Great Throughts Treasury

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


"We all have a gift. Each of us is born with something unique to express, to do, to become. It is your responsibility to discover your unique gift... Once having been discovered, the gift is developed and nurtured and then it is given back... Real joy comes from giving back, from being authentically you and sharing that authenticity with those around you." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"When the mind is fully present with an activity, a radiance, a visually perceptible authenticity emerges." - Denise Taylor

"To truly serve, purpose must be connected to our unique authenticity. That is why money cannot serve as our purpose. It can be a goal, but not a purpose." - Lenedra J. Carroll

"Whatever else religion may be, it is also anthropology - in the sense that it fosters conceptions of human authenticity on whose basis moral codes can be drawn up and the actual behavior of individuals and societies assessed, challenged, and altered. Religion speaks not only of the divine but of the divine intention for the human." - John Douglas Hall

"It takes courage to experience the freedom that comes with autonomy, courage to accept intimacy and directly encounter other persons, courage to take a stand in an unpopular cause, courage to choose authenticity over approval and to choose it again and again, courage to accept the responsibility for your own choices, and, indeed, courage to be the unique person you really are." - Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward

"The uniqueness of the inner soul, in its own authenticity – this is the highest expression of the seed of divine light, the light planted for the righteous, from which will bud and blossom the fruit of the tree of life." - Abraham Isaac Kook

"I have always preferred the agony of losing a certain destiny in order to find my true self. Shipwrecked in a hollow, unauthentic world, I prefer to advance staggeringly toward the authenticity of life, even though it might lead me only toward the authenticity of my own death." -

"Are we only able to see who we actually are at life’s beginnings and endings? Do only extreme circumstances reveal ordinary truths? Are we otherwise blind to our genuine selves? This is the key lesson of life: to find our authentic selves, and to see the authenticity in others." - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"Life hands us lessons, universal truths teaching us the basics about love, fear, time, power, loss, happiness, relationships, (guilt, anger, forgiveness, surrender, patience, play, loss) and authenticity. We are not unhappy today because of the complexities of life. We are unhappy because we miss its underlying simplicities." - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

"Great communication depends on two simple skills—context, which attunes a leader to the same frequency as his or her audience, and delivery, which allows a leader to phrase messages in a language the audience can understand. Earn the right to be heard by listening to others. Seek to understand a situation before making judgments about it. Take the emotional temperature of those listening to you. Facial expressions, voice inflection and posture give clues to a person’s mood and attitude. Persuasive communication involves enthusiasm, animation, audience participation, authenticity and spontaneity." - John C. Maxwell

"Nothing is isolated. Each event connects with others. Things are constantly unfolding on different levels. It's for us to perceive the warp and woof of it all as best we can and learn to follow our own threads through the tapestry of life with authenticity and resolve." - Jon Kabat-Zinn

"I've known a lot of people who do not believe in God who have come to Judaism for other reasons, such as a relationship or a philosophical view that drew them in. One of the strange and miraculous things about Jewish practice is that it seems to engender belief. People wonder, "Why does Chabad ask passersby to put on tefillin?" It seems that there's this almost magical effect to it. The mitzvah not only provokes spiritual questions, but engenders a longing for belief, and ultimately belief itself. So even though, theologically, Judaism without God doesn't make sense, I would say that, as a practice, Judaism can begin in non-belief but conclude in belief. For me, authenticity means truth. It means connecting with a revelation that happened in the past. If there's any hope for Judaism at all, it lies in the belief that Judaism goes back to Moses and Mount Sinai. Otherwise, Judaism is just a fraud, an illusion." - Mordecai Menaham Kaplan

"It must feel wonderfully strange when, like Manette, one stands there, the only witness to a vanished world." - Simone de Beauvoir, fully Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir

"In actual fact, conventions are the death of real tradition as they are of all real life. They are parasites which attach themselves to the living organism of tradition and devour all its reality, turning it into a hollow formality. Tradition is living and active, but convention is passive and dead. Tradition does not form us automatically: we have to work to understand it. Convention is accepted passively, as a matter of routine. Therefore, convention easily becomes an evasion of reality. It offers us only pretended ways of solving the problems of living - a system of gestures and formalities. Tradition really teaches us to live and shows us how to take full responsibility for our own lives. Thus tradition is often flatly opposed to what is ordinary, to what is mere routine. But convention, which is a mere repetition of familiar routines, follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act, without trying to understand the meaning of it all, merely because everyone else does the same. Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving - born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way. Convention is simply the ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are merely excuses for NOT acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention merely disguises its interior decay." - Thomas Merton

"We must desire God for ourselves and not as a means of fulfillment of our own wishes. It is a blessed mark of growth out of spiritual infancy when we can forgo the joys which once appeared to be essential, and can find our solace in him who denies them to us." - Eugene Peterson

"War makes robbers, and peace hangs them." - Italian Proverbs

"I want to be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien