Quotations about:
    contemplation


Note not all quotations have been tagged, so Search may find additional quotes on this topic.


In short, the contradiction in the old defense of class stratification is that it defends leisure for the leisure class, but not for the underclass. With reference to the underclass, leisure is said to destroy the incentive to work, leads to slothfulness and self-indulgence, and retards cognitive and moral development. When applied to the leisure class, the concept evokes an image of Plato and Aristotle, whose leisure was based on slave labor, creating the intellectual foundations of Western civilization; or patrician slave-owners like Washington and Jefferson laying the foundations of American civilization; or creative aristocrats like Count Leo Tolstoy or Bertrand, Earl Russell; or, even closer to home, of our own sons and daughters (or of ourselves, when we were young adults) being freed from the stultifying tasks of earning a living until well into our adult years so that we could study in expensive universities to gain specialized knowledge and skills.

James Gilligan (b. c. 1936) American psychiatrist and author
Preventing Violence, ch. 5 (2001)
    (Source)
 
Added on 16-Aug-22 | Last updated 16-Aug-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gilligan, James

The Intellect engages us in the pursuit of Truth. The Passions impel us to Action.

[Cogitatio in vero exquirendo maxime versatur, appetitus impellit ad agendum.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 1, ch. 35 (1.35) / sec. 132 (44 BC) [Barnes (1814)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

Reflection is chiefly employed in the investigation of truth, appetite impels to action.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

Reflection chiefly applies itself in the search of truth. Appetite prompts us to action.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Thought is occupied chiefly in seeking the truth; impulse urges to action.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

Thought is employed in the discovery of truth, appetite impels to action.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

Thought is occupied chiefly with the discovery of truth; impulse prompts to action.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

Thought is mostly expended in seeking out the truth, passion urges men to action.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
Added on 17-Feb-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

The worst thing about war was the sitting around and wondering what you were doing morally.

Paul Fussell (1924-2012) American cultural and literary historian, author, academic
Times of London (28 Nov 1991)
 
Added on 16-Sep-21 | Last updated 16-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Fussell, Paul

In the middle of the night, things well up from the past that are not always cause for rejoicing — the unsolved, the painful encounters, the mistakes, the reasons for shame or woe. But all, good or bad, give me food for thought, food to grow on.

May Sarton
May Sarton (1912-1995) Belgian-American poet, novelist, memoirist [pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton]
At Seventy (1984)
    (Source)
 
Added on 14-Sep-21 | Last updated 14-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sarton, May

There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered, in pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over my encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.

May Sarton
May Sarton (1912-1995) Belgian-American poet, novelist, memoirist [pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton]
Journal of a Solitude (1973)
    (Source)
 
Added on 17-Aug-21 | Last updated 17-Aug-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Sarton, May

For even the humblest person, a day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search for truth and perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.

Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) American writer, philosopher, historian, architect
The Condition of Man (1944)
    (Source)
 
Added on 17-Feb-21 | Last updated 17-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mumford, Lewis

Indignation is the seducer of thought. No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.

George Jean Nathan (1892-1958) American editor and critic
“Undeveloped Notes,” The Smart Set (Aug 1922)
    (Source)

Reprinted in The World in Falseface, "Art & Criticism," #64 (1923).
 
Added on 30-Nov-20 | Last updated 30-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Nathan, George Jean

No matter what the belief, if it had modestly said, “This is our best thought, go on, think farther!” then we could have smoothly outgrown our early errors and long since have developed a religion such as would have kept pace with an advancing world. But we were made to believe and not allowed to think. We were told to obey, rather than to experiment and investigate.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) American sociologist, writer, reformer, feminist
His Religion and Hers, ch. 10 (1923)
 
Added on 7-Jul-20 | Last updated 7-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gilman, Charlotte

Solitude is not lack.

Laurie Helgoe (b. 1960) American psychologist and author
Introvert Power, ch. 2 (2008)
    (Source)

Sometimes misquoted "Solitude is not a lack."
 
Added on 8-May-20 | Last updated 8-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Helgoe, Laurie

Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.

[Pour qu’une chose soit intéressante, il suffit de la regarder longtemps.]

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) French writer, novelist
Letter to Alfred Le Poittevin (16 Sep 1845)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "To make something interesting, just look at it for a long time."
 
Added on 20-Feb-20 | Last updated 20-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Flaubert, Gustave

In meditation we should not look for a “method” or “system,” but cultivate an “attitude,” and “outlook”: faith, openness, attention, reverence, expectation, supplication, trust, and joy.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) French-American religious and writer [a.k.a. Fr. M. Louis]
Contemplative Prayer (1973)
 
Added on 5-Sep-19 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Merton, Thomas

Anger blows out the lamp of the mind. In the examination of a great and important question, every one should be serene, slow-pulsed and calm.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“The Christian Religion,” Article 3, The North American Review (1881)
    (Source)
 
Added on 31-May-19 | Last updated 31-May-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

One of the things I like best about animals in the wild is that they’re always off on some errand. They have appointments to keep. It’s only we humans who wonder what we’re here for.

Diane Ackerman (b. 1948) American poet, author, naturalist
“In Praise of Bats,” The Moon by Whale Light (1991)
    (Source)
 
Added on 28-Dec-18 | Last updated 28-Dec-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Ackerman, Diane

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

David Whyte (b. 1955) Anglo-Irish poet
“Sweet Darkness,” House of Belonging (1996)
    (Source)
 
Added on 20-Mar-18 | Last updated 20-Mar-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Whyte, David

Truth is compar’d in Scripture to a streaming fountain; if her waters flow not in a perpetuall progression, they sick’n into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.

[Truth is compared in Scripture to a streaming fountain; if her waters flow not in a perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.]

John Milton (1608-1674) English poet
Areopagitica (1644)
    (Source)
 
Added on 16-Aug-17 | Last updated 16-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Milton, John

Then I went back to my hotel to think long thoughts. As is usual when I’m thinking long thoughts, I lay on the bed with my eyes closed. Susan says I often snore when thinking long thoughts.

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) American writer
Hugger Mugger, ch. 3 (2000)
    (Source)
 
Added on 14-Jun-17 | Last updated 14-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Parker, Robert

Be able to be alone. Loose not the advantage of Solitude, and the Society of thy self, nor be only content, but delight to be alone and single with Omnipresency.

Thomas Browne (1605-1682) English physician and author
Christian Morals, Part 3, sec. 9 (1716)
    (Source)
 
Added on 30-May-17 | Last updated 4-Aug-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Browne, Thomas

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)
 
Added on 30-Dec-16 | Last updated 19-Feb-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Sometimes I don’t know if my life is complicated, or if it’s that I just think too much about things.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Zoe’s Tale (2008)
 
Added on 20-Sep-16 | Last updated 20-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Scalzi, John

But the greatest gift in the power of loneliness to bestow is the realization that life does not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future; and it is appalling to contemplate the great number of often painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. It is good for one to appreciate that life is now. Whether it offers little or much, life is now — this day — this hour — and is probably the only experience of the kind one is to have.

Charles Macomb Flandrau (1871-1938) American author and essayist
Viva Mexico!, ch. 7 (1908)
 
Added on 25-May-16 | Last updated 25-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Flandrau, Charles Macomb

I could wile away the hours
Conferrin’ with the flowers,
Consultin’ with the rain;
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin’,
If I only had a brain.

E. Y. "Yip" Harburg (1896-1981) American lyricist [Edgar Yipsel Harburg, b. Isidore Hochberg]
“If I Only Had a Brain,” The Wizard of Oz (1939)
 
Added on 3-Feb-16 | Last updated 3-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Harburg, E. Y.

A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.

Patton - vigor now - wist_info

George S. Patton (1885-1945) American soldier
(Attributed)
 
Added on 2-Nov-15 | Last updated 3-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Patton, George S.

It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.

Ernest Tidyman (1928-1984) American author and screenwriter
High Plains Drifter (film) (1973)
 
Added on 14-Jul-15 | Last updated 14-Jul-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Tidyman, Ernest

It is infinitely difficult to know when and where one should stop, and for all but one in thousands the goal of their thinking is the point at which they have become tired of thinking.

[Es ist unendlich schwer, zu wissen, wenn und wo man bleiben soll, und Tausenden für einen ist das Ziel ihres Nachdenkens die Stelle, wo sie des Nachdenkens müde geworden.]

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) German playwright, philosopher, dramiturg, writer
Letter to Moses Mendelssohn (9 Jan 1771)
 
Added on 8-Apr-15 | Last updated 8-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lessing, Gotthold

Success for the most part attends those who act boldly, not those who weigh everything, and are slow to venture.

Xerxes I (519-465 BC) King the Achaemenid Empire of Persia [Xerxes the Great]
In Herodotus, The Persian Wars, 7.50 [tr. Rawlinson (1942)]
 
Added on 30-Dec-14 | Last updated 30-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Xerxes

‘Patriotism is not enough.’ But neither is anything else. Science is not enough, religion is not enough, art is not enough, politics and economics are not enough, nor is love, nor is duty, nor is action however disinterested, nor, however sublime, is contemplation. Nothing short of everything will really do.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
The Island, “Notes on What’s What” (1962)
 
Added on 22-Oct-14 | Last updated 22-Oct-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Huxley, Aldous

But in stating prudential rules for our government in society I must not omit the important one of never entering into dispute or argument with another. I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many of their getting warm, becoming rude, & shooting one another. Conviction is the effect of our own dispassionate reasoning, either in solitude, or weighing within ourselves dispassionately what we hear from others standing uncommitted in argument ourselves.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Thomas Jefferson Randolph (24 Nov 1808)
 
Added on 11-Jul-14 | Last updated 3-Aug-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Jefferson, Thomas

If we are to survive, we must have ideas, vision, courage. These things are rarely produced by committees. Everything that matters in our intellectual and moral life begins with an individual confronting his own mind and conscience in a room by himself.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) American historian, author, social critic
“The Decline of Greatness,” Saturday Evening Post (1 Nov 1958)
 
Added on 7-Apr-14 | Last updated 7-Apr-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Schlesinger, Arthur

Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 69 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
 
Added on 4-Dec-13 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gracián, Baltasar

The question is: Bad as I am, have I the right to think? And I think I have for two reasons: First, I cannot help it. And secondly, I like it.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do To Be Saved?” Sec. 1 (1880)
    (Source)
 
Added on 12-Oct-11 | Last updated 21-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

Learning makes a Man fit Company for himself.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #3163 (1732)
    (Source)
 
Added on 21-Jun-11 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee”
 
Added on 26-Jan-11 | Last updated 1-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Dickinson, Emily

The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye. We are active; and indeed we know, as something more than a symbolic accident in the evolution of man, that it is the hand that drives the subsequent evolution of the brain. We find tools today made by man before he became man. Benjamin Franklin in 1778 called man “a tool-making animal,” and that is right.

Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) Polish-English humanist and mathematician
The Ascent of Man, ch. 3 (1973)
 
Added on 8-Dec-10 | Last updated 28-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bronowski, Jacob

Leisure is the mother of Philosophy; and Common-wealth, the mother of Peace, and Leisure: Where first were great and flourishing Cities, there was first the study of Philosophy.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English philosopher
Leviathan, Part 4, ch. 46 (1651)
    (Source)
 
Added on 14-Oct-10 | Last updated 6-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Hobbes, Thomas

Illness is a convent which has its rule, its austerity, its silences, and its inspirations.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
Notebooks: 1942-1951, Notebook 4, Jan 1942 – Sep 1945 [tr. O’Brien/Thody (1963)
    (Source)
 
Added on 16-Oct-09 | Last updated 16-May-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Camus, Albert

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 3, sc. 1, l. 91ff [Hamlet] (c. 1600)
    (Source)

"Conscience" in this case is used in its archaic form, as consciousness, awareness.
 
Added on 27-May-09 | Last updated 27-Jun-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.

James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) American diplomat, essayist, poet
Among My Books, “Dryden” (1870)
 
Added on 2-Feb-09 | Last updated 13-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lowell, James Russell

The pillow is a silent Sibyl, and it is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 151 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
    (Source)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gracián, Baltasar

Thought is the labor of the intellect, reverie is its pleasure.

[La pensée est le labeur de l’intelligence, la rêverie en est la volupté.]

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, Vol. 4 “St. Denis,” Book 2 “Eponine,” ch. 1 “The Field of the Lark” (1862) [tr. Wilbour]

Alt trans. [Denny (1980)]: "Thought is the work of the intellect, reveries its self-indulgence." Cited as Part IV, ch. 2 "Eponine."
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hugo, Victor

As it is better to give than to receive, so it is better to share the fruit of one’s contemplation than merely to contemplate.

[Sicut enim maius est illuminare quam lucere solum, ita maius est contemplata aliis tradere quam solum contemplari.]

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Italian friar, philosopher, theologian
Summa Theologica, 2a-2ae, “Treatise on the States of Life,” Q.188 “Of the Different Kinds of Religious Life” (1265-1274)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • "Just as it is better to illuminate than merely to shine, so to pass on what one has contemplated is better than merely to contemplate."
  • "Better to illuminate than merely to shine; to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate."
  • "Better to light up than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate." [Source]
  • "For even as it is better to enlighten than merely to shine, so it is better to give to others the fruits of one's contemplation than merely to contemplate." [Source]
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Thomas Aquinas

Act nothing in a furious Passion; it’s putting to Sea in a Storm.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 365 (1725)
    (Source)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
(Attributed)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Einstein, Albert