Top Contemplation Quotes

Browse top 178 famous quotes and sayings about Contemplation by most favorite authors.

Favorite Contemplation Quotes

1. "In democratic society each citizen is habitually busy with the contemplation of a very petty object, which is himself."
Author: Alexis De Tocqueville
2. "Once released from life, having lost it in such violence, I couldn't calculate my steps. I didn't have time for contemplation. In violence it is the getting out that you concentrate on. When you begin to go over the edge, life receding from you as a boat recedes inevitably from the shore, you hold on to death tightly, like a rope that will transport you, and you swing out on it, hoping to land away from where you are."
Author: Alice Sebold
3. "MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada."
Author: Ambrose Bierce
4. "The Pali term for "feeling" is vedana, derived from the verb vedeti, which means both "to feel" and "to know". In its usage in the discourses, vedana comprises both bodily and mental feelings. Vedana does not include "emotion" in its range of meaning. Although emotions arise depending on the initial input provided by feeling, they are more complex mental phenomena than bare feeling itself and are therefore rather the domain of the next [third] satipa??hana, contemplation of states of mind."
Author: Analayo
5. "Recollection of death also serves as a useful preparation for the time when one actually has to face death. As the concluding exercise among the body contemplations, a regular recollection of death can lead to the realization that death is fearful only to the extent to which one identifies with the body. With the aid of the body contemplations one can come to realize the true [impermanent] nature of the body and thereby overcome one's attachment to it. Being free from attachment to the body, one will be freed from any fear of physical death."
Author: Analayo
6. "I thought more and more about impermanence and death - not in the form of a depressing nihilism, but as a contemplation on the transitory nature of the bodies we cling to so dearly. Why was I so attached to something that will inevitably return to dust? Why am I not more focused on the pure and eternal soul - the only true form of life - within this fleshy cage?"
Author: Andrew Bowen
7. "The deepest shade of twilight did not send him from his favourite plane-tree. He loved the soothing hour, when the last tints of light die away; when the stars, one by one, tremble through aether, and are reflected on the dark mirror of the waters; that hour, which, of all others, inspires the mind with pensive tenderness, and often elevates it to sublime contemplation. When the moon shed her soft rays among the foliage, he still lingered, and his pastoral supper of cream and fruits was often spread beneath it. Then, on the stillness of night, came the song of the nightingale, breathing sweetness, and awakening melancholy."
Author: Ann Radcliffe
8. "Contemplation becomes amoral with the decline of the middle class, but right thinking is restored once again with it's abolishment."
Author: Bauvard
9. "In certain strains of Judaism, there's a profound passion for the ineffable. Contemplation of God is meant to be forever elusive, because, you know, our tiny minds can't possibly comprehend Him. If we find ourselves comprehending Him, then we can be sure we're off track."
Author: Ben Marcus
10. "The aim of life is no more to control the mind, but to develop it harmoniously; not to achieve salvation here after, but to make the best use of it here below; and not to realise truth, beauty and good only in contemplation, but also in the actual experience of daily life; social progress depends not upon the ennoblement of the few but on the enrichment of democracy; universal brotherhood can be achieved only when there is an equality of opportunity - of opportunity in the social, political and individual life.— from Bhagat Singh's prison diary, p. 124"
Author: Bhagat Singh
11. "I hadn't spent so much time in bemused contemplation of a penis since I was sixteen or so, and here I was, preoccupied with three of the things."
Author: Diana Gabaldon
12. "...and also with sufficient good judgment to appreciate that while he might enjoy the contemplation of his superiority to the masses, there was little likelihood of the masses being equally entranced by the same cause."
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
13. "An art aims, above all, at producing something beautiful which affects not our feelings but the organ of pure contemplation, our imagination."
Author: Eduard Hanslick
14. "Sadness does not inhere in things; it does not reach us from the world and through mere contemplation of the world. It is a product of our own thought. We create it out of whole cloth."
Author: Emile Durkheim
15. "What a school of politeness is such a contemplation of the past! To take everything objectively, to be angry at nothing, to love nothing, to understand everything-- makes one gentle and pliable."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
16. "If we are in a general way permitted to regard human activity in the realm of the beautiful as a liberation of the soul, as a release from constraint and restriction, in short to consider that art does actually alleviate the most overpowering and tragic catastrophes by means of the creations it offers to our contemplation and enjoyment, it is the art of music which conducts us to the final summit of that ascent to freedom."
Author: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
17. "Reformation ends not in contemplation, but in action."
Author: George Gillespie
18. "He had read much, if one considers his long life; but his contemplation was much more than his reading. He was wont to say that if he had read as much as other men he should have known no more than other men."
Author: Isaac Asimov
19. "Birth and death are the most singular events we experience - and the contemplation of death, as of birth, should be a thing of beauty, not ignobility."
Author: Jacob K. Javits
20. "Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation...tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation."
Author: Jean Arp
21. "Plato offers the amazing idea that contemplation of the way things really are is, in itself, a purifying process that can bring human beings into the only divinity there is."
Author: Jennifer Michael Hecht
22. "For as in nothing is a gentleman better to be discerned from a vulgar person, so in nothing is a gentle nation (such nations have been) better to be discerned from a mob, than in this, - that their feelings are constant and just, results of due contemplation, and of equal thought. You can talk a mob into anything; its feelings may be - usually are - on a whole, generous and right; but it has no foundation for them, no hold of them; you may tease or tickle it into any, at your pleasure; it thinks by infection, for the most part, catching an opinion like a cold, and there is nothing so little that it will not roar itself wild about, when the fit is on; nothing so great but it will forget in an hour, when the fit is past."
Author: John Ruskin
23. "Repose, leisure, peace, belong among the elements of happiness. If we have not escaped from harried rush, from mad pursuit, from unrest, from the necessity of care, we are not happy. And what of contemplation? Its very premise is freedom from the fetters of workaday busyness. Moreover, it itself actualizes this freedom by virtue of being intuition."
Author: Josef Pieper
24. "Earthly contemplation means to the Christian, we have said, this above all: that behind all that we directly encounter the Face of the incarnate Logos becomes visible... Contemplation does not ignore the "historical Gethsemane," does not ignore the mystery of evil, guilt and its bloody atonement. The happiness of contemplation is a true happiness, indeed the supreme happiness; but it is founded upon sorrow."
Author: Josef Pieper
25. "Watchfulness is the path of immortality:Unwatchfulness is the path of death.Those who are watchful never die:Those who do not watch are already as dead.Those who with a clear mind have seen this truth,Those who are wise and ever watchful,They feel the joy of watchfulness,The joy of the path of the great.And those who in high thought and in deep contemplationWith ever living power advance on the path,They in the end reach NIRVANA,The peace supreme and infinite joy.~ Buddha"
Author: Juan Mascaró
26. "...deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, 'You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well', as if he said, 'Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy."
Author: Julian Of Norwich
27. "The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamouring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace."
Author: Kate Chopin
28. "Dwelling much on the contemplation of little things, [we] are in danger of losing the intellectual appetite."
Author: L. H. Sigourney
29. "... she saw that Ricky had not wheeled the little stool any distance from the bed but sat as close as before, gazing at her with sorrow and without judgment. And now Ricky plucked thoughtfully at her own lip, and drew a breath and gazed hard at the blanket, seeming to lose herself in contemplation of some deep and powerful interest, as though whatever she was working out was not for Jess's sake only. When she looked up she said: 'That might be harder.' [p. 352l"
Author: Leah Hager Cohen
30. "Controlling the position of one's body and keeping a straight back are not contemplation, but can in fact become an obstacle to contemplation. ...when leaving the body 'uncontrolled' is spoken of, what is meant is simply allowing the body to remain in an authentic, uncorrected condition, in which it is not necessary to modify or improve anything. This is because, since all our attempts at correcting the body come from the reasoning mind, they are all false and artificial."
Author: Namkhai Norbu
31. "What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether I'm online or not, my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski."
Author: Nicholas Carr
32. "But active programming consists of the design of new programs, rather than contemplation of old programs."
Author: Niklaus Wirth
33. "Sacrifice of the self is the source of all humiliation, as also on the contrary is the foundation of all true exaltation. The first step will be an inward gaze—an isolating contemplation of ourselves. Whoever stops here has come only halfway. The second step must be an active outward gaze—autonomous, constant observation of the external world.No one will ever achieve excellence as an artist who cannot depict anything other than his own experiences, his favorite objects, who cannot bring himself to study assiduously even a quite strange object, which does not interest him at all, and to depict it at leisure. An artist must be able and willing to depict everything. This is how a great artistic style is created, which rightly is so much admired in Goethe."
Author: Novalis
34. "Living is the opposite of poetry. Poetry is the recollection of living, or, more often than not, the lament of having not lived. Or worse yet, merely the contemplation of living. My advice to you, Ms. Harper, is this: Live. And keep living. And never stop to look back to write about what you have lived and observed and overcome, lest you turn into a pillar of salt. This desert life is already full of such monoliths."
Author: P.S. Baber
35. "Prayer that craves a particular commodity—anything less than all good, is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is theft and meanness. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
36. "Action is greater than writing. A good man is a nobler object of contemplation than a great author. There are but two things worth living for: to do what is worthy of being written; and to write what is worthy of being read."
Author: Ross Perot
37. "It may be added, to prevent misunderstanding, that when I speak of contemplated objects in this last phrase as objects of contemplation, the act of contemplation itself is of course an enjoyment."
Author: Samuel Alexander
38. "No father, no son, no mother, no daughter should get so busy that he or she does not have time to study the scriptures and the words of modern prophets. None of us should get so busy that we crowd out contemplation and praying. None of us should become so busy in our formal Church assignments that there is no room left for quiet Christian service to our neighbors."
Author: Spencer W. Kimball
39. "All great art contains at its center contemplation, a dynamic contemplation."
Author: Susan Sontag
40. "As objects of contemplation, images of the atrocious can answer to several different needs. To steel oneself against weakness. To make oneself more numb. To acknowledge the existence of the incorrigible."
Author: Susan Sontag
41. "The dark is a quiet place. Reflection and contemplation are the only things to do in it. Well that, and imagine the worst things possible.I don't have to reflect or contemplate or any of those things. I know what the worst things possible are. I know about the things that hide in the dark. Insanity is the least of them."
Author: Tara Brown
42. "Despite all their flaws, zoos wake us up. They invite us to step outside our most basic assumptions. Offered for our contemplation, the animals remind us of nature's impossibly varied schemes for survival, all the strategies that species rely upon for courtship and mating and protecting the young and establishing dominance and hunting for something to eat and avoiding being eaten. On a good day, zoos shake people into recognizing the manifold possibilities of existence, what it's like to walk across the Earth, or swim in its oceans of fly above its forests—even though most animals on display will never have the chance to do any of those things again, at least not in the wild."
Author: Thomas French
43. "A sort of halo, an occidental glow, came over life then. Troubles and other realities took on themselves a metaphysical impalpability, sinking to mere mental phenomena for serene contemplation, and no longer stood as pressing concretions which chafed body and soul."
Author: Thomas Hardy
44. "Or can it be thought that they who heap up an useless mass of wealth, not for any use that it is to bring them, but merely to please themselves with the contemplation of it, enjoy any true pleasure in it? The delight they find is only a false shadow of joy. Those are no better whose error is somewhat different from the former, and who hide it, out of their fear of losing it; for what other name can fit the hiding it in the earth, or rather the restoring to it again, it being thus cut off from being useful, either to its owner or to the rest of mankind? And yet the owner having hid it carefully, is glad, because he thinks he is now sure of it. It if should be stole, the owner, though he might live perhaps ten years after the theft, of which he knew nothing, would find no difference between his having or losing it; for both ways it was equally useless to him."
Author: Thomas More
45. "The type of the Inevitable is death. I remember well that in my youth I believed that I was certainly exempt from its operation. First when my daughter died, next when you were wounded, I knew that I was mortal; and now I regard those years as wasted, as unproductive, in which I was not aware that my death was certain, nay, momently possible. I can now appraise at a glance those who have not yet foreseen their death. I know them for the children they are. They think that by evading its contemplation they are enhancing the savor of life. The reverse is true: only those who have grasped their non-being are capable of praising the sunlight."
Author: Thornton Wilder
46. "If the nature of the world is revealed to man through religion, then gardens, as places for contemplation, should symbolise the perfection of nature."
Author: Tom Turner
47. "All the sleepers in a night of delution beholding so many dreams. In this world of darkness, only those who sever themselves from the meterial world, become absorbed in the contemplation of the supreme. None can be regarded as really woken up from sleep till they have renounced all sensuous delights"."
Author: Tulasidas
48. "I should be at peace. I have understood. Don't some say that peace comes when you understand? I have understood. I should be at peace. Who said that peace derives from the contemplation of order, order understood, enjoyed, realized without residuum, in joy and truimph, the end of effort? All is clear, limpid; the eye rests on the whole and on the parts and sees how the parts have conspired to make the whole; it perceives the center where the lymph flows, the breath, the root of the whys..."
Author: Umberto Eco
49. "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory"
Author: Viktor E. Frankl
50. "Better is it', she thought, 'to be clothed with poverty and ignorance, which are the dark garments of the female sex; better be quit of martial ambition, the love of power, and all the other manly desires if so one can more fully enjoy the most exalted raptures known to the humane spirit, which are', she said aloud as her habit was when deeply moved, 'contemplation, solitude, love."
Author: Virginia Woolf

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People make changes in their life, and they blend and assimilate. They find a way to make it work. That's where I've always taken the wrong turn. By not taking a turn at all."
Author: Caprice Crane

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