Many / One

A database of 11,000+ illuminated guiding quotations in 40 categories from 600+ inspired books by our most brilliant and influential authors.
Compiled by JoAnn Kite

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The Great Thoughts
George Seldes, compiler
From Abelard to Zola, from ancient Greece to contemporary America, the ideas that have shaped the history of the world.

1 "No myth of miraculous creation is so marvelous as the fact of man's evolution." Robert Briffault (1876-1948), British surgeon and anthropoligist, 'Rational Evolution'

2 "Religious feeling is as much a verity as any other part of human consciousness." John Tyndall (1820-1893), Irish physicist, 'Fragments of Science'

3 "Tsze-kung asked, saying, 'Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life? The Master said, 'Is not Reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others." Confucius (551-479 bce), Chinese sage, 'Analects'

4 "To understand everything is to hate nothing." Romain Rolland (1866-1944), French novelist, 'Jean-Christophe'

5 "The shore is an ancient world, for as long as there has been an earth and sea there has been this place of the meeting of land and water. Yet it is a world that keeps alive the sense of continuing creation and of the relentless drive of life. Each time I enter it, I gain some new awareness of its beauty and its deeper meanings, sensing that intricate fabric of life by which one creature is linked with another, and each with its suroundings." Rachel Carson (1907-1964), American naturalist, author, 'The Edge of the Sea'

6 "He [God] is invisible, although seen; incomprehensible, although revealed in grace, unfathomable, although fathomed by the human senses." Tertullian (ca. 160-240 ad), Carthagenian-born Christian author, 'Apologeticus'

7 "I believe in the fundamental Truth of all the great religions of the world. I believe that they are all God-given." Mohandes Gandhi (1869-1948), Hindu national leader, 'Harijan (a weekly

8 "It is a world cooperative commonwealth at which we ought to aim, built on freedom. A single country – or a group of countries – with this peaceful cooperative aim can make its impact on the whole world." David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973), Polish-born Israeli prime minister, New York Times Magazine, September 24, 1961

9 "In endowing us with memory, nature has revealed to us a truth utterly unimaginable to the unreflective creation, the truth of immortality." George Santayana (1863-1952), Spanish-born American philosopher, 'Reason in Common Sense'

10 "Man is what he believes." Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian writer, 'Notebooks'

11 "Let a man in a garret but burn with enough intensity and he will set fire to the whole world." Antoine DeSaint-Exupery (1900-1944), French author, 'Wind, Sand, and Stars'

12 "Love produces a certain flowering of the whole personality which nothing else can achieve." Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883), Russian writer

13 "Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows like harmony in music; there is a dark inscrutable workmanship that reconciles discordant elements." William Wordsworth (1770-1850), English poet, 'The Prelude'

14 "In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and of no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again: and in him, too, once more, and of each of us, our terrific responsibility toward human life; toward the utmost idea of goodness…and of God." James Agee (1909-1955), American writer, 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men'

15 "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948),

16 "The pursuit of perfection is the pursuit of sweetness and light….He who works for sweetness and light, works to make reason and the will of God prevail….Culture has a great passion, the passion for sweetness and light. It has one yet even greater! – the passion for making them prevail." Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), English poet, essayist, 'Culture and Anarchy'

17 "Full wise is he that can himself know!" Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400), English poet, 'The Monk's Tale' [modernized]

18 "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), American historian

19 "All fear is a sign of want of faith." Mohandes Gandhi (1869-1948), Hindu national leader, 'Letters From Bapu'

20 "Morality is the observance of the rights of others." Dagobert D. Runes (1902-1982), American philosopher, 'Treasury of World Literature'

21 "Love a man even in his sin for that love is a likeness of the divine love, and is the summit of love on earth." Fyodor Dostoyevski (1821-1881), Rusian novelist, 'The Brothers Karamazov', Bk. VI, Ch. 3

22 "It is forbidden to decry other sects; the true believer gives honor to whatever in them is worthy of honor." Asoka (d. 238 bce), Buddhist emperor of India, Decree (inscription on a pillar),

23 "Confucius replied….'wisdom, compassion and courage – these are the three universally recognized moral qualities of man." Tze-sze (ca. 335-288 bce), Chinese philosopher, grandson of Confucius, 'The Golden Mean of Tze-sze'

24 "The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time and time again given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness and Beauty." Albert Einstein (1879-1955), 'The World As I See It'

25 "No government can stand which is not founded on justice." Aristotle (384-322 bce), Greek philosopher, 'Politics', Bk. VII

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite