Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"The faculty of imagination is the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of human improvement. As it delights in presenting to the mind scenes and characters more perfect than those which we are acquainted with, it prevents us from ever being completely satisfied with our present condition, or with our past attainments, and engages us continually in the pursuit of some untried enjoyment, or of some ideal excellence. Destroy this faculty, and the condition of man will become as stationary as that of the brutes." - Dugald Stewart

"In our pursuit of the things of this world, we usually prevent enjoyment by expectation; we anticipate our happiness, and eat out the heart and sweetness of worldly pleasures by delightful forethoughts of them; so that when we come to possess them, they do not answer the expectation, or satisfy the desires which were raised about them, and they vanish into nothing." -

"Man counts happiness in a thousand shapes; and the faster he follows it the swifter it flies from him. Almost every thing promiseth happiness to us at a distance, but when we come nearer, either we fall short of it, or it falls short of our expectation; and it is hard to say which of there is the greatest disappointment. Our hopes are usually bigger than the enjoyment can satisfy; and an evil long feared, besides that it may never come, is many times more painful and troublesome than the evil itself when it comes." -

"The rich and luxurious may claim an exclusive right to those pleasures which are capable of being purchased by pelf, in which the mind has no enjoyment, and which only afford a temporary relief to languor by steeping the senses of forgetfulness; but in the precious pleasures of the intellect, so easily accessible by all mankind, the great have no exclusive privilege; for such enjoyments are only to be procured by our own industry." - Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

"To enjoy and give enjoyment, without injury to yourself or others: this is true morality." - Nicolas Chamfort,fully Sébastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort, also spelled Nicholas

"Enjoyment is not a goal, it is a feeling that accompanies important ongoing activity." - Roy M. Goodman

"Paradoxically, then, the best life to live will be one that is constantly struggling to become a different sort of life, a life with more virtue and less enjoyment, with more to admire and less to envy. If that best of lives were to succeed in becoming what it strives to change itself into, however, it would not longer be the best of lives. It would then be a life purely of self-sacrifice, an unenviable life suitable only for admiration. So what life should we seek, then? If what we are asking is either what kind of life to seek in order to gain a purely enviable life, or what kind of life to seek in order to achieve a purely admirable life, for those questions, the answer is fairly easy. Only a life with both elements resonates with a full portion of good. And that life, I think we have to recognize, will also be a life in which the two types of good remain in tension; a life in which the enviable and the admirable are never quite reconciled." - Patrick Grim

"There are two complementary parts of our cosmic duty – one to ourselves, to be fulfilled in the realization and enjoyment of our capacities; the other to others, to be fulfilled in service to the community and in promoting the welfare of the generations to come and the advancement of our species as a whole." - Julian Huxley, fully Sir Julian Sorell Huxley

"In all enjoyment there is a choice between enjoying the other and enjoying yourself through the instrumentality of the other. The first is the enjoyment of love, the second is the enjoyment of lust. When people enjoy themselves through each other, that is merely mutual lust." - John Macmurray

"The secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is – to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas!" - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"Love grows, lust wastes by enjoyment, and the reason is, that one springs from a union of souls, and the other from an union of sense." - William Penn

"There is a difference between happiness and enjoyment. Happiness is the result of pursuing a goal. Pursuit of the goal generates an energizing sense of purpose. Enjoyment, on the other hand, is an immediate sensation of pleasure; a person can enjoy a piece of cake, a piece of art, a good joke – it gives pleasure but then passes." - Ezriel Tauber

"When you are fearful or frantic, you literally immobilize yourself from your greatest potential, not to mention enjoyment. Any success you do have is despite your fear, not because of it." - Richard Carlson

"The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously." -

"Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern." - Alfred North Whitehead

"Life is the enjoyment of emotion, derived from the past and aimed at the future." - Alfred North Whitehead

"He that has no government of himself has no enjoyment of himself." - Benjamin Whichcote

"Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Mental pleasures never clog; unlike those of the body, they are increased by repetition, approved of by reflection, and strengthened by enjoyment." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Mental pleasures never cloy; unlike those of the body, they are increased by repetition, approved of by reflection, and strengthened by enjoyment." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Pleasure is a shadow, wealth is vanity, and power a pageant; but knowledge is ecstatic in enjoyment, perennial in fame, unlimited in space, and infinite in duration. In the performance of its sacred offices, it fears no danger, spares no expense, looks in the volcano, dives into the ocean, perforates the earth, wings its flight into the skies, explores sea and land, contemplates the distant, examines the minute, comprehends the great, ascends to the sublime - no place too remote for its grasp, no height too exalted for its reach." - DeWitt Clinton

"Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment and suffering." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter." - Edmund Burke

"All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter....Man acts from motives relative to his interest; and not on metaphysical speculations." - Edmund Burke

"All government indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act is founded on compromise and barter." - Edmund Burke

"The love of study, a passion which derives fresh vigor from enjoyment, supplies each day and hour with a perpetual source of independent and rational pleasure." - Edward Gibbon

"Freedom is obtained not by the enjoyment of what is desired but by controlling desire itself." - Epictetus "the Stoic" NULL

"There are three parts in truth: first, the inquiry, which is the wooing of it; secondly, the knowledge of it, which is the presence of it; and thirdly, the brief, which is the enjoyment of it." - Francis Bacon

"We enjoy ourselves only in our work, our doing; and our best doing is our best enjoyment." - Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi

"There is no divine right of property. Nothing is so completely a man’s own that he may do what he likes with it... Nevertheless, as it is obviously well that each man should labor without fear of being deprived of the use and enjoyment of the product of their labor - as in the nature of things he would not labor at all without some such incentive, it may be said that a man has natural right to own the product of his labor... By this natural right of the individual is still subject to all the limitations imposed by the rights of his fellows." - George Bernard Shaw

"Trouble is the next best thing to enjoyment; there is no fate in the world so horrible as to have no share in either its joys or sorrows." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Tell me not in mournful numbers, life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, and things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; dust thou art, to dust returneth, was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow is our destined end or way; but to act, that each to-morrow find us farther than today... Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act - act in the living Present! Hear within, and God o’erhead. Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us footprints in the sands of time... Let us then, be up and doing, with a heart for any fate; still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Thorough selfishness destroys or paralyzes enjoyment. A heart made selfish by the contest for wealth is like a citadel stormed in war, utterly shattered." - Henry Ward Beecher

"Education alone can conduct us to that enjoyment which is at once best in quality and infinite in quantity." - Horace Mann

"Moderation is the key of lasting enjoyment." - Hosea Ballou

"If our Creator has so bountifully provided for our existence here, which is but momentary, and for our temporal wants, which will soon be forgotten, how much more must He have done for our enjoyment in the everlasting world!" - Hosea Ballou

"Moderation is the key to lasting enjoyment." - Hosea Ballou

"Do not be deceived; happiness and enjoyment do not lie in wicked ways." - Isaac Watts

"The luxury of doing good surpasses every other personal enjoyment." - John Gay

"In mortals there is a care for trifles which proceeds from love and conscience, and is most holy; and a care for trifles which comes of idleness and frivolity, and is most base. And so, also, there is a gravity proceeding from thought, which is most noble, and a gravity proceeding from dullness and mere incapability of enjoyment, which is most base." - John Ruskin

"You were made for enjoyment, and the world was filled with things which you will enjoy, unless you are too proud to be pleased by them, or too grasping to care for what you cannot turn to other account than mere delight." - John Ruskin

"The true happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises in the first place, from the enjoyment of one's self; and in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions; it loves shade and solitude, and naturally haunts groves and fountains, fields and meadows; in short, it feels everything it wants within itself, and receives no addition from multitudes of witnesses and spectators. On the contrary, false happiness loves to be in a crowd, and to draw the eyes of the world upon her. She does not receive satisfaction from the applauses which she gives herself, but from the admiration which she raises in others. She flourishes in courts and palaces, theaters and assemblies, and has no existence but when she is looked upon." - Joseph Addison

"There is in the soul a taste for the good, just as there is in the body an appetite for enjoyment." - Joseph Joubert

"The earning of more and more money, combined with the strict avoidance of all spontaneous enjoyment of life... is thought of so purely as an end in itself, that from the point of view of happiness of, or utility to, the single individual, it appears entirely transcendental and absolutely irrational. Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life. Economic acquisition is no longer subordinated to man as the means for the satisfaction of his material needs." - Max Weber, formally Maximilian Carl Emil Weber

"Great thinkers have always been motivated by the enjoyment of thinking rather than by the material rewards that could be gained by it." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, native form is Csíkszentmihályi Mihály

"You don’t get much out of the passive consumption of pleasure, compared to enjoyment that is active, creative, and self-directive." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, native form is Csíkszentmihályi Mihály

"Success in highest and noblest form call for peace of mind and enjoyment and happiness which comes only to the man who has found the work he likes best." - Napoleon Hill

"We do ourselves wrong, and too meanly estimate the holiness about us, when we deem that any act or enjoyment good in itself, is not good to do religiously." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

"To experience the satisfaction and enjoyment of success in life, a definitive goal is essential... Strong and organized purposefulness toward a definitive objective will focus your powers into a strong motivation in attainment of your goal." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Enjoyment is not a goal, it is a feeling that accompanies important ongoing activity." - Paul Goodman