Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"The first American mingled with her pride a singular humility. Spiritual arrogance was foreign to his nature and teaching. He never claimed that his power of articulate speech was proof of superiority over “dumb creation”; on the other hand, speech to him is a perilous gift. He believes profoundly in silence - the sign of perfect equilibrium. silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. The an who preserves his selfhood ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence - not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree, not a ripple upon the surface of the shining pool - his, in the mind of the unlettered sage, is the ideal attitude and conduct of life." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving. If a child is inclined to be grasping, or to cling to any of his or her little possessions, legends are related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person... The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have - to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"We should not be too hasty in bestowing either our praise or censure on mankind, since we shall often find such a mixture of good and evil in the same character, that it may require a very accurate judgment and a very elaborate inquiry to determine on which side the balance turns." - Henry Fielding

"Why you are born and why you are living depend entirely on what you are getting out of this world and what you are giving to it. I cannot prove that this is a balance of mathematical perfection, but my own observation of life leads me to the conclusion that there is a very real relationship, both quantitatively and qualitatively, between what you contribute and what you get out of this world." - Oscar Hammerstein II, fully Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hamerstein II

"Art and science create a balance to material life and enlarge the world of living experience. Art leads to a more profound concept of life, because art itself is a profound expression of feeling." - Hans Hoffman

"The greater part of mankind are naturally apt to be affirmative and dogmatical in their opinions; and while they see objects only on one side, and have no idea of any counterpoising argument, they throw themselves precipitately into the principles, to which they are inclined; nor have they any indulgence for those who entertain opposite sentiments. To hesitate or balance perplexes their understanding, checks their passion, and suspends their action." - David Hume

"Our culture needs a great deal more than a changed lifestyle. In the Western mind, thought-structures and the relationship between consciousness and matter are badly out of balance, so that our world has become wholly pervaded by a materialism that is threatening to squash us to death. We are in a state of materialistic hypertrophy, and our eventual self-destruction would in fact be no more than the logical consequence of our attitudes." - Holger Kalweit

"The meaning of life is to live in balance and harmony with every other living thing in creation. We must all strive to understand the interconnectedness of all living things and accept our individual role in the protection and support of other life forms on earth. We must also understand our own insignificance in the totality of things." - Wilma Mankiller, fully Wilma Pearl Mankiller

"Love, hope and joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train, hate fear and grief, the family of pain; these mix’d with art, and to due bounds confin’d, make and maintain the balance of the mind." - Alexander Pope

"There’s no one more openly irreverent than a lover. He or she jumps up on the scale opposite eternity and claims to balance it. And no one more secretly reverent." -

"A relationship is not a way for us to exhibit our strengths but to find our balance." - Noah benShea

"Vain man would trace the mystic maze with foolish wisdom, arguing, charge his God, his balance hold, and guide his angry rod, new-mould the spheres, and mend the skies’ design, and sound th’ immense with his short scanty line. Do thou, my soul, the destined period wait, when God shall solve the dark decrees of fate, His now unequal dispensation clear, and make all wise and beautiful appear." - Thomas Tickell

"How many people ever consider that the lack of certain qualities - such as balance, common sense, tranquillity - affect the physical state of the human body?... Did you ever hear of people being sick because they hated someone? This is not uncommon." - Brooke Foss Westcott

"Justice, though due to the accused, is due to the accuser also. The concept of fairness must not be strained till it is narrowed to a filament. We are to keep the balance true." -

"People are always talking about originality; but what do they mean? As soon as we are born, the world begins to work on us; and this goes on to the end. And after all, what can we call our own, except energy, strength, and will. If I could give an account of all that I owe to great predecessors and contemporaries there would be but a small balance in my favor." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Disease is not so much the effect of noxious, external forces - the 'bugs,' both literal and figurative in our lives - as it is the faulty effort of our minds and bodies to deal with them... already reside in our bodies. When our responses to problems in life are excessive or deficient, the central nervous system and hormones act on our immune defenses in such a way that the microbes aid and abet disease. The balance is upset between us and our resident pathogens." - Blair Justice

"The quality of civilization depends on a balance of body, mind and spirit in its people, measured on a scale less human than divine... To survive, we must keep this balance. To progress, we must improve it. Science is upsetting it with an overemphasis of mind and a neglect of spirit and body." - Charles Lindbergh, fully Charles Augustus Lindbergh, nicknamed "Slim,""Lucky Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle"

"Internal balance is health and internal unbalance is sickness." - Clarence Cook "C.C." Little, M.D.

"Security means inner harmony of the personality with the environment. Man must learn how to balance emotional stress against his own emotional supports. And he must be mature." - William C. Menninger, fully William Claire Menninger

"Both the man of science and the man of art live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it. Both, as the measure of their creation, have always had to do with the harmonization of what is new and what is familiar, with the balance between novelty and synthesis, with the struggle to make partial order into total chaos... This cannot be an easy life." - Robert Oppenheimer, fully Julius Robert Oppenheimer

"Stress disorders are based upon the slow, developmental accumulation of psychological and physical stress responses throughout the life of the individual... Consciously or unconsciously perceived stressors alter neurophysiological activity, endocrine and immunological balance, blood supply and pressure, respiration rate and pattern, and digestive processes." - Kenneth R. Pelletier

"Relationships work because of a balance between intimacy and independence." - Robert Sternberg, fully Robert Jeffrey Sternberg

"History tells us that the pendulum of time is sweeping to extremes of subjectivism, to cults of selfishness and savage irresponsibility. We must bring it back to balance by taking up the burdens of mankind as our own, with an entirely new vision and confidence. And we must do this perhaps as a condition for continued existence itself." - Philip Berrigan

"For Goebbels, anxiety was a double-edged sword: too much anxiety could produce panic and demoralization, too little could lead to complacency and inactivity. An attempt was constantly made, therefore, to achieve a balance between the two extremes." - Leonard W. Doob, fully Leonard William Doob

"We need to recognize that both the society and the individual are essential to a morality which we can use in the next century. If we could enter the next century with a wider recognition of the balance - and get away form either collectivistic excesses or the celebration of radical individualism - I think we’d be better for it." - Amitai Etzioni, born Welker Falk

"Two opposing mysteries are in the world – goodness and evil. If we deny God, then goodness is a mystery, for no one has ever suggested how spiritual life could rise of an unspiritual source, how souls could come from dust. If we affirm God, then evil is a mystery, for why, we ask, should love create a world with so much pain and sin? Our task is not to solve insoluble problems. It is to balance these alternatives – no God and the mystery of man’s spiritual life, against God and the mystery of evil." -

"When it is said and done, life’s journey isn’t about humanity in general, or even the person next door. It’s about you and me. Our individual lives are the focus, a picture framed by our birth and death. Our personal goals and principles are under scrutiny; our personal success or failure is in the balance." - Os Guiness

"Imbalance is the root of all misery. Every action has a reaction. But seen from the eternal view in time everything will balance itself again." - Peter W. Jedlicka

"Toleration… is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle." - Helen Keller. aka Helen Adams Keller

"The secret of life is balance, and the absence of balance is life’s destruction." -

"Crystals are like concentrated knowledge pressed into crystalline form. They are the culmination of life force coming together in time and space. The crystal shows nature’s urge for symmetry and perfection. Our life purpose is like that – purposeful curiosity and imagination yearning for balance and beauty." - Glenn W. Lehrer

"Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance, upon faith and you will live and die a better man." - Abraham Lincoln

"Gratefulness arises naturally from this fertile balance of honoring both our sorrow and our joy. We name our sorrows so that we can bring care and attention to our wounds, so that we may heal. And at the same time we give thanks for the innumerable gifts and blessings bestowed upon us daily, lest we forget how rich we are." - Wayne Muller

"Peace cannot be limited to a mere absence of war, the result of an ever precarious balance of forces. No, peace is something built up day after day, in the pursuit of an order intended by God, which implies a more perfect form of justice among men and women." - Pope Paul VI, born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini NULL

"The Buddha, that is now “Awakened One,” diagnosed the human condition in the following way. Life is out of balance and characterized by suffering because all things are impermanent, and yet we desire things as if they were permanent. We each view our own self as if it too were permanent and completely independent from our selves, and so we think of our self as competing for those things with other discrete selves. Everything that we desire will ultimately pass away – we cannot hold on to anything in the end, not even our own bodies and minds – so our inappropriate desires are frustrated and we suffer, only to be reborn again into anew life of desire and suffering. To break the cycle of rebirth (samsara), we must overcome our ignorance about the true nature of things, cut the root of desire, and give up attachment to self, for we are anatman, no-self." - Joseph Runzo and Nancy M. Martin

"What I wish to emphasize is the duality of the human requirement when it comes to the question of size: there is no single answer. For his different purposes man needs different structures, both small ones and large ones, some exclusive and some comprehensive… For constructive work, the principal task is always the restoration of some kind of balance. Today, we suffer from an almost universal idolatry of giantism. It is therefore necessary to insist on the virtues of smallness – where this applies. (If there were a prevailing idolatry of smallness, irrespective of subject or purpose, one would have to try and exercise influence in the opposite direction.)" - E. F. Schumacher, fully Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher

"Humanity is in a precarious balance between the forces of violence and the forces of peace. It is by no means clear at this time which of these forces will prevail. We do not ask, however, whether religion will not become an aid to the forces of peace or cooperation." - Obert C. Tanner, fully Obert Clark Tanner

"The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life." - Albert Einstein

"Geniuses have found the right balance between their right and left brains, while ordinary people only use the left half of their brain." - Makoto Shichida

"The key to life is a balance in all things, including the perceptual filters of association and disassociation. We can associate or disassociate from anything we want. They key is to associate consciously, so it helps us. We learned that we are not born with beliefs, that they can change." - Anthony "Tony" Robbins

"The teacher must step back and review each day as a student, always feeling that there is more and more to learn, love appreciate. -- Be in this world, but not of it... Everything comes back on the Universal clock of time... everything. Memorize the aphorism that irrelevancy of circumstance is the highest wisdom of life... Your 'balance' is your ammunition; one should not fire it, but rather maintain it." - Blanche DeVries Bernard

"The suspense - the fearful, acute suspense, of standing idly by while the life of one we dearly love is trembling in the balance; the racking thoughts that crowd upon the mind and make the heart beat violently, and the breath come thick; the desperate anxiety "to be doing something" to relieve the pain or lessen the danger which we have no power to alleviate; and the sinking of soul which the sad sense of our helplessness produces, what tortures can equal these, and what reflections or efforts can, in the full tide and fever of time, allay them." - Charles Dickens, fully Charles John Huffam Dickens

"Action is basically a reaction against loss of balance – a flailing of the arms to regain one’s balance. To dispose a soul to action we must upset its equilibrium." - Eric Hoffer

"Temperence in all things, including our hopes as well as our fears, is a worthy goal, but it is hardly human to be always temperate. It is far wiser to know how to balance a great sorrow with a great happiness, or a recurrence of dread with a renewal of faith." - Gail Sheehy

"Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise." - George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair

"Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it." - George Santayana

"Old places and old persons in their turn, when spirit dwells in them, have an intrinsic vitality of which youth is incapable; precisely the balance and wisdom that comes from long perspectives and broad functions." - George Santayana

"Education, then, beyond all other devices, of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men,-the balance wheel of the social machinery. It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility toward the rich: it prevents being poor. Agrarianism is the revenge of poverty against wealth." - Horace Mann

"Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men-the balance-wheel of the social machinery." - Horace Mann

"Medical doctors strike me as ignorant as to how a healthy body works. They know how to control or repair some diseased bodies, but their medicine is often worse than the disease. And what about the pressure and competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry and the make-profits-quick motives of the food corporations? Medical doctors put little or no emphasis on nutrition, exercise and energy balance. They are paid when we are sick, not when we are well." - Jerry Rubin