When you see anyone weeping in grief because his loved one has gone abroad, or is dead, or because he has suffered in his affairs, be careful that the appearance may not misdirect you.
Instead, distinguish within your own mind, and be prepared to say , ‘It’s not the accident that distresses this person, because it does not distress another person; it is the judgement he makes about it.’
It is our attitudes to things that give them their value, whether good or bad, or indifferent. Strengthen your mind to right attitudes, and you will live with fortitude and just measure.
The honourable man is he who honours others.
If there are inequalities in different fields of barley, they are owing to the difference of the soil, to the unequal nourishment of rains and dews, to the different ways in which farmers have gone about their work.
Thus all things which are the same in kind are like one another. Why should we be in doubt with regard to man, as if he were a solitary exception to this rule? The sage and we are the same in kind, if we allow the possibility of wisdom to flourish within us.
This is proof that existence has no value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life?
If life - the craving for which is the very essence of our being - had intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom: Existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing.
But as it is, we take no delight in existence except when we are struggling for something.
Do not demand that things should happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.
Do not allow such a consideration as this to distress you: ‘I will be nobody anywhere.’ Is it the meaning of life to get power, or to be admitted to the first rank? And how is it true that you will be nobody anywhere, when you will be somebody in those things which lie under your own control, where you yourself matter most?
- It is sometimes wisdom to seem a fool.
- One's chief wisdom consists in knowing one's weakness.
- It is easier to be wise for others than for oneself.
- No one is the only wise one.
Study is like husbandry, in which we till the ground and sow with seed to reap thereafter; for I heard myself a good husbandman at his book once say, that to rest from study some time of the day and some time of the year, made as much for the increase of learning as to let the land lie fallow for a season.
Let us curiously test new ideas and court new impressions, never acquiescing in a facile orthodoxy. Philosophy may help us gather up what might otherwise pass unregarded, for philosophy is the microscope of thought;
But theory which requires the sacrifice of any part of this experience, in consideration of some interest we cannot enter, has no claim upon us. It is life itself that has the first and last claim, and it is the fresh light and clear air that wisdom brings to life that answers it,
For to love and to strive, to seek to know, to attend to the best that has been thought, said and done in the world, and to learn from it, is wisdom: and wisdom is life.
To seek the good is the first demand we should make upon ourselves; but next to the good, and to it alone, the greatest of all things is friendship.
Lycurgus’ next task, and indeed the most hazardous, was a new division of lands. For there was an extreme inequality among the people; their state was overloaded with indigent and necessitous persons, while its whole wealth had centred upon very few.
To expel from the state arrogance and envy, luxury and crime, and those yet more inveterate diseases of want and superfluity, Lycurgus therefore persuaded rich and poor alike to renounce their properties, and to accept a new division of the land, so that all should live together on an equal footing;
Merit to be their only road to eminence, and the disgrace of evil, and credit of worthy acts, the one measure of difference between man and man.
Unless you enter upon things with forethought and resolution to do your best, but instead rashly and with a cold inclination only, you will be a mimic and a playing child merely in all you do.
Here on the steppe is a forgotten grave.
It is not a memorial to anyone now,
Except to an affection that once was,
That lifted and piled stones one on another,
Many stones, so that wolves could not feed here,
Nor vultures. On the cold steppe there is a song
Sung for ever by the wind, neither ballad nor lament,
But the steppe song, that sings to those who live and die
With its huge horizon before their faces,
And its pure air that carries the wolf’s howl
Far to the world’s edge.
The stones’ only visitor now is the steppe wind
Singing to them neither ballad nor lament.
Death is no different from being unborn. It is the sleep without dreams, it is rest, the final escape from all ills and passions. It is immunity from wrong, from calumny, error and spite. Who would not welcome this, who can think clearly and without fear?