Wisdom for the Soul Wisdom for the Soul Thoughts to live by


Related States & Conditions | Syntonic | Dystonic

Do not depend upon others: there is no grace, no help to be had from the outside.
c. 563-483 BCE , Indian Prince, Mystic, Founder of Buddhism

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.
50-120, Greek Stoic Philosopher

You should refrain from dependence on anything at all, pure or impure. Then mindfulness and mindlessness, views and no view, will be like a snowflake on a red-hot furnace.
Yuanwu Kekin
1063-1135, Chinese Chan Master
in Zen Essence: The Science of Freedom, Thomas Cleary, tr. & ed., 1989

We often have to put up with most from those on whom we most depend.
Baltasar Gracian
1601-1658, Spanish Jesuit Writer, Philosopher

There is no dependence that can be sure but a dependence upon one’s self.
John Gay
1685-1732, English Poet, Dramatist, Librettist

To be obliged to beg our daily happiness from others bespeaks a more lamentable poverty than that of him who begs his daily bread.
Charles Caleb Colton
1780-1832, English Cleric, Satirist

Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1803-1882, American Poet, Essayist

The man who goes out alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.
Henry David Thoreau
1817-1862, American Essayist, Poet, Philosopher

We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.
George Bernard Shaw
1856-1950, Irish Writer, Dramatist, 1925 Nobel Laureate

Why are people so afraid? The answer is that they have made themselves helpless and dependent on others. We are so lazy, we do not want to do anything for ourselves. We want a Personal God, a savior or a prophet to do everything for us.
1863-1902, Indian Guru, Writer
The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, 1984-1987, 8:131, 1926

A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
Dorothy Canfield Fisher
1879-1958, American Writer

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.
E. M. Forster
1879-1970, English Writer, Essayist, Literary Critic
in The Observer, 1951

Human love is often but the encounter of two weaknesses.
Francois Mauriac
1885-1970, French Writer, Poet, Dramatist, Journalist, 1952 Nobel Laureate

A person who depends on others is not himself or herself but really the subject of others.
Marcus Garvey
1887-1940, Jamaican Pan-African Leader, Writer

We build our defenses slowly, brick by brick, cementing them with our fear and anguish; and then, when they are no longer needed, we cannot bear to tear them down. We have leaned on them too long. Our lives have been shaped to fit them, psychic muscles have stiffened against them, emotions have learned to flow under them, our vocabulary has entwined itself around them until they are almost hidden from us.
Lillian Smith
1897-1966, American Writer, Social Critic
The Journey

The more you depend on forces outside yourself, the more you are dominated by them.
Harold Sherman
1898-1987, American Writer, ESP Researcher

The dependence on irrational authority results in a weakening of the will in the dependent person and, at the same time, whatever tends to paralyze the will makes for an increase in dependence. Thus a vicious circle is formed.
Erich Fromm
1900-1980, German/American Psychoanalyst, Writer
Man for Himself, 1947

The crucial psychological battle we must wage is that against our own dependent needs, and our anxiety and guilt feelings which will arise as we move toward freedom.
Rollo May
1909-1994, American Psychoanalyst

The proverb warns that “You should not bite the hand that feeds you.” But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.
Thomas Szasz
1920-, Hungarian/American Psychiatrist

You must begin to trust yourself. If you do not then you will forever be looking to others to prove your own merit to you, and you will never be satisfied. You will always be asking others what to do, and at the same time resenting those from whom you seek such aid.
Jane Roberts
1929-1984, American Writer, Channel
The Nature of Personal Reality, 1974

If you depend on someone for your happiness you are becoming a slave, you are becoming dependent, you are creating a bondage.
"Osho" Rajneesh
1931-1990, Indian Guru
The Book of the Books, Vol. IV

We are all inclined to abdicate responsibilities and delegate our authority to something outside ourselves. Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves … finally realizing that there’s no baby-sitter you can count on … realizing that it’s not just baby-sitters that come and go. The whole of life is like that. This is the truth and the truth is inconvenient. Theism is an addiction.
Pema Chodron
1936-, American Buddhist Nun, Writer
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, 1997

We can never be completely whole in and of ourselves. We are inevitably social creatures who desperately need each other not merely for sustenance, not merely for company, but for any meaning to our lives whatsoever.
M. Scott Peck
1936-2005, American Psychiatrist, Writer
The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, 1987

Co-dependence is taking someone else's temperature to see how you feel.
Linda Ellerbee
1944-, American Journalist

You can’t base your life on other people’s expectations.
Stevie Wonder
1950-, African-American Musician, Songwriter

Thinking there is some special person out there who is going to save us is a barrier to pure love … We seek desperately for love, but it is that same desperation that leads us to destroy it once it gets here. Thinking that one special person is going to save us tempts us to load an awful lot of emotional pressure on whoever comes along that we think might fit the bill.
Marianne Williamson
1952-, American Therapist, Writer
A Return to Love, 1992

If you don’t trust yourself to be involved in transforming that which needs to be changed, then you end up waiting for someone else to come along and do the work for you. This leads to a constant state of dependence on some external authority, when the means to achieving what you want sits within yourself.
Malidoma Some
1956-, Burkina Fasso Dagara Shaman, Writer
The Healing Wisdom of Africa, 1999

Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.
1958-, American Pop Singer

You have to realize that you can be you. Otherwise, you have a potpourri of other people's decisions. You are a second place person getting from life a small portion of the good that is possible. Leaning on the consciousness of others, you are not being what you can be.
Raymond Charles Barker
American Metaphysician, Writer

If rejection destroys your self-esteem, you’re letting others hold you as an emotional hostage.
Brian Tracy









This cross-index may help identify and delineate more closely subjective realities often hard to pin down.
  • Related states elucidate shades of meaning and amplify nuances of feeling
  • Syntonic elements foster and enhance well-being
  • Dystonic factors are contraindicated and should be minimized.
Related States & Conditions Avoidance/Denial/Refusal| Belief/Religion| Complacency| Conformity| Delusion | Failure/Error, Insecurity/Risk
Syntonic Autonomy/Control | Balance | Centering | Courage | Creativity/Discovery/Innovation | Determination/Persistence/Resolve, Diligence, Focus/Intention, Ingenuity, Initiative, Insight/Instinct/Intuition, Inspiration, Integrity, Learning, Liberation/Liberty/Freedom, Preparation/Readiness, Renewal, Responsibility, Self, Self-Reliance, Strength, Understanding, Vision/Visualization, Wisdom
Dystonic Anger | Attachment | Avoidance/Denial/Refusal | Chaos/Uncertainty | Depression/Despair/Distress, Fault, Fear, Guilt, Habit, Inaction, Laziness, Jealousy/Envy, Worry


Pardon us for the Author links which do not work and incomplete Subject cross-references. This is a life-work-in-progress and, like Penelope's tapestry, proceeds bit by bit.
- Webmeister
Web wisdomforthesoul.org


Thoughts to live by
Wisdom for The Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing , © 2004