Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Thomas Hobbes

For... what liberty is; there can no other proof be offered but every man’s own experience, by reflection on himself, and remembering what he useth in his mind, that is, what he himself meaneth when he saith an action... is free. Now he that reflecteth so on himself, cannot but be satisfied... that a free agent is he that can do if he will, and forbear if he will; and that liberty is the absence of external impediments. But to those that out of custom speak not what they conceive, but what they heard, and are not able, or will not take the pains to consider what they think when they hear such words, no argument can be sufficient, because experience and matter of fact are not verified by other men’s arguments, but by every man’s own sense and memory.

Absence | Action | Argument | Character | Custom | Experience | Liberty | Man | Memory | Men | Mind | Reflection | Sense | Will | Words | Think |

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Life is a romantic business. It is painting a picture, not doing a sum; but you have to make the romance, and it will come to the question how much fire you have in your belly.

Business | Character | Life | Life | Question | Romance | Will |

Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

It is not a question how much a man knows, but what use he makes of what he knows; not a question of what he has acquired, but how he has been trained, but of what he is, and what he can do.

Character | Man | Question |

Max Horkheimer

Good will, solidarity and wretchedness, and the struggle for a better world have now thrown off their religious garb. The attitude of today’s martyrs is no longer patience but action; their goal is no longer their own immortality in the after-life but the happiness of men who come after them for whom they know how to die.

Action | Better | Character | Good | Immortality | Life | Life | Martyrs | Men | Patience | Struggle | Will | World | Happiness |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Immortality is participation in the eternal now of the divine Ground: survival is persistence in one of the forms of time. Immortality is the result of total deliverance.

Character | Eternal | Immortality | Persistence | Survival | Time |

William James

The problem with the man is less what act he shall now choose to do, than what being he shall now resolve to become.

Character | Man |

Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

Consumption, celebrity and the quest for perfection in this world are all subject to the law of diminishing returns: each successive acquisition and achievement will mean less than the one before. Diminishing returns are finally leading to diminished expectations about the promise of finding happiness without caring for our souls. Perhaps we are now ready to reject the hucksters of materialisms that have lured us down so many dead ends, and start again on the road that will lead us back to God.

Achievement | Character | Ends | God | Law | Perfection | Promise | Will | World | Happiness |

David Hume

Reason is the discovery of truth or falsehood. Truth or falsehood consists in an agreement or disagreement either to the real relations of ideas, or to real existence and matter of fact. Whatever, therefore, is not susceptible of this agreement or disagreement, is incapable of being true or false, and can never be an object of our reason. Now ‘tis evident our passions, volitions, and actions, are not susceptible of any such agreement or disagreement; being original facts and realities, complete in themselves, and implying no reference to other passions, volitions, and actions. ‘Tis impossible, therefore, they can be pronounced either true or false, and be either contrary or conformable to reason.

Character | Disagreement | Discovery | Existence | Falsehood | Ideas | Object | Reason | Truth | Discovery |

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Knowledge of what is happening now does not determine the event. What is ordinarily called God’s foreknowledge is in reality a timeless now-knowledge, which is compatible with the freedom of the human creature’s will in time.

Character | Freedom | God | Knowledge | Reality | Time | Will |

Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

I began to accept that the meaning of life, even the purpose of the pain that accompanies it, would be found not in the question I asked of life, but in the questions life asked of me.

Character | Life | Life | Meaning | Pain | Purpose | Purpose | Question |

Gloria D. Karpinski

We draw to ourselves what we really want, not what we think we want. It’s not a bad idea to ask ourselves now and then, Whose truth are we living? Whose dream are we dreaming?

Character | Truth | Think |

Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

I have often seen individuals who simply outgrow a problem which had destroyed others. This ‘outgrowing’, revealed itself on further experience to be the raising of the level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through the widening of his view, the insoluble problem, lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out in contrast to a new and strong life-tendency. It was not repressed and made unconscious, but merely appeared in a different light, and so became different itself. What, on a lower level, had led the wildest conflicts and emotions full of panic, viewed from the higher level of the personality, now seemed like a storm in the valley seen from a high mountain top. This does not mean that the thunderstorm is robbed of its reality; it means that instead of being in it, one is now above it.

Character | Consciousness | Contrast | Emotions | Experience | Life | Life | Light | Means | Panic | Personality | Reality |

Petra Kelly, fully Petra Karin Kelley

Since human beings have a moral conscience, a spiritual self and a physical self, we can choose among various options. And we are responsible for the consequences of our choices. We can put the common interests of humankind above the conflicts of ideological, racial, religious and national groups. We can bring together thought and feeling, politics and moral values, women and men, the underprivileged and the privileged.... The essence of life is to search for happiness. To realize this end, we must become one with the human family, one with the universe... We should live as if we were to die today. We should die as if we live forever.

Character | Conscience | Consequences | Family | Life | Life | Men | Politics | Search | Self | Thought | Universe | Thought |

Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not?... Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest on futilities.

Character | Man | Question |

Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

Subjectivity is the truth. By virtue of the relationship subsisting between the eternal truth and the existing individual, the paradox came into being. Let us now go further, let us suppose that the eternal essential truth is itself a paradox. How does the paradox come into being? By putting the eternal essential truth into juxtaposition with existence. Hence when we posit such a conjunction with the truth itself, the truth becomes a paradox. The eternal truth has come into being in time: this is the paradox.

Character | Eternal | Existence | Individual | Paradox | Relationship | Time | Truth | Virtue | Virtue |

Kaufmann Kohler

The first question at the Last Judgment will be: Did you deal honestly with your fellow man?

Character | Judgment | Man | Question | Will |

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?

Altruism | Character | Darkness | Judgment | Life | Life | Light | Man | Question | Selfishness | Will |

John Locke

Every one is forward to complain of the prejudices that mislead other men and parties, as if he were free, and had none of his own. What now is the cure? No other but this, that every man should let alone others' prejudices and examine his own.

Character | Man | Men |

Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre

Man is in his actions and practice, as well as in his fictions, essentially a story-telling animal. He is not essentially, but becomes through is history, a teller of stories that aspire to truth. But the key question for men is not about their own authorship; I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question, ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’ We enter human society, that is, with one or more imputed characters - roles into which we have been drafted - and we have to learn what they are in order to be able to understand how others respond to us and how our responses to them are a part to be construed... Deprive children of stories and you leave them unscripted, anxious strutters in their actions as in their words. Hence there is no way to give us an understanding of any society, including our own, except through the stock of stories which constitute its initial dramatic resource. Mythology, in its original sense, is at the heart of things. Vico was right and so was Joyce. And so too of course is that moral tradition fro heroic society to its medieval heirs according to which the telling of stories has a key part in educating us into the virtues.

Character | Children | Heart | History | Man | Men | Order | Practice | Question | Right | Sense | Society | Story | Tradition | Truth | Understanding | Words | Society | Learn | Understand |