle. I owe mine a mint. Arthur took a deep breath without much enthusiasm. Alright, he said, but where do we start? How should I know? They say the Ultimate Answer or whatever is Forty-two, how am I supposed to know what the question is? It could be anything. I mean, what's six times seven? Zaphod looked at him hard for a moment. Then his eyes blazed with excitement. Forty-two! he cried. Arthur wiped his palm across his forehead. Yes, he said patiently, I know that. Zaphod's faces fell. I'm just saying that the question could be anything at all, said Arthur, and I don't see how I am meant to know.

Madness |

François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

Love can no more continue without a constant motion than fire can; and when once you take hope and fear away, you take from it its very life and being.

Doubt | Madness |

François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

Sometimes there are accidents in our lives the skillful extrication from which demands a little folly.

Life | Life | Little | Madness | Need |

William Shakespeare

O you mighty gods! This world I do renounce, and in your sights shake patiently my great affliction off. If I could bear it longer, and not fall to quarrel with your great opposeless wills, my snuff and loathed part of nature should burn itself out.

Example | Fear | Good | Kill | Madness | Man | Men | Trust | Wonder |

William Shakespeare

Oh, thou did'st then ne'er love so heartily. If thou rememb'rest not the slightest folly that ever love did make thee run inot, thou has not loved. Of if thou has't not sat as I do now, wearying they hearer in thy mistress's praise, thou has not loved. Of if thou hast not broke from company abruptly, as my passion now makes me, thou has not loved.

Madness |

Elizabeth Gilbert

The karmic philosophy appeals to me on a metaphorical level because even in ones lifetime it's obvious how often we must repeat our same mistakes, banging our heads against the same ole addictions and compulsions, generating the same old miserable and often catastrophic consequences, until we can finally stop and fix it. This is the supreme lesson of karma ( and also of western psychology, by the way)- take care of the problem now, or else you'll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering-that's hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understanding-there's where you'll find heaven.

Balance | Darkness | Difficulty | Light | Madness | Present |

Elizabeth Gilbert

When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It's safe. Let go.

Madness |

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain, and troubles swarm like bees about a hive; I shall believe the heights for which I strive are only reached by anguish and by pain; and though I groan and tremble with my crosses, I yet shall see, through my severest losses, the greater gain.

Ends | Fate | Madness | Fate |