Website owner:  James Miller

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Quotations from some great thinkers: Cicero, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Confucius, Pythagoras, Seneca, Cato the Elder, Buddha, Marcus Aurelius, Francis Bacon, Alexander Pope, Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Man is capable of ascending to the highest heights of goodness, morality and virtue. Unfortunately, he is also capable of descending to the greatest depths of degeneracy, depravity and wickedness. And, unfortunately, the vast majority of mankind has a strong tendency toward descending rather than ascending. The easy, natural way is descending. The hard way is ascending.

America is a deeply depraved, degenerate, immoral country. And it is not only America. The entire western world, is deeply corrupt and immoral. Right now the most of the countries of the western world have moved to legalize homosexual marriage. Homosexuality is sin of the very highest order. Not because I say so. Because God says so. This stance that almost all the countries of the western world have taken on the subject of homosexuality, this acceptance and approval of it, shows the gigantic chasm that now exists between them and the Bible. It shows the great depth of their disregard, disrespect and scorn for the Bible, for the God of the Bible. To sin is one thing. To condone a great sin and say it is not sin shows deep moral perversion. Over time, wealth, luxury and modern atheism have slowly transformed western man into degenerate, depraved animals. Animals that no longer know right from wrong. The signs of this moral degeneracy are everywhere. They are in its music, its art, its drama, its literature. They are seen in the way the younger generations are covering their bodies with tattoos. They are seen in its appetite for alcohol, drugs, pornography and lewdness. I am reminded of the following:

If one should desire to know whether a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will furnish the answer.        Confucius

I believe there is great validity in this quote. Modern western man is sick — morally, spiritually, and intellectually. He has given his soul over to Satan. Man is naturally inclined towards sin, but the West has outdone itself in its wickedness. Integrity, decency, and morality are becoming things of the past. The present situation in the modern western world is strongly reminiscent of the days of Noah. The Bible records that in the days of Noah the entire world had become so highly depraved and wicked that there was only one righteous person remaining — Noah. God, in his great anger at the gross wickedness of man, sent the great flood that destroyed all life except for Noah, his family, and the animals that he had brought into the ark.

Throughout the ages, going way back into antiquity, there have been a few thinking men devoted to a quest for wisdom, understanding and truth. Men like Confucius, Buddha, and Aristotle. These men pondered such questions as the meaning of life, the best way to live life, and mankind’s natural propensity for foolishness, moral depravity and badness. If one examines their writings one realizes that the conclusions they came to were surprisingly similar. And what they taught is surprisingly similar to the teachings of Jesus Christ and Christianity. Following are some quotations from some of these thinkers:



True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrong-doing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge. Whoever is disobedient is fleeing from himself and denying his human nature, and by reason of this very fact he will suffer the worst penalties, even if he escapes what is commonly considered punishment.


No one can be brave who considers pain to be the greatest evil in life, or can they be temperate who considers pleasure to be the highest good.


A man of courage is also full of faith.


Brevity is the best recommendation of speech, whether in a senator or an orator.


What one has, one ought to use: and whatever he does he should do with all his might.


Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.


Nothing so cements and holds together all the parts of a society as faith or credit, which can never be kept up unless men are under some force or necessity of honestly paying what they owe to one another.


It is a shameful thing to be weary of inquiry when what we search for is excellent.


That last day does not bring extinction to us, but change of place.


So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge.


People do not understand what a great revenue economy is.


I never admire another's fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.


There is wickedness in the intention of wickedness, even though it be not perpetrated in the act.


Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.


Every man can tell how many goats or sheep he possesses, but not how many friends.


Friends are proved by adversity.


Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.


The causes of events are ever more interesting than the events themselves.



Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to be always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge.


There is no place more delightful than one's own fireplace.


Honor is the reward of virtue.


Since an intelligence common to us all makes things known to us and formulates them in our minds, honorable actions are ascribed by us to virtue, and dishonorable actions to vice; and only a madman would conclude that these judgments are matters of opinion, and not fixed by nature.


I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know.


Justice consists of doing no one injury, decency in giving no one offense.


The good of the people is the greatest law.


The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct.


Cultivation is as necessary to the mind as food to the body.


There are more men ennobled by study than by nature.


Peace is liberty in tranquillity.


If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.


While there's life, there's hope.


A man's own manner and character is what most becomes him.


Whatever that be which thinks, understands, wills, and acts. it is something celestial and divine.


All things tend to corrupt perverted minds.


It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error.


The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.


A room without books is like a body without a soul.


As you have sown so shall you reap.


Orators are most vehement when their cause is weak.


When you wish to instruct, be brief; that men's minds take in quickly what you say, learn its lesson, and retain it faithfully. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.


Virtue is its own reward.


The sinews of war, a limitless supply of money.


The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.


Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.


If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.


The more laws, the less justice.


Nothing is more unreliable than the populace, nothing more obscure than human intentions, nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system.


To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.


Not for ourselves alone are we born.


For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.


Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body.


Few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so.


For while we are enclosed in these confinements of the body, we perform as a kind of duty the heavy task of necessity; for the soul from heaven has been cast down from its dwelling on high and sunk, as it were, into the earth, a place just the opposite to godlike nature and eternity. But I believe that the immortal gods have sown souls in human bodies so there might exist beings to guard the world and after contemplating the order of heaven, might imitate it by their moderation and steadfastness in life.


If you would abolish covetousness, you must abolish its mother, profusion.


The best Armour of Old Age is a well spent life preceding it; a Life employed in the Pursuit of useful Knowledge, in honourable Actions and the Practice of Virtue; in which he who labours to improve himself from his Youth, will in Age reap the happiest Fruits of them; not only because these never leave a Man, not even in the extremest Old Age; but because a Conscience bearing Witness that our Life was well-spent, together with the Remembrance of past good Actions, yields an unspeakable Comfort to the Soul.


The mind becomes accustomed to things by the habitual sight of them, and neither wonders nor inquires about the reasons for things it sees all the time.


O philosophy, life's guide! O searcher-out of virtue and expeller of vices! What could we and every age of men have been without thee? Thou hast produced cities; thou hast called men scattered about into the social enjoyment of life.


Be sure that it is not you that is mortal, but only your body. For that man whom your outward form reveals is not yourself; the spirit is the true self, not that physical figure which can be pointed out by your finger.


Nature herself makes the wise man rich.


Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.


No one can speak well, unless he thoroughly understands his subject.


The evil implanted in man by nature spreads so imperceptibly, when the habit of wrong-doing is unchecked, that he himself can set no limit to his shamelessness.


The first duty of a man is the seeking after and the investigation of truth.


Reason should direct and appetite obey.


Let reason govern desire. 


In everything, satiety closely follows the greatest pleasures.


It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.


Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God.


A mind without instruction can no more bear fruit than can a field, however fertile, without cultivation.


Nothing is so strongly fortified that it cannot be taken by money.


Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.





Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.


Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.


The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.


Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.


(The man of virtue) is his own best friend and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude.


The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.


“...happiness does not consist in amusement. In fact, it would be strange if our end were amusement, and if we were to labor and suffer hardships all our life long merely to amuse ourselves.... The happy life is regarded as a life in conformity with virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement....”


All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.


Happiness is a state of activity.


All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right, and not what is established.


All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.


It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.


He who hath many friends hath none.


It is their character indeed that makes people who they are. But it is by reason of their actions that they are happy or the reverse.


It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.


Bad people...are in conflict with themselves; they desire one thing and do another, like the incontinent who choose harmful pleasures instead of what they themselves believe to be good.


For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all; since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at birth with the arms of intelligence and with moral qualities which he may use for the worst ends. Wherefore, if he have not virtue, he is the most unholy and the most savage of animals, and the most full of lust and gluttony.


Yes the truth is that men's ambition and their desire to make money are among the most frequent causes of deliberate acts of injustice.


The self-indulgent man craves for all pleasant things... and is led by his appetite to choose these at the cost of everything else.”


“Such [communistic] legislation may have a specious appearance of benevolence; men readily listen to it, and are easily induced to believe that in some wonderful manner everybody will become everybody's friend, especially when some one is heard denouncing the evils now existing in states, suits about contracts, convictions for perjury, flatteries of rich men and the like, which are said to arise out of the possession of private property. These evils, however, are due to a very different cause - the wickedness of human nature. Indeed, we see that there is much more quarrelling among those who have all things in common, though there are not many of them when compared with the vast numbers who have private property.”


“the greater the number of owners, the less the respect for common property. People are much more careful of their personal possessions than of those owned communally; they exercise care over common property only in so far as they are personally affected.”



Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. 


Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.


Beware the barrenness of a busy life.


The hottest love has the coldest end.


The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.


Esteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren't you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige--while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry?


The easiest and noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves.


He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.


One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him.


All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.


The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.


And therefore if the head and the body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first and essential thing. And the care of the soul, my dear youth, has to be effected by the use of certain charms, and these charms are fair words; and by them temperance is implanted in the soul, and where temperance comes and stays, there health is speedily imparted, not only to the head, but to the whole body.


Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.


I did not care for the things that most people care about – making money, having a comfortable home, high military or civil rank, and all the other activities, political appointments, secret societies, party organizations, which go on in our city . . . I set myself to do you – each one of you, individually and in private – what I hold to be the greatest possible service. I tried to persuade each one of you to concern himself less with what he has than with what he is, so as to render himself as excellent and as rational as possible.




There are three classes of men; lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.


Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.


No evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.


The greatest penalty of evildoing - namely, to grow into the likeness of bad men.


Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.


The soul of man is immortal and imperishable.


Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.


Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.


Love is a serious mental disease.


Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them.


A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.


People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.


No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.


Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.


Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.


The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.


You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression is more readily taken....Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear any casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up? We cannot....Anything received into the mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and therefore it is most important that the tales which the young first hear should be models of virtuous thoughts....


I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.


“not exact, but: the two most important questions are; who will teach the children? what will they teach them?”


A house that has a library in it has a soul.


A library of wisdom, is more precious than all wealth, and all things that are desirable cannot be compared to it. Whoever therefore claims to be zealous of truth, of happiness, of wisdom or knowledge, must become a lover of books.


The man who finds that in the course of his life he has done a lot of wrong often wakes up at night in terror, like a child with a nightmare, and his life is full of foreboding: but the man who is conscious of no wrongdoing is filled with cheerfulness and with the comfort of old age.


Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.


A life without investigation is not worth living.


Let parents then bequeath to their children not riches but the spirit of reverence.


The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.


They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth.


“...both wealth and concord decline as possessions become pursued and honored. And virtue perishes with them as well.”


It's not at all uncommon to find a person's desires compelling him to go against his reason, and to see him cursing himself and venting his passion on the source of the compulsion within him. It's as if there were two warring factions, with passion fighting on the side of reason. But I'm sure you won't claim that you had ever, in yourself or in anyone else, met a case of passion siding with his desires against the rational mind, when the rational mind prohibits resistance.


Pleasure is the bait of sin.


O youth or young man, who fancy that you are neglected by the Gods, know that if you become worse you shall go with the worse souls, or if better with the better, and in every succession of life and death you will do and suffer as one may fitly suffer in accordance with conduct. This is the justice of heaven.


“[T]hose who practice philosophy in the right way are in training for dying and they fear death least of all men.”




To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.


The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.


Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, a good society.


Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.


Have no friends not equal to yourself.


By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.


The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.


The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.


If one should desire to know whether a kingdom is well governed, if its morals are good or bad, the quality of its music will furnish the answer.


The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.


It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.


The noble-minded are calm and steady. Little people are forever fussing and fretting.

Settle one difficulty, and you keep a hundred away.


Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.

Worry not that no one knows you; seek to be worth knowing.


Fix your mind on truth, hold firm to virtue, rely on loving kindness, and find your recreation in the Arts.


Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.


The Master said, “The gentleman understands what is right, whereas the petty man understands profit.”


If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one's entire life, perhaps it would be 'thoughtfulness'.


The way of the superior person is threefold; virtuous, they are free from anxieties; wise they are free from perplexities; and bold they are free from fear.


He who will not economize will agonize.


People with virtue must speak out; People who speak are not all virtuous.


The demands that good people make are upon themselves; Those that bad people make are upon others.


He Who Knows And Knows That He Knows Is A Wise Man - Follow Him; He Who Knows Not And Knows Not That He Knows Not Is A Fool - Shun Him.


Humankind differs from the animals only by a little and most people throw that away.


To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.


The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.


The superior man has a dignified ease without pride. The mean man has pride without a dignified ease.


Return good for good; return evil with justice.


Coarse rice to eat, water to drink, my bended arm for a pillow - therein is happiness. Wealth and rank attained through immoral means are nothing but drifting clouds.


A man should demand much from himself, but little from others. When you meet a man of worth, think how you may attain to his excellence. When you meet an unworthy one, then look within and examine yourself.


If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.


Act with kindness but do not expect gratitude.


It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.


Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.


Look at the means which a man employs, consider his motives, observe his pleasures. A man simply cannot conceal himself!


Respect yourself and others will respect you.


The man who in view of gain thinks of righteousness; who in the view of danger is prepared to give up his life; and who does not forget an old agreement however far back it extends – such a man may be reckoned a complete man.


Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.


In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure.


If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.


The superior man examines his heart, that there may be nothing wrong there, and that he may have no cause for dissatisfaction with himself.


The superior man honors his virtuous nature and maintains constant inquiry and study, seeking to carry it (his virtuous nature) out to its breadth and greatness, so as to omit none of the more exquisite and minute points which it embraces, and to raise it to its greatest height and brilliancy.


When the Superior Man eats he does not try to stuff himself; at rest he does not seek perfect comfort; he is diligent in his work and careful in speech.


The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.


The object of the superior man is truth.


The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.


The virtuous man is driven by responsibility, the non-virtuous man is driven by profit.


To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.


Feel kindly toward everyone, but be intimate only with the virtuous.


If, when you look into your own heart, you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about, what is there to fear?


The nobler man first practices what he preaches and afterward preaches according to his practice.


The well-bred are dignified but not pompous; the ill-bred are pompous but not dignified.


The true gentleman is friendly but not familiar; the inferior man is familiar but not friendly.


Tzu King asked: "What would you say of the man who is liked by all his fellow townsmen?" "That is not sufficient", was the reply. "What is better is that the good among his fellow townsmen like him, and the bad hate him."


Recognize that you know what you know, and that you are ignorant of what you do not know.


Hear much, leave to one side that which is doubtful, and speak with due caution concerning the remainder. See much, leave to one side that of which the meaning is not clear, and act carefully with regard to the rest.


If there be righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there be beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there be harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there be order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.


The cautious seldom err.


Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.


To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.


To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.


Have no friends not equal to yourself.


He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.  




Rest satisfied with doing well, and leave others to talk of you as they please.


Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in few!


Let no one persuade you by word or deed to do or say whatever is not best for you.


It is only necessary to make war with five things; with the maladies of the body, the ignorances of the mind, with the passions of the body, with the seditions of the city and the discords of families.


“most men and women, by birth or nature, lack the means to advance in wealth or power, but all have the ability to advance in knowledge.”


No man is free who cannot control himself.


Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be; custom will soon render it easy and agreeable.


In anger we should refrain both from speech and action.


Declining from the public ways, walk in unfrequented paths.


When the wise man opens his mouth, the beauties of his soul present themselves to the view, like the statues in a temple.




It is easier to keep out of a quarrel than to get out of one.


Speech is the mirror of the mind.


Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men.


Whom they have injured they also hate.


If we desire to judge all things justly, we must first persuade ourselves that none of us is without sin.


No ruler can be so confident of peace as to neglect to prepare for war.


We learn not in the school, but in life.


A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.


And this, too, affords no small occasion for anxieties - if you are bent on assuming a pose and never reveal yourself to anyone frankly, in the fashion of many who live a false life that is all made up for show; for it is torturous to be constantly watching oneself and be fearful of being caught out of our usual role. And we are never free from concern if we think that every time anyone looks at us he is always taking our measure; for many things happen that strip off our pretense against our will, and, though all this attention to self is successful, yet the life of those who live under a mask cannot be happy and without anxiety. But how much pleasure there is in simplicity that is pure, in itself unadorned, and veils no part of its character! Yet even such a life as this does run some risk of scorn, if everything lies open to everybody; for there are those who disdain whatever has become too familiar. But neither does virtue run any risk of being despised when she is brought close to the eyes, and it is better to be scorned by reason of simplicity than tortured by perpetual pretense.


It does not matter how many books you have, but how good the books are which you have.


We should every night call ourselves to an account;
What infirmity have I mastered today?
What passions opposed? What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired? Our vices will abort of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift.


For it is dangerous to attach one's self to the crowd, and so long as each one of us is more willing to trust another than to judge for himself, we never show any judgement in the matter of living, but always a blind trust, and a mistake that has been passed on from hand to hand finally involves us and works our destruction. It is the example of other people that is our undoing; let us merely separate ourselves from the crowd, and we shall be made whole. But as it is, the populace, defending its own iniquity, pits itself against reason. And so we see the same thing happening that happens at the elections, where, when the fickle breeze of popular favour has shifted, the very same persons who chose the praetors wonder that those praetors were chosen.


Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.


All cruelty springs from weakness.


To the stars through difficulties.


Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.


As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.


There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.


No man was ever wise by chance.


Life is like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.


It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.


He who is brave is free.


Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.


For what prevents us from saying that the happy life is to have a mind that is free, lofty, fearless and steadfast - a mind that is placed beyond the reach of fear, beyond the reach of desire, that counts virtue the only good, baseness the only evil, and all else but a worthless mass of things, which come and go without increasing or diminishing the highest good, and neither subtract any part from the happy life nor add any part to it? A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.


He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.


When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.


Throw aside all hindrances and give up your time to attaining a sound mind.


We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.


As long as you live, keep learning how to live.


And what’s so bad about your being deprived of that?... All things seem unbearable to people who have become spoilt, who have become soft through a life of luxury, ailing more in the mind than they ever are in the body.


As Lucretius says: 'Thus ever from himself doth each man flee.' But what does he gain if he does not escape from himself? He ever follows himself and weighs upon himself as his own most burdensome companion. And so we ought to understand that what we struggle with is the fault, not of the places, but of ourselves.


What difference does it make how much is laid away in a man's safe or in his barns, how many head of stock he grazes or how much capital he puts out at interest, if he is always after what is another's and only counts what he has yet to get, never what he has already? You ask what is the proper limit to a person's wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough.


Do not run hither and thither and distract yourself by changing your abode; for such restlessness is the sign of a disordered spirit.


A physician is not angry at the intemperance of a mad patient; nor does he take it ill to be railed at by a man in a fever. Just so should a wise man treat all mankind, as a physician does his patient; and looking upon them only as sick and extravagant.


Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.


Men do not care how nobly they live, but only for how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long.


Are you surprised, as if it were a novelty, that after such long travel and so many changes of scene you have not been able to shake off the gloom and heaviness of your mind? You need a change of soul rather than a change of climate. [...] Do you ask why such flight does not help you? It is because you flee along with yourself. You must lay aside the burdens of the mind; until you do this, no place will satisfy you.


People who know no self-restraint lead stormy and disordered lives, passing their time in a state of fear commensurate with the injuries they do to others, never able to relax.


It is the quality of a great soul to scorn great things and to prefer that which is ordinary rather than that which is too great.


What fortune has made yours is not your own.


He will live ill who does not know how to die well.


We must limit the running to and fro which most men practise, rambling about houses, theatres, and marketplaces. They mind other men's business, and always seem as though they themselves had something to do. If you ask one of them as he comes out of his own door, "Whither are you going?" he will answer, "By Hercules, I do not know: but I shall see some people and do something." They wander purposelessly seeking for something to do, and do, not what they have made up their minds to do, but what has casually fallen in their way. They move uselessly and without any plan, just like ants crawling over bushes, which creep up to the top and then down to the bottom again without gaining anything. Many men spend their lives in exactly the same fashion, which one may call a state of restless indolence.


Of this one thing make sure against your dying day - that your faults die before you do.


A guilty person sometimes has the luck to escape detection, but never to feel sure of it.


Diligence is a very great help even to a mediocre intelligence.


When a mind is impressionable and has none too firm a hold on what is right, it must be rescued from the crowd: it is so easy for it to go over to the majority.


Cling, therefore, to this sound and wholesome plan of life; indulge the body just so far as suffices for good health. ... Your food should appease your hunger, your drink quench your thirst, your clothing keep out the cold, your house be a protection against inclement weather. It makes no difference whether it is built of turf or variegated marble imported from another country: what you have to understand is that thatch makes a person just as good a roof as gold.


Barley porridge, or a crust of barley bread, and water do not make a very cheerful diet, but nothing gives one keener pleasure than having the ability to derive pleasure even from that -- and the feeling of having arrived at something which one cannot be deprived of by any unjust stroke of fortune.


Away with the world’s opinion of you – it’s always unsettled and divided. Away with the pursuits that have occupied the whole of your life – death is going to deliver the verdict in your case. ... It’s only when you’re breathing your last that the way you’ve spent your time will become apparent.


The bravest sight in the world is to see a great man struggling against adversity. 


However much you possess there's someone else who has more, and you'll be fancying yourself to be short of things you need to the exact extent to which you lag behind him.


Words need to be sown like seeds. No matter how tiny a seed may be, when it lands in the right sort of ground it unfolds its strength and from being minute expands and grows to a massive size.


The trip doesn’t exist that can set you beyond the reach of cravings, fits of temper, or fears … so long as you carry the sources of your troubles about with you, those troubles will continue to harass and plague you wherever you wander on land or on sea. Does it surprise you that running away doesn’t do you any good? The things you’re running away from are with you all the time.


So long, in fact, as you remain in ignorance of what to aim at and what to avoid, what is essential and what is superfluous, what is upright or honorable conduct and what is not, it will not be travelling but drifting. All this hurrying from place to place won’t bring you any relief, for you’re travelling in the company of your own emotions, followed by your troubles all the way.




Cato the Elder


Grasp the subject, the words will follow.


If you are ruled by mind you are a king; if by body, a slave.


I think the first virtue is to restrain the tongue; he approaches nearest to gods who knows how to be silent, even though he is in the right.


Buy not what you want, but what you have need of; what you do not want is dear at a farthing.


Don't promise twice what you can do at once.


Those who are serious in ridiculous matters will be ridiculous in serious matters.


We cannot control the evil tongues of others; but a good life enables us to disregard them.


An honest man is seldom a vagrant.


Be firm or mild as the occasion may require.


Consider in silence whatever any one says: speech both conceals and reveals the inner soul of man.


Flee sloth; for the indolence of the soul is the decay of the body.


Some men are more beholden to their bitterest enemies than to friends who appear to be sweetness itself. The former frequently tell the truth, but the latter never.


Speak briefly and to the point.





It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.


Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.


The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.


The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.


We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.


What we think, we become.


An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.


Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.


However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on them?


I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.


To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.


Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.


You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.


Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.


Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.


Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.


The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.


To keep the body in good health is a duty … otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.


Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering, an image of death.


Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.


Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.


On life’s journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.


There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.


Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.


Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.


All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?


An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.


Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.


He is able who thinks he is able.


It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.


The mind is everything. What you think you become.


Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.


The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast.


To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.


Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.


We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.


No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.


Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.


A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.


Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.


The tongue like a sharp knife … Kills without drawing blood.


Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.


Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.


Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.


A man is not called wise because he talks and talks; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.


Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except yourself.


As rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgements but rain your kindness equally on all.


Live purely. Be quiet.
Do your work with mastery.
Like the moon, come out
from behind the clouds!


Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.


If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us?


Purity or impurity depends on oneself,
No one can purify another.


Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.


Our life is a creation of our mind.


Conquer anger by love, evil by good; conquer the miser with liberality, and the liar with truth.


Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.


Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.


There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.


Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.


Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.


You are the community now. Be a lamp for yourselves. Be your own refuge. Seek for no other. All things must pass. Strive on diligently. Don’t give up.


A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden.


If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal, let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship with a fool.


Speak the truth, do not become angered, and give when asked, even be it a little. By these three conditions one goes to the presence of the gods.


To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.


To force oneself to believe and to accept a thing without understanding is political, and not spiritual or intellectual.


If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.


Make of yourself a light.


The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.


People with opinions just go around bothering one another.


True love is born from understanding.


There isn't enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.


Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.


What you are is what you have been. What you'll be is what you do now.


More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does greater harm.


What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil, envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil.


If you propose to speak always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.


Greed is an imperfection that defiles the mind; hate is an imperfection that defiles the mind; delusion is an imperfection that defiles the mind.


The virtuous man delights in this world and he delights in the next.


Ennui has made more gamblers than avarice, more drunkards than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair.


Contentment is the greatest wealth.


“Not merely by rules of conduct and religious observances, nor by much learning either, nor even by attainment of concentration, nor by sleeping alone, do I reach the happiness of freedom, to which no worldlings attain. If you have not put an end to compulsions, nurse your faith”


Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those that a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.


Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height.


As a flower that is lovely and beautiful, but is scentless, even so fruitless is the well-spoken word of one who practices it not.


The teaching is simple. Do what is right. Be Pure.


If it is not truthful and not helpful, don't say it.
If it is truthful and not helpful, don't say it.
If it is not truthful yet helpful, don't say it.
If it is truthful and helpful, wait for the right time.



Marcus Aurelius

"Keep thyself then simple, good, pure, serious, free from affectation, a friend of justice, a worshiper of the gods, kind, affectionate, strenuous in all proper acts. ... Reverence the gods, and help men. Short is life. There is only one fruit of this earthly life, a pious disposition and social acts."


"When thou wishest to delight thyself, think of the virtues of those who live with thee; for instance, the activity of one, and the modesty of another, and the liberality of a third, and some other good quality of a fourth. For nothing delights so much as the examples of the virtues, when they are exhibited in the morals of those who live with us and present themselves in abundance, as far as is possible. Wherefore we must keep them before us."


"One thing here is worth a great deal, to pass thy life in truth and justice, with a benevolent disposition even to liars and unjust men."


"Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts."


"Thou sayest, Men cannot admire the sharpness of thy wits? So be it. But there are many other things of which thou canst not say, 'I am not formed for them by nature'. Show those qualities then which are altogether in thy power: sincerity, gravity, endurance of labor, aversion to pleasure, contentment with thy portion and with few things, benevolence, frankness, no love of superfluity, freedom from trifling magnanimity. Dost thou not see how many qualities thou art immediately able to exhibit, in which there is no excuse of natural incapacity and unfitness, and yet thou still remainest voluntarily below the mark? Or art thou compelled through being defectively furnished by nature to murmur, and to be stingy, and to flatter, and to find fault with thy poor body, and to try to please men, and to make great display, and to be so restless in thy mind?"


"Live with the gods. And he does live with the gods who constantly shows to them that his own soul is satisfied with that which is assigned to him, and that it does all that the daemon wishes, which Zeus hath given to every man for his guardian and guide, a portion of himself. And this is every man's understanding and reason."


"How much trouble he avoids who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only to what he does himself, that it may be just and pure; or as Agathon says, look not round at the depraved morals of others, but run straight along the line without deviating from it."


"Do not act as if thou wert going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over thee. While thou livest, while it is in thy power, be good."


"Occupy thyself with few things, says the philosopher, if thou wouldst be tranquil. ---But consider if it would not be better to say, Do what is necessary, and whatever the reason of the animal which is naturally social requires, and as it requires. For this brings not only the tranquillity which comes from doing well, but also that which comes from doing few things. For the greatest part of what we say and do being unnecessary, if a man takes this away, he will have more leisure and less uneasiness. Accordingly on every occasion a man should ask himself, Is this one of the unnecessary things? Now a man should take away not only unnecessary acts, but also, unnecessary thoughts, for thus superfluous acts will not follow after."




Francis Bacon

Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.


If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.


A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.


Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.


Wonder is the seed of knowledge.


In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.


Money is a great servant but a bad master.


A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.


Knowledge is power.


There are two ways of spreading be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.


There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.


God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course, we are all familiar with the first book he wrote, namely Scripture. But he has written a second book called creation.


If we are to achieve things never before accomplished we must employ methods never before attempted.


Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.


They are ill discoverers that think there is no land when they can see nothing but sea.


The remedy is worse than the disease.


A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.


Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.


For a crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.


For friends... do but look upon good Books: they are true friends, that will neither flatter nor dissemble.


To conclude, therefore, let no man upon a weak conceit of sobriety or an ill-applied moderation think or maintain that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or the book of God's works, divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficience in both; only let men beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not unwisely mingle or confound these learnings together.


Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study.


If a man is gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows that he is a citizen of the world.


This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.


There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious.


I will never be an old man. To me old age is always 15 years older than I am.


The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds.


For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture.


Knowledge is a rich storehouse, for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man's estate.


He of whom many are afraid ought to fear many.


There was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself, as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, That it is impossible to love, and to be wise.


I would address one general admonition to all, that they consider what are the true ends of knowledge, and that they seek it not either for pleasure of the mind, or for contention, or for superiority to others, or for profit, or for fame, or power, or any of these inferior things, but for the benefit and use of life; and that they perfect and govern it in charity. For it was from lust of power that the Angels fell, from lust of knowledge that man fell, but of charity there can be no excess, neither did angel or man come in danger by it.”


If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.


Let every student of nature take this as a rule,-- that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with peculiar satisfaction is to be held in suspicion.



Alexander Pope


To err is human, to forgive, divine.


Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.


What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.


A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.


Act well your part; there all the honour lies.


Words are like Leaves; and where they most abound,
Much Fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found.


Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.


Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll;
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.


Our judgments, like our watches, none
go just alike, yet each believes his own.


Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.


Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.


Man never thinks himself happy, but when he enjoys those things which others want or desire.


I am his Highness' dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”


Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgement, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is PRIDE, the never-failing vice of fools.”


An honest man's the noblest work of God.


Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown propos'd as things forgot.


The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore,
Are what ten thousand envy and adore:
All, all look up, with reverential Awe,
At crimes that 'scape, or triumph o'er the Law:
While Truth, Worth, Wisdom, daily they decry-`
'Nothing is sacred now but Villainy'


Order is heaven's first law.


Brevity is the soul of wit.


Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men not afraid of God afraid of me.


For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight, His can't be wrong whose life is in the right.


What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to shun,
That, more than Heaven pursue.


Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense
Weigh thy Opinion against Providence;
Call Imperfection what thou fancy'st such,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much;
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
Yet cry, If Man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If Man alone ingross not Heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there:
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
Re-judge his justice, be the GOD of GOD!


In pride, in reasoning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel.



Francois de La Rochefoucauld


No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.


We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.


The only thing constant in life is change.


We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us.


Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good, to the praise that deceives them.


How can you expect another to keep a secret if we have been unable to keep it ourselves?


We have no patience with other people's vanity because it is offensive to our own.


We would often be ashamed of our best actions if the world only knew the motives behind them.


How rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.


All passions make us commit mistakes, but love makes us commit the most ridiculous ones.


Listening well and answering well is one of the greatest perfections that can be obtained in conversation.


It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them.


Everyone complains of his memory, and no one complains of his judgment.


Sometimes we are less unhappy in being deceived by those we love, than in being undeceived by them.


Some beautiful things are more impressive when left imperfect than when too highly finished.


Passion often makes a madman of the cleverest man, and renders the greatest fools clever.


Few things are needed to make a wise man happy; nothing can make a fool content; that is why most men are miserable.


Our enemies come nearer the truth in the opinions they form of us than we do in our opinion of ourselves.


Oct 2014



































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