I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.
If we crave for the goal that is worthy and fitting for man, namely, happiness of life - and this is accomplished by philosophy alone and by nothing else, and philosophy, as I said, means for us desire for wisdom, and wisdom the science of truth in things, and of things some are properly so called, others merely share the name - it is reasonable and most necessary to distinguish and systematize the accidental qualities of things.
It is more important to listen to questions than to answer them. To listen with full intent, with full openness, with a genuine desire to understand not the question only, but the question behind the question, and to be at one with the questioner - this is an engagement very difficult.
There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge. We try all the ways that can lead us to it. When reason fails us, we use experience.. which is a weaker and less dignified means. But truth is so great a thing that we must not disdain any medium that will lead us to it.
To philosophize is but to desire to see things accurately.
It would truly be a fine thing if men suffered themselves to be guided by reason, that they should acquiesce in the true remonstrances addressed to them by the writings of the learned and the advice of friends. But the greater part are so disposed that the words which enter by one ear do incontinently go out of the other, and begin again by following the custom. The best teacher one can have is necessity.
The health of the soul is to have its faculties - reason, high spirit, and desire - happily tempered, with reason in command, and reining in both the other two, like restive horses. The special name of this health is temperance.
If thou desire to see thy child virtuous, let him not see his father’s vices; thou canst not rebuke that in children that they behold practiced in thee; till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts; such as thy behavior is before they children’s faces, such commonly is theirs behind their parents backs.
Regardless of how much honor he receives, an honor-seeker will feel upset if even one person does not show him the honor and approval he demands. There will never be an amount of honor that will satisfy him. Physical desires have a saturation point, but the desire for honor is based on falsehood and illusion and is really nothing in itself.