Great Throughts Treasury

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

Related Quotes

Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Ambition | Character | Experience | Quiet | Soul | Success | Suffering | Vision | Ambition | Trial |

Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world’s condemnation, a mother still loves on and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy.

Character | Childhood | Evil | Experience | Father | Good | Happy | Life | Life | Love | Mother | Promise | World | Youth | Child | Think |

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 |

Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

It is a true observation of ancient writers, that as men are apt to be cast down by adversity, so they are easily satiated with prosperity, and that joy and grief produce the same effects. For whenever men are not obliged by necessity to fight they fight from ambition, which is so powerful a passion in the human breast that however high we reach we are never satisfied.

Adversity | Ambition | Character | Grief | Joy | Men | Necessity | Observation | Passion | Prosperity |

Johann Kaspar Lavater

He who always seeks more light the more he finds, and finds more the more he seeks, is one of the few happy mortals who take and give in every point of time. The tide and ebb of giving and receiving is the sum of human happiness, which he alone enjoys who always wishes to acquire new knowledge, and always finds it.

Character | Giving | Happy | Knowledge | Light | Time | Wishes |

Abraham Lincoln

It has ever been my experience that folks who have no vices, have very few virtues.

Character | Experience |

Yechezkail Levenstein

Anyone who works on self-improvement will find faults. An honest look at ourselves will show we are not on as high a spiritual level as we thought. Do not be excessively upset about this for it is a universal experience and should not disturb your peace of mind to the degree it will prevent you from further growth.

Character | Experience | Growth | Improvement | Mind | Peace | Self | Self-improvement | Thought | Will |

Chief Luther Standing Bear

Everything was possessed of personality, only different from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that was to feel beauty... Observation was certain to have its rewards. Interest, wonder, admiration grew, and the fact was appreciated that life was more than mere human manifestation; it was expressed in a multitude of forms. This appreciation enriched Lakota existence. Life was vivid and pulsating; nothing was casual and commonplace. The Indian lived - lived in every sense of the word - from his first to his last breath.

Admiration | Appreciation | Beauty | Blessings | Books | Character | Earth | Existence | Knowledge | Life | Life | Nature | Nothing | Observation | Personality | Sense | Wonder | World | Appreciation |

Emmanuel Lévinas , originally Emanuelis Lévinas

The fundamental experience which objective experience itself presumes is the fundamental experience of the Other... Moral consciousness is not an experience of values, but access to exterior Being: exterior being par excellence is the Other.

Character | Consciousness | Excellence | Experience | Excellence |

Jacques Lusseyran

Joy does not come from outside, for whatever happens to us, it is within... Light does not come to us from without. Light is in us, even if we have no eyes.

Character | Joy | Light |

Yeruchem Levovitz, aka The Mashgiach

When a person is born, he finds the world in a certain organized fashion. As he grows up, he tries to adjust himself to the assumptions that are accepted in the world. He views each event that occurs with the same perspective as the other people of his generation. These perspectives originated in the past and have been handed down from parents to children. These assumptions are taken for granted to such an extent that most people react to the accepted perspective of the world as if they were laws of the universe that cannot be changed. They are accepted as reality and are not challenged. Only a small minority of people obtain the necessary wisdom to look at the world with complete objectivity. They take a critical look at teach and every thing and try to understand everything as it really is instead of accepting the general prevalent outlook. Those who try to investigate the origin of every perspective will perceive everything in a much different light than is commonly accepted.

Character | Children | Light | Objectivity | Parents | Past | People | Reality | Teach | Universe | Will | Wisdom | World | Understand |

Barry LePatner

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.

Character | Experience | Good | Judgment | Wisdom |

Richard Mant

There is not a vice which more effectually contracts and deadens the feelings, which more completely makes a man’s affections center in himself, and excludes all others from partaking in them, than the desire of accumulating possessions. When the desire has once gotten hold of the heart, it shuts out all other considerations, but such as may promote its views. In its zeal for the attainment of its end, it is not delicate in the choice of means. As it closes the heart, so also it clouds the understanding. It cannot discern between right and wrong; it takes evil for good, and good for evil; it calls darkness light, and light darkness. Beware, then, of the beginning of covetousness, for you know not where it will end.

Attainment | Beginning | Character | Choice | Darkness | Desire | Evil | Feelings | Good | Heart | Light | Man | Means | Possessions | Right | Understanding | Will | Wrong | Zeal | Vice |

Colin McGinn

Our concepts of the empirical world are fundamentally controlled by the character of our perceptual experience and by the introspective access we enjoy to our own minds. Thus our concepts of consciousness are constrained by the specific form of our own consciousness, so that we cannot form concepts for quite alien forms of consciousness possessed by other actual and possible creatures. Similarly, our concepts of the body, including the brain, are constrained by the way we perceive these physical objects; we have, in particular, to conceive of them as spatial entities essentially similar to other physical objects in space... But now these two forms of conceptual closure operate to prevent us from arriving at concepts for the property or relation that intelligibly links consciousness to the brain. For, first, we cannot grasp other forms of consciousness, and so we cannot grasp the theory that explains these other forms: that theory must be general, but we must always be parochial in our conception of consciousness. It is as if we were trying for a general theory of light but only could grasp the visible part of the spectrum. And, second, it is precisely the perceptually controlled conception of the brain that we have which is so hopeless in making consciousness an intelligible result of brain activity. No property we can ascribe to the brain on the basis of how it strikes us perceptually, however inferential the ascription, can be the crucible from which subjective consciousness emerges fully formed. That is why the feeling is so strong in us that there has to be something magical about the mind-brain relation.

Body | Character | Consciousness | Experience | Light | Mind | Property | Space | Wisdom | World |

Theodore T. Munger

Proverbs are the condensed wisdom of long experience in brief, epigrammatic form, easily remembered and always ready for use. They are the alphabet of morals; and are commonly prudential watchwords and warnings, and so lean toward a selfish view of life.

Character | Experience | Life | Life | Proverbs | Wisdom |

John Von Newmann

All experience shows that even smaller technological changes than those now in the cards profoundly transform political and social relationships. Experience also shows that those transformations are not a priori predictable and that most contemporary “first guesses” concerning them are wrong. For all these reasons, one should take neither present difficulties nor presently proposed reforms too seriously... To ask in advance for a complete recipe would be unreasonable. We can specify only the human qualities required: patience, flexibility, intelligence.

Character | Experience | Flexibility | Intelligence | Patience | Present | Qualities | Wrong |

Thomas Merton

The contemplative life has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence and dare to advance without fear into the solitude of your own heart... you will truly recover the light and capacity to understand what is beyond words and beyond explanation because it is too close to be explained.

Capacity | Character | Fear | Heart | Life | Life | Light | Nothing | Silence | Solitude | Will | Words | Understand |

John Homer Miller

In a life well lived, each succeeding day becomes better than the last. Each day, each year, each experience does not stand alone; it cannot be separated from what has happened before or what may happen after. Yesterday determines today, and today helps determine tomorrow.

Better | Character | Day | Experience | Life | Life | Tomorrow |

Maurice Nicoll

Death is a fact in our natural reality - that is, in our sense-given experience of life - and as long as we cannot understand that we apprehend though the senses only a minute part of total existence and reality, we cannot escape from the violent effect of its suggestion.

Character | Death | Existence | Experience | Life | Life | Reality | Sense | Understand |