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Annie Besant quotes

The true basis of morality is utility; that is, the adaptation of our actions to the promotion of the general welfare and happiness; the endeavour so to rule our lives that we may serve and bless mankind.

It is the duty of the followers of Islam to spread through the civilised world, a knowledge of what Islam means - its spirit and message.

Evil is only imperfection, that which is not complete, which is becoming, but has not yet found its end.

It is not monogamy when there is one legal wife, and mistresses out of sight.

My own life in India, since I came to it in 1893 to make it my home, has been devoted to one purpose, to give back to India her ancient freedom.

As civilisation advances, the deities lessen in number, the divine powers become concentrated more and more in one Being, and God rules over the whole earth, maketh the clouds his chariot, and reigns above the waterfloods as a king.

I was a wife and mother, blameless in moral life, with a deep sense of duty and a proud self-respect; it was while I was this that doubt struck me, and while I was in the guarded circle of the home, with no dream of outside work or outside liberty, that I lost all faith in Christianity.

If we believe in a God at all, we must surely ascribe to him perfection of wisdom and perfection of goodness; we are then forced to conceive of Him - however strange it may sound to those who believe, not only without seeing but also without thinking - as without will, because He must always necessarily pursue the course which is wisest and best.

Strange indeed would it be if all the space around us be empty, mere waste void, and the inhabitants of Earth the only forms in which intelligence could clothe itself.

You should always take a religion at its best and not at its worst, from its highest teachings and not from the lowest practices of some of its adherents.

Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside of our own limited experience is absurd.

The orthodox believers in God are divided into two camps, one of which maintains that the existence of God is as demonstrable as any mathematical proposition, while the other asserts that his existence is not demonstrable to the intellect.

Death consists, indeed, in a repeated process of unrobing, or unsheathing. The immortal part of man shakes off from itself, one after the other, its outer casings, and - as the snake from its skin, the butterfly from its chrysalis - emerges from one after another, passing into a higher state of consciousness.

Man is a spiritual intelligence, who has taken flesh with the object of gaining experience in worlds below the spiritual, in order that he may be able to master and to rule them, and in later ages take his place in the creative and directing hierarchies of the universe.

Beauty is no dead thing. It is the manifestation of God in nature. There is not one object in nature untouched by man that is not beautiful, for God's manifestation is beauty. It shines through all His works, and not only in those that may give pleasure to man.

'Easter' is a movable event, calculated by the relative positions of sun and moon, an impossible way of fixing year by year the anniversary of a historical event, but a very natural and indeed inevitable way of calculating a solar festival. These changing dates do not point to the history of a man, but to the hero of a solar myth.

I often think that woman is more free in Islam than in Christianity. Woman is more protected by Islam than by the faith which preaches monogamy. In AI Quran the law about woman is juster and more liberal.

Men are at every stage of evolution, from the most barbarous to the most developed; men are found of lofty intelligence, but also of the most unevolved mentality; in one place there is a highly developed and complex civilisation, in another a crude and simple polity.

Quick condemnation of all that is not ours, of views with which we disagree, of ideas that do not attract us, is the sign of a narrow mind, of an uncultivated intelligence. Bigotry is always ignorant, and the wise boy, who will become the wise man, tries to understand and to see the truth in ideas with which he does not agree.

What, after all, is the object of education? To train the body in health, vigor and grace, so that it may express the emotions in beauty and the mind with accuracy and strength.