Annie Besant (October 1, 1847 - September 20, 1933) was a prominent British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A myth is far truer than a history, for a history only gives a story of the shadows, whereas a myth gives a story of the substances that cast the shadows.
A people can prosper under a very bad government and suffer under a very good one, if in the first case the local administration is effective and in the second it is inefficient.
An accurate knowledge of the past of a country is necessary for everyone who would understand its present, and who desires to judge of its future.
Better remain silent, better not even think, if you are not prepared to act.
Celibacy is not natural to men or to women; all bodily needs require their legitimate satisfaction, and celibacy is a disregard of natural law.
Every person, every race, every nation, has its own particular keynote which it brings to the general chord of life and of humanity.
Everything which is of strife makes the vision of the truth more difficult; everything which tends to controversy makes the grasping of the truth harder.
Evil is only imperfection, that which is not complete, which is becoming, but has not yet found its end.
'God' is always the equivalent of 'I do not know.'
It is not monogamy when there is one legal wife, and mistresses out of sight.
It matters enormously what you think. If you think falsely, you will act mistakenly; if you think basely, your conduct will suit your thinking.
Knowledge is essential to conquest; only according to our ignorance are we helpless. Thought creates character. Character can dominate conditions. Will creates circumstances and environment.
Liberty is a great celestial Goddess, strong, beneficent, and austere, and she can never descend upon a nation by the shouting of crowds, nor by arguments of unbridled passion, nor by the hatred of class against class.
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 civilization, in another a crude and simple polity.
Morality is the science of harmonious relations between intelligent beings.
Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle.
No circumstances can ever make or mar the unfolding of the spiritual life. Spirituality does not depend upon the environment; it depends upon one's attitude towards life.
No durable things are built on violent passion. Nature grows her plants in silence and in darkness, and only when they have become strong do they put their heads above the ground.
No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism.
No soul that aspires can ever fail to rise; no heart that loves can ever be abandoned. Difficulties exist only that in overcoming them we may grow strong, and they who have suffered are able to save.
Not out of right practice comes right thinking, but out of right thinking comes right practice.
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.
Refusal to believe unless proof is given is a rational position, denial of all outside our own limited experience is absurd.
Someone ought to do it, but why should I? Someone ought to do it, so why not I? Between these two sentences lie whole centuries of moral evolution.
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.
The birth of science rang the death-knell of an arbitrary and constantly interposing Supreme Power.
The man of meditation is the man who wastes no time, scatters no energy, misses no opportunity.
The misery we inflict on sentient beings slackens our human evolution.
There can be no wise politics without thought beforehand.
There is no birthright in the white skin that it shall say that wherever it goes, to any nation, amongst any people, there the people of the country shall give way before it, and those to whom the land belongs shall bow down and become its servants.
There is no life without consciousness; there is no consciousness without life.
This coarse and insulting way of regarding woman, as though they existed merely to be the safety-valves of men's passions, and that the best men were above the temptation of loving them, has been the source of unnumbered evils.
Thought creates character.
When a man, a woman, see their little daily tasks as integral portions of the one great work, they are no longer drudges but co- workers with God.
Where love rules, laws are not needed.
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.