Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of learning." - Thomas Adams

"He who, for the sake of learning, lowers himself by exposing his ignorance, will ultimately be elevated." - Simeon ben Azai, sometimes Ben Azai

"You will cast away your cards and dice when you find the sweetness of youthful learning." - Richard Baxter

"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." - Hugh Blair

"When a person who was self conscious only, enters into cosmic consciousness - he knows without learning certain things... that the universe is not a dead machine but a living presence... that in its essence and tendency it is infinitely good... that individual existence is continuous beyond what is called death." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"The nobles charities, the best fruits of learning, the richest discoveries, the best institutions of law and justice, every greatest thing the world has seen, represents, more or less directly, the fruitfulness and creativeness of religion." - Horace Bushnell

"Seeking to know is only too often learning to doubt." - Antoinette Du Ligier de la Garde Deshoulières

"Kindness has converted more sinners than either zeal, eloquence, or learning." -

"There is a sort of knowledge beyond the power of learning to bestow, and this is to be had in conversation; so necessary is this to the understanding the characters of men, that none are more ignorant of them than those learned pedants whose lives have been entirely consumed in colleges and among books; for however exquisitely human nature may have been described by writers the true practical system can be learned only in the world." - Henry Fielding

"So much of learning to be an American is learning not to let your individuality become a nuisance." - Edgar Z. Friedenberg

"Learning isn't a means to an end; it is an end in itself." - Robert A. Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald

"What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers." - Marina Horner

"Your true nature is not lost in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of enlightenment. It was never born and can never die. It shines through the whole universe, filling emptiness, one with emptiness. It is without time or space, and has no passions, actions, ignorance, or knowledge. In it there are no things, no people, and no Buddhas; it contains not the smallest hairbreadth of anything that exists objectively; it depends on nothing and is attached to nothing. It is all-pervading, radiant beauty: absolute reality, self-existent and uncreated. How then can you doubt that the Buddha has no mouth to speak with and nothing to teach, or that the truth is learned without learning, for who is there to learn? It is a jewel beyond all price." - Huang Po, also Huángbò Xīyùn

"The spirit of the people must frequently be roused, in order to curb the ambition of the court; and the dread of rousing this spirit must be employed to prevent that ambition. Nothing so effectual to this purpose as the liberty of the press; by which all the learning, wit, and genius of the nation, may be employed on the side of freedom, and every one be animated to its defense." - David Hume

"The most difficult job teenagers have today is learning good conduct without seeing any." - H. G. Hutcheson

"The truth of not-knowing is the only factor from which one can move. The truth of that is stable. A mind that does not know is in a state of learning. The moment I say I have learned, I have stopped learning and that stopping is the stability of division." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Learning consists in adding one’s stock day by day. The practice of Tao consists in subtracting day by day: subtracting and yet again subtracting until one has reached inactivity." -

"Civilization is just a slow process of learning to be kind." - Charles Lucas, fully Sir Charles L. Lucas

"Happiness has little to do with age, circumstances, health, wealth, learning or status. It follows as you become a part of life's solution rather than its problem." - Roy C. McLain

"Learning is not to be tacked to the mind, but we must fuse and blend them together, not merely giving the mind a slight tincture, but a thorough and perfect dye. and if we perceive no evident change and improvement, it would be better to leave it alone; learning is a dangerous weapon, and apt to wound its master if it be wielded by a feeble hand, and by one not well acquainted with its use." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Learning from one's enemies is the best way to love them." -

"The all-round liberally educated man, from Paleolithic times to the time when the earth shall become a cold cinder, will always be the same, namely, the man who follows his standards, of truth and beauty, who employs his learning and observation, his reason, his expression, for purposes of production, that is, to add something of his own to the stock of the world's ideas." -

"Learning, if rightly applied, makes a young man thinking, attentive, industrious, confident and wary; and an old man cheerful and useful. It is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, an entertainment at all times; it cheers in solitude, and gives moderation and wisdom in all circumstances." - Thomas W. Palmer

"Learning is discovering that something is possible." - Fritz Perls, fully Friedrich "Fritz" (Frederick) Salomon Perls

"I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning." -

"For the learning of every virtue there is an appropriate discipline and for the learning of suspended judgment the best discipline is philosophy." -

"No man is the wiser for his learning." - John Selden

"The true order of learning should be: first, what is necessary; second, what is useful, and third, what is ornamental. To reverse this arrangement is like beginning to build at the top of an edifice." - Lydia Sigourney, fully Lydia Huntley Sigourney, née Lydia Howard Huntley

"Learning is the raising of character by the broadening of vision and the deepening of feeling." - M. Sulzberger

"If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth, and so go to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last!" - Jonathan Swift, pen names, M.B. Drapier, Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff

"It is a great point of wisdom to hide ignorance, as to discover knowledge. To be proud of learning is the greatest ignorance." - Jeremy Taylor

"It is a little learning, and but a little, which makes men conclude hastily. Experience and humility teach modesty and fear." - Jeremy Taylor

"To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge." -

"To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge." - Tze-sze NULL

"When we learn to give thanks, we are learning to concentrate not on the bad things, but on the good things in our lives." - Amy Vanderbilt

"Look at our present life circumstances, whatever they may be, as the raw material of our learning... We must stop regarding ourselves as victims of circumstances, and start to acknowledge that we are not here purely by accident. The master within is trying to help us wake up by confronting us with our current life situation, which contains all the lessons we need to learn in order to grow into more fully developed human beings." - John Welwood

"Giving of yourself, learning to be tolerant, giving recognition and approval to others, remaining flexible enough to mature and learn - yields happiness, harmony, contentment and productivity. These are the qualities of a rich life, the bounteous harvest of getting along with people." - Jack C. Yewell

"Human learning has often been an instrument, not a source, of hostility to religion." - Lord Acton, John Emerich Dalberg-Acton

"I thought all the while, I was leaning how to live, but now I know, I was learning how to die." - Michelangelo, aka Michaelangelo Buonarroti, fully Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni NULL

"That learning is most requisite which unlearns evil." - Antisthenes NULL

"The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue... Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do." - Antisthenes NULL

"A natural love of learning... man's highest possession." - Apocrypha NULL

"The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any." - Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz

"He who, for the sake of learning, lowers himself by exposing his ignorance, will ultimately be elevated." -

"The man who graduates to-day and stops learning to-morrow is uneducated the day after." - Newton D. Baker, fully Newton Diehl Baker, Jr.

"How then do you pour a little bit of what you feel and think and know into another’s mind?... To help children visualize, to convince them, the teachers use maps, charts, diagrams, they write words on the board, they gesture, admonish, orate. Hence the fatigue and hence the rule that good teaching is a matter of basal metabolism. Some teachers have the facts but not the phosphorescence of learning." -

"Learning is the heart of life - the mystical power that turns a word into a sign, a look into a smile, a house into a home, and a people into a civilization." - Eugene P. Bertin, fully Eugene Peter Bertin

"We can prevent people from learning, but we can't make them unlearn." - Ludwig Börne, fully Karl Ludwig Börne

"For all his learning or sophistication, man is still instinctively reaching toward that force beyond. Only arrogance can deny its existence and the denial falters in the face of evidence on every hand. In every tuft of grass, in every bird, in every opening bud, there it is." - Hal Borland, formally Harold Glen Borland

"There is a theory that since the child will be obliged in later life to do many things that he does not want to do, he might as well learn how while he is young. The difficulty here seems to be that learning to do one kind of a thing that you do not want to do does not guarantee your readiness to do other kinds of unpleasant things. That art cannot be taught. Each situation of compulsion, unless the spirit is completely broken, will have its own peculiar quality of bitterness, and no guarantee against it can be inculcated." -