Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded.

Better | Character | Despise | Evil | Happy | Human nature | Illusion | Individual | Life | Life | Mankind | Men | Nature | Pity | Think |

Jean de La Bruyère

Politeness does not always evince goodness, equity, complaisance, or gratitude, but it gives at least the appearance of these qualities, and makes man appear outwardly as he should be within.

Appearance | Character | Equity | Gratitude | Man | Qualities |

Hugh Blair

Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age; its first appearance is the fatal omen of growing depravity and future shame. It degrades parts and learning obscures the luster of every accomplishment and sinks us into contempt. The path of falsehood is a perplexing maze. After the first departure from sincerity, it is not in our power to stop; one artifice unavoidably leads on to another, till, as the intricacy of the labyrinth increases, we are left entangled in our snare.

Accomplishment | Age | Appearance | Artifice | Character | Contempt | Falsehood | Future | Learning | Old age | Perfidy | Power | Shame | Sincerity | Youth | Youth | Old |

Richard Cecil

Hypocrisy is folly. It is much easier, safer, and pleasanter to be the thing which a man aims to appear, than to keep up the appearance of what he is not.

Aims | Appearance | Character | Folly | Hypocrisy | Man |

Martin Esslin, fully Martin Julius Esslin

The dignity of man lies in his ability to face reality in all its meaninglessness.

Ability | Character | Dignity | Man | Reality |

Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

In reality a major part of pleasure in obtaining things is overcoming the obstructions that stood in our way. Once we realize this, we will be able to decrease our desire for those things that are spiritually or physically harmful just by examining them objectively and seeing that we are not missing so much. At the same time, we can gain more pleasure from spiritual accomplishments by focusing on how much we are missing in this area and can feel the sense of accomplishment in overcoming the necessary difficulties.

Accomplishment | Character | Desire | Pleasure | Reality | Sense | Time | Will |

Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

Much on earth is hidden from us, but to make up for that we have been given a precious mystic sense of our living bond with the other world, with the higher heavenly world, and the roots of our thoughts and feelings are not here but in other worlds. That is why the philosophers say that we cannot apprehend the reality of things on earth.

Character | Earth | Feelings | Reality | Sense | World |

Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

Some people gauge their value by what they own. But in reality the entire concept of ownership of possessions is based on an illusion. When you obtain a material object, it does not become part of you. Ownership is merely your right to use specific objects whenever you wish and that no one has a right to take them away from you. How unfortunate is the person who has an ambition to cleave to something impossible to cleave to. Such a person will not obtain what he desires and will experience suffering.

Ambition | Character | Experience | Illusion | Object | People | Possessions | Reality | Right | Suffering | Will | Ambition | Value |

Edicts of Ashoka NULL

He who does reverence to his own sect, while disparaging the sects of others wholly from attachment to his own, with intent to enhance the glory of his own sect, in reality by such conduct inflicts the severest injury on his own sect. Concord therefore is meritorious, to wit, hearkening and hearkening willingly to the Law of Piety, as accepted by other people.

Character | Conduct | Glory | Law | People | Piety | Reality | Reverence | Wit |

François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

There is no more dangerous illusion than the fancies by which people try to avoid illusion. It is imagination which leads us astray; and the certainty which we seek through imagination, feeling, and taste, is one of the most dangerous sources from which fanaticism springs.

Character | Fanaticism | Illusion | Imagination | People | Taste |

Henry Fielding

Affectation proceeds from one of these two causes - vanity or hypocrisy; for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters, in order to purchase applause; so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavor to avoid censure, by concealing our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues.

Affectation | Appearance | Applause | Censure | Character | Hypocrisy | Order |

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set at night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere.

Character | Eternity | Light | Reality | Soul | Will | Wisdom |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

The unconscious is the true psychic reality; in its inner nature it is just as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly communicated to us by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the reports of our sense-organs.

Character | Consciousness | Nature | Reality | Sense | World |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

What we give out as scientific truth is only the product of our own needs and desires, as they are formulated under varying external conditions; that is to say, it is illusion once more. Ultimately we find only what we need to find, and see only what we desire to see. We can do nothing else. And since the criterion of truth, correspondence with an external world, disappears, it is absolutely immaterial what views we accept. All of them are equally true and false. And no one has a right to accuse any one else of error.

Character | Desire | Error | Illusion | Need | Nothing | Right | Truth | World |

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The longing for certainty and repose is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion and repose is not the destiny of man.

Character | Destiny | Illusion | Longing | Man | Mind | Repose |

John P. Grier

The function of values is to give us the illusion of purpose in life.

Character | Illusion | Life | Life | Purpose | Purpose |

Robert Hall

Corrupt as men are, they are yet so much the creatures of reflection, and so strongly addicted to sentiments of right and wrong, that their attachment to a public cause can rarely be secured, or their animosity be kept alive, unless their understandings are engaged by some appearance of truth and rectitude.

Appearance | Cause | Character | Men | Public | Reflection | Right | Truth | Wrong |

Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

The grand difficulty is to feel the reality of both worlds, so as to give each its due place in our thoughts and feelings, to keep our mind’s eye and our heart’s eye ever fixed on the land of promise, without looking away from the road along which we are to travel toward it.

Character | Difficulty | Feelings | Heart | Land | Mind | Promise | Reality |

Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

Each is driven by the most relentless, persistent instinct man possesses: the instinct for meaning, transcendence, wholeness and truth... Reality is a continuum that extends from thinking to the denser world of physical form.

Character | Instinct | Man | Meaning | Reality | Thinking | Truth | Wholeness | World |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

It is in the light of our beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality that we formulate our conceptions of right and wrong; and it is in the light of our conceptions of right and wrong that we frame our conduct.

Character | Conduct | Light | Nature | Reality | Right | Wrong |