Top Understanding Life Quotes

Browse top 173 famous quotes and sayings about Understanding Life by most favorite authors.

Favorite Understanding Life Quotes

1. "Living gives you a better understanding of life. I would hope that my characters have become deeper and more rounded personalities. Wider travels have given me considerably greater insight into how cultural differences affect not only people, but politics and art."
Author: Alan Dean Foster
2. "I said that the question about death, and more precisely, the confusion about death, lies at the very heart of human understanding, and in the final analysis, the relation of man to life, that which we call his worldview, is ultimately determined by his relationship to death. All of civilization seems to be permeated with a passionate obsession to stifle this fear of death and the sense of the meaninglessness of life that oozes out of it like a slow-dripping poison. What is this intense conflict with religion, if nothing other than a mindless attempt to root out of human consciousness the memory and concern with death and consequently the question: why do I live in this brief and fragile life?"
Author: Alexander Schmemann
3. "If a child sees something in a parent that the child aspires to, he or she will copy that parent and be content. If a children feel that a parent is living a life that shows compassion and understanding, patience and love, that child will not have to reach a stage of rebellion against that parent. Why rebel against someone who has listened to you and wants to help you fufill your dreams? A parent who has proven time and again that growth and happiness of his or her children is priority number one does not have to worry about where these children are heading in life. They will be sensitive and productive members of society for as long as they live."
Author: Alice Ozma
4. "Ivanov: And this whole romance of ours is commonplace and trite: he lost heart, and he lost his way. She came along, strong and brave in spirit, and gave him an helping hand. That's all very well and plausible in novels, but in life...Sasha: In life it's the same.Ivanov: I see you have a fine understanding of life!"
Author: Anton Chekhov
5. "More a person starts understanding the people's basic nature; the better he feels to have always fewer friends for his experience basically must have given him the best lesson as his life's good teacher."
Author: Anuj Somany
6. "Literature is a way in which we can learn to live deeper lives -- husband with wife, parent with child, brother with sister, fellow member with fellow member. Most good authors are better than we are. They are much better company than our own friends. What comes from good company? What comes from good company is better manners, greater sensitivity, greater sensibility, greater empathy, great sympathy. Reading good literature makes us more capable of understanding other people, of loving other people, those whom we don't particularly want to love, even our enemies, as well as those closest to us. How can we expect to have full marriages when we are not going into those marriages with full minds and fine sensibilities? We are ignoring the tremendous possibilities of a delicate, well-poised, rich, sensitive life if we ignore the literature of the past. There is no substitute."
Author: Arthur Henry King
7. "Understanding's not enough. Understanding's from outside; merely a function of the mind. [. . .] To enter, that's the secret. To become the bridge, to crawl into its sap, to sway with it, to rot over centuries as its heartwood rots. When you are the bridge you will know what the bridge knows. It takes time. A lifetime. And skill."
Author: Catherine Fisher
8. "We're not gods, Julia. We're helpers. That's all. People have called us terrible things in the past. But that was only because they didn't understand us. That understanding is for the future, a time not long from now. You may live to see it. Then perhaps you can work openly, but for now, keep your gifts to yourself. Never flaunt your abilities. Never think you hold the power of life and death. Only God has that power. When it's a person's time, nothing can save them."
Author: Christopher Pike
9. "I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by, reason and judgment and understanding and faith that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man."
Author: Clarence Darrow
10. "Long voyages often lose themselves.Mam?You will see. It is difficult even for brothers to travel together on such a voyage. The road has its own reasons and no two travelers will have the same understanding of those reasons. If indeed they come to an understanding of them at all. Listen to the corridos of the country. They will tell you. Then you will see in your own life what is the cost of things. Perhaps it is true that nothing is hidden. Yet many do not wish to see what lies before them in plain sight. You will see. The shape of the road is the road. There is not some other road that wears the shape but only the one. And every voyage begun upon it will be completed. Whether horses are found or not."
Author: Cormac McCarthy
11. "He was no lover in a worldly sense; the only love he knew was that of divine understanding, of taking a whole life into its depths as if they were his own. From this, the greatest pain, the greatest happiness is born: the hope that we too will one day be understood, strangers will accept our words, our lives, as if they were their own."
Author: Dezso Kosztolányi
12. "Some may call you crazy if you try to reason with a dog. It is with desperate attempts that you hope they understand you. When the realization sinks in that your futile pleading goes without understanding or care, you are left with no choice but to think of the next best thing. From Finally Home: Lessons on Life from a Free-Spirited Dog"
Author: Elizabeth Parker
13. "Wisdom is the understanding that God exist, and that he is the creator of all life and things in the universe and upon Earth. This is truth. When we realize mistakes we have made, we should make serious efforts to correct them. This also, is truth."
Author: Ellen J. Barrier
14. "Subject the material world to the higher ends by understanding it in all its relations to daily life and action."
Author: Ellen Swallow Richards
15. "... Have you ever reflected that posterity may not be the faultless dispenser of justice that we dream of? One consoles oneself for being insulted and denied, by reyling on the equity of the centuries to come; just as the faithful endure all the abominations of this earth in the firm belief of another life, in which each will be rewarded according to his deserts. But suppose Paradise exists no more for the artist than it does for the Catholic, suppose that future generations prolong the misunderstanding and prefer amiable little trifles to vigorous works! Ah! What a sell it would be, eh? To have led a convict's life - to have screwed oneself down to one's work - all for a mere delusion!..."Bah! What does it matter? Well, there's nothing hereafter. We are even madder than the fools who kill themselves for a woman. When the earth splits to pieces in space like a dry walnut, our works won't add one atom to its dust."
Author: Émile Zola
16. "What does one person give to another? He gives of himself, of the most precious he has, he gives of his life. This does not necessarily mean that he sacrifices his life for the other - but that he gives him of that which is alive in him; he gives him of his joy, of his interest, of his understanding, of his knowledge, of his humor, of his sadness -- of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in him. In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person, he enhances the other's sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness. He does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy. But in giving he cannot help bringing something to life in the other person, and this which is brought to life reflects back to him."
Author: Erich Fromm
17. "Nature alone can lead to the understanding of art, just as art brings us back to nature with greater awarness. It is the source of all beauty, since it is the source of all life."
Author: Eugène Carrière
18. "Essence loves whatever is happening because it either created it or allowed you (your ego) to create it for your growth and evolution. What you learn to love about whatever you are experiencing is not how it makes you feel, but how perfectly it is suited to support your evolution toward greater love, wisdom, compassion, courage, patience, and understanding. Life is perfectly designed to evolve us, and that is what is lovable about every moment."
Author: Gina Lake
19. "From the heart arise unknowable impulses as well as conscious feelings, moods, and wishes. The heart, too, has its reasons and is the center of perception and understanding. Finally, the heart is the seat of the will: it makes plans and comes to good decisions. Thus the heart is the central and unifying organ of our personal life. Our heart determines our personality, and is therefore not only the place where God dwells but also the place to which Satan directs his fiercest attacks. It is this heart that is the place of prayer. The prayer of the heart is a prayer that directs itself to God from the center of the person and thus affects the whole of our humanness."
Author: Henri J.M. Nouwen
20. "No doubt they all Got What Was Coming To Them. All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create...a generation of permanent cripples failed seekers who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebodyor at least some force is tending that Light at the end of the tunnel. This is the same cruel and paradoxically benevolent bullshit that has kept the Catholic Church going for so many centuries."
Author: Hunter S. Thompson
21. "Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesmen to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it .The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were , with no sense of direction, and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul."
Author: J.I. Packer
22. "My laboratory is interested in the related challenges of understanding the origin of life on the early earth, and constructing synthetic cellular life in the laboratory. Focusing on artificial life frees us to explore novel chemical systems, but what we learn from these systems helps us to understand possible pathways leading to the origin of life. Our basic design for a synthetic cell involves the encapsulation of a spontaneously replicating nucleic acid, which acts as the genetic material, within a spontaneously replicating membrane vesicle, which provides spatial localization. We are using chemical synthesis to make nucleic acids with modified nucleobases and sugar-phosphate backbones."
Author: Jack W. Szostak
23. "And you think journeying abroad will give you this knowledge you crave?I think it will contribute to my understanding of the world, of people.More so than say, the old lady who has lived in the same house her entire life, who has borne children both alive and dead? Who tends her soil; who sees the sun shine and the rain fall over the land, winter, spring, summer and autumn? What might you say to the idea that we all have a capacity for wisdom, just as a jug has room for a finite amount of water-pouring more water in the jug doesn't increase that capacity."
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
24. "The wave is the signature of every experience of life. By understanding the nature of waves and their characteristics, and applying that understanding to our lives, we can navigate life with a little more grace."
Author: Jeffrey R. Anderson
25. "If the beginning of wisdom is in realizing that one knows nothing, then the beginning of understanding is in realizing that all things exist in accord with a single truth: Large things are made of smaller things. Drops of ink are shaped into letters, letters form words, words form sentences, and sentences combine to express thought. So it is with the growth of plants that spring from seeds, as well as with walls built from many stones. So it is with mankind, as the customs and traditions of our progenitors blend together to form the foundation for our own cities, history, and way of life. Be they dead stone, living flesh, or rolling sea; be they idle times or events of world-shattering proportion, market days or desperate battles, to this law, all things hold: Large things are made from small things. Significance is cumulative--but not always obvious. --Gaius Secondus"
Author: Jim Butcher
26. "The American writer and dilettante Logan Pearsall Smith once said: 'Some people think that life is the thing; but I prefer reading.' When I first came across this, I thought it witty; now I find it—as I do many aphorisms—a slick untruth. Life and reading are not separate activities. The distinction is false (as it is when Yeats imagines a choice between 'perfection of the life, or of the work'). When you read a great book, you don't escape from life, you plunge deeper into it. There may be a superficial escape—into different countries, mores, speech patterns—but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life's subtleties, paradoxes, joys, pains and truths. Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic. And for this serious task of imaginative discovery and self-discovery, there is and remains one perfect symbol: the printed book."
Author: Julian Barnes
27. "Backup?" Tori said. "You mean he didn't need that?""Apparently not," I murmured.Simon looked from her to me, confused, then understanding. "You guys thought...""That if you didn't get your medicine in the next twenty-four hours, you'd be dead?" I said. "Not exactly, but close. You know, the old 'upping the ante with a fatal disease that needs medication' twist. Apparently, it still works.""Kind of a letdown, then, huh?""No kidding. Here we were, expecting to find you minutes from death. Look at you, not even gasping.""All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two."He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly."Chloe? Is that you?" He coughed. "Do you have my insulin?"I placed it in his outstretched hand."You saved my life," he said. "How can I ever repay you?""Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled."He held up a piece of fruit. "Would you settle for a bruised apple?"
Author: Kelley Armstrong
28. "How did so many women get to this unhappy place of not understanding how truly "simple" men are in their requirements and how much benevolent power their wives have over them? Why did notions like assuaging "male ego" and using "feminine wiles" rocket into disrepute? How is it that so many women are angry with men in general yet expect to have a happy life married to one of them?There are a number of reasons for this, and I believe they all revolve around the assault upon, and virtual collapse of, the values of religious morality, modesty, fidelity, chastity, respect for life, and a commitment to family and child-rearing."
Author: Laura C. Schlessinger
29. "Salvation does not lie in the rituals and profession of faith, but in a lucid understanding of the meaning of one's life."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
30. "To gain a true understanding of human experience, we must understand both our conscious and our unconscious selves, and how they interact. Our subliminal brain is invisible to us, yet it influences our conscious experience of the world in the most fundamental of ways: how we view ourselves and others, the meanings we attach to the everyday events of our lives, our ability to make the quick judgment calls and decisions that can sometimes mean the difference between life and death, and the actions we engage in as a result of all these instinctual experiences."
Author: Leonard Mlodinow
31. "Faith is first of all not attachment to a body of doctrines but a process of responding in obedience and trust to God's Word. God has given us the possibility of hearing the Word, since it was spoken in the humanity of Jesus, which we share, and since it continues to be spoken through the Holy Spirit, which dwells in us. So also theology is first of all not the study of doctrines, but a process of reflection on this response in faith. The classic definition of theology, "faith seeking understanding", remains always valid. Faith seeks to understand the one to whom it responds. It also, thereby, seeks to understand itself, and the implications of being so called and so gifted to respond. … Who, then, is qualified for theology? The theological task is implied by the very life of faith itself. Every Christian is therefore called to do theology in this sense. Every Christian must seek an understanding of his or her response to God and the implications of that response for the rest of life."
Author: Luke Timothy Johnson
32. "An act of terrorismis not an ideology,nor religion.It is the lack of hope,of opportunityand of love.When there is no recourse,no other waythere is only insurrection.Understanding, compassionand respect for all lifeis what will save us all."
Author: Mahima Martel
33. "A poem exists only in the relation between poet and reader. And I'm in need of my readers, except that they never cease to write me as they would wish, turning their reading into another writing that almost rubs out my features. I don't know why my poetry has to be killed on the altar of misunderstanding or the fallacy of ready-made intent. I am not solely a citizen of Palestine, though I am proud of this affiliation and ready to sacrifice my life in defending the radiance of the Palestinian fact, but I also want to take up the history of my people and their struggle from an aesthetic angle that differs from the prevalent and repeatable meanings readily available from an unmediated political reading."
Author: Mahmoud Darwish
34. "How to explain the sheer tingling joy one experiences when two interesting, complex, and occasionally aggravating characters have at last settled their misunderstandings and will live happily ever after, no matter what travails life might throw in their path, because Jane Austen said they will, and that's that? How to describe the exhilaration of being caught up in an unknown but glamorous world of balls and gowns and rides in open carriages with handsome young men? How to explain that the best part of Jane Austen's world is that sudden recognition that the characters are just like you?"
Author: Margaret C. Sullivan
35. "I AM (your true self) is not interested in man's opinion. All its interest lies in your conviction of yourself. What do you say of the I AM within you? Can you answer and say, "I AM Christ"? Your answer or degree of understanding will determine the place you will occupy in life. Do you say or believe yourself to be a man of a certain family, race, nation, etc.? Do you honestly believe this of yourself? Then life, your true self, will cause these conceptions to appear in your world and you will live with them as though they are real."
Author: Neville Goddard
36. "At one point, trying to explain her unhappiness, Sanna was to say to Miss Love, "I read some psychology books in college. Everything that's supposed to warp a child happened to me." Miss Love, who had been raped as an adolescent, replies, "Everything that could warp a child happened to me, too. But understanding that doesn't help. It's interesting but it doesn't help. I figure that what you do with your life now is all that counts. I try not to look back."
Author: Olive Ann Burns
37. "If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is an absurdity and there is absolutely no need for it. What the world needs is not "a little bit of love," but major surgery. If you think you are helping lost people with your sympathy and understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ. You must have a right-standing relationship with Him yourself, and pour your life out in helping others in His way— not in a human way that ignores God."
Author: Oswald Chambers
38. "When your life is all taking, what need to learn courtship? Carcharos's passion for Jassi Belnarak deepened and darkened with every sleepless night, but it did not keep him from understanding that neither beneficence nor meek wistfulness would win her honestly. Power would have to do, after all; and I think that for the only time in that bad life, Carcharos may truly have regretted the necessity of forcing his will on another person. The moment can't have lasted long, but I think further that it may have been the closest Carcharos ever came to knowing love."
Author: Peter S. Beagle
39. "Stunned by how little he'd gotten over her and she'd gotten over him, he walked away understanding, as outside his reading in classical Greek drama he'd never had to understood before, how easily life can be one thing rather than another and how accidentally a destiny is made..."
Author: Philip Roth
40. "If you are having trouble understanding, let me spell it out for you … This is serious, Bianca. I've never been more fucking serious in my life."
Author: R.K. Lilley
41. "As we experience this love, there is a temptation at times to become hostile to our earlier understandings, feeling embarrassed that we were so "simple" or "naive," or "brainwashed" or whatever terms arise when we haven't come to terms with our own story. These past understandings aren't to be denied or dismissed; they're to be embraced. Those experiences belong. Love demands that they belong. That's where we were at that point in our life and God met us there. Those moments were necessary for us to arrive here, at this place at this time, as we are. Love frees us to embrace all of our history, the history in which all things are being made new."
Author: Rob Bell
42. "This inner peace of mind occurs on three levels of understanding. Physical quietness seems the easiest to achieve, although there are levels and levels of this too, as attested by the ability of Hindu mystics to live buried alive for many days. Mental quietness, in which one has no wandering thoughts at all, seems more difficult, but can be achieved. But value quietness, in which one has no wandering desires at all but simply performs the acts of his life without desire, that seems the hardest."
Author: Robert M. Pirsig
43. "For him morality was neither conformism nor philosophic wisdom, but living the infinite fullness of possibilities. He believed in morality's capacity for intensification, in stages of moral experience, and not merely, as most people do, in stages of moral understanding, as if it were something cut-and-dried for which people were just not pure enough. He believed in morality without believing in any specific moral system. Morality is generally understood to be a sort of police regulations for keeping life in order, and since life does not obey even these, they come to look as if they were really impossible to live up to and accordingly, in this sorry way, not really an ideal either. But morality must not be reduced to this level. Morality is imagination. This was what he wanted to make Agathe see. And his second point was: Imagination is not arbitrary. Once imagination is left to caprice, there is a price to pay."
Author: Robert Musil
44. "I would see him, Edward.'It was no request; he knew it to be an ultimatum. He shook his head violently, not trusting his voice. Time passed. She was staring at him, saying nothing, and on her face was a look of stunned disbelief, of anguished accusation he knew would haunt him for the rest of his life. But when she spoke, her voice held no hint of tears. It was not a voice to offer either understanding or absolution, spoke of no quarter given, of a lifetime of love denied.'God may forgive you for this,' she said, very slowly and distinctly, 'but I never shall."
Author: Sharon Kay Penman
45. "Noble and great. Courageous and determined. Faithful and fearless. That is who you are and who you have always been. And understanding it can change your life, because this knowledge carries a confidence that cannot be duplicated any other way."
Author: Sheri L. Dew
46. "Beauty lies in the mind, inner soul....Beauty lies in the innocence, appreciation, understanding, warmth, expressions, caring nature, behavior towards others, the depth of understanding the situations, the kind of sufferings, struggles, losses, difficulties, sorrows, happiness- the thick n thins through which person sails throughout hi/her life. Which ultimately reflects on your face- the ultimate reflection of your mind and thus evolves a beautiful personality."
Author: Sriveena Dhagavkar
47. "So I would hope they would develop some kind of habit that involves understanding that their life is so full they can afford to give in all kinds of ways to other people. I consider that to be baseline spirituality."
Author: Susan Sarandon
48. "So the soul mate does make us feel complete, like finding the deeper understanding of ourselves...souls will choose to be with or marry others when incarnate. We go through countless experiences, and sometimes one soul outgrows the other one (which also imitates life when one person grows and his or her partner stays stagnant). Of course these two are still connected-it's just that one has evolved to a greater degree than the other half has. This doesn't mean that your soul mate stops watching out for you or loving you-you two will be close for eternity. So instead of looking for the one soul mate, enjoy all the wonderful people you know and love here and from other lives...and even on the Other Side."
Author: Sylvia Browne
49. "A real love letter is made of insight, understanding, and compassion. Otherwise it's not a love letter. A true love letter can produce a transformation in the other person, and therefore in the world. But before it produces a transformation in the other person, it has to produce a transformation within us. Some letters may take the whole of our lifetime to write."
Author: Thích Nhất Hạnh
50. "He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life,where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet."
Author: William Golding

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