The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
If the individual cannot dream of a better future, he cannot live well today.
I desire neither to live comfortably, nor do I wish to become rich. Happiness is better than riches and happy is he who wanders about, possessing nothing that requires his care. He who wants to study the book of nature must wander with his feet over its leaves.
One who knows the higher truths finds the "serious" values of society difficult to take seriously. Eternity is a child at play.
As Pythagoras and his followers began to describe the rational element in life, they started to formulate a parallel concept. [...] The concept went like this: life can be explained in rational terms only up to a point. There is a vast irrational element in life, too.
After three days and three nights he [Siddhartha] realized that life is suffering, that suffering is caused by desire for earthly things, but that you can achieve freedom from all desire. Indeed, you can achieve such freedom, and such affinity for the spirit world, that you need never reincarnate again - and so you may become, as Siddhartha did, a Buddha.
[...] life is consciousness and wisdom; and those who do not possess it are dead thought they seem to live. He who possesses the Truth shall still live though he seem to die. Wisdom bestows immortality upon internal consciousness. Immortality is not continuance in one body, but the continuance of consciousness through many bodies.
Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.
When the disciples of Socrates questioned him concerning the Absolute, he also refused to discuss it, stating that it was beyond his wisdom and that it played no practical part in everyday life.
In all things involving the acquirement of knowledge, the Ancient Wisdom says, "First purify your own life."
There was an old Greek fable to the effect that even the most wealthy man must eat his own food. If he hires another to do his eating, the one he hires will gain the nourishment.
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
Only a fool or a stranger on this planet will be surprised by anything in this life.
Practice also the things you don't expect to master.
Often I marvel at how men love themselves more than others while at the same time caring more about what others think of them than what they think of themselves.
Fear not that life will someday end; fear instead that a life in harmony with nature may never begin.
You can't master the arts of reading and writing until you've studies them. This applies even more to those who would master the art of living.
The sincere and good man gives off such an unmistakable odor that whenever he walks by you can't fail to smell him, whether you want to or not.
Does a man ridicule me? That's his business. It's my job to make sure that nothing I say or do deserves to be ridiculed. Will he hate me? His business again. Mine is to remain gentle and well disposed toward everyone, ready to show even this fellow the mistake in his thinking, not in a scolding tone or with a show of forbearance, but graciously and genuinely...
Due to the uniformity of all things, the man who lives to be forty, if he has any sense at all, will have seen everything that was or will be.
Only the rational being can embrace his fate and follow the course of events willingly; those who howl and whine can merely follow.
Stop all this theorizing about what a good man should be. Be it!
What's so bad or surprising about the ignoramus who acts out of ignorance? Find fault instead with yourself for failing to anticipate his offensive behavior. Your ability to reason should have told you that he would misbehave, but you refused to listen and are now shocked by his misbehavior.
Against every vice there is a power to combat it...
One man prays, "Help me seduce this woman," but you pray instead, "Prevent me from lusting after her."
Another Prays, "Rid me of my enemy," but you pray, "Rid me of the desire to be rid of my enemy."
Another, "Do not take my dear child from me," but you, "May I not fear the loss of my child."
Turn your prayers in this direction, and see what comes of it.
Simplicity and modesty are the fruits of philosophy; keep me from becoming pompous and proud.
Injustice results as often from not doing as from doing.
Doing evil doesn't harm the universe, nor does one person's wrongdoing hurt another. It only hurts the person who is doing the wrong, and he can stop doing it whenever he wishes.
So what if they kill you, hack you to pieces, hunt you down with curses. How can this keep your mind from being pure, sound, temperate, and just?
Give yourself to the present. Those who chase after future fame fail to realize that the men whose praise they crave tomorrow will be no different from the men whose opinions they despise today, and all these men will die. What do you care whether tomorrow's men know the sound of your name or say nice things about you?
My delight is in clear thinking and a clean conscience, in not turning away from any man or from anything that happens to men, but in looking on all with compassion and using everything according to its worth.
You get what you deserve because you would rather become good tomorrow than do good today.
When you have trouble staying awake, remember that working with and on behalf of others is in keeping with the laws of human nature and of your own constitution, whereas sleep is something you share with the brute beasts.
How then can you grow tired of helping others when by doing so you help yourself?
When you have done something well and someone else has benefited from it, why do you crave yet a third reward, as fools do, who want to be thanked or to be repaid?
...every moment provides us with opportunities to exercise the virtues of neighborliness and thought, or in other words, to practice the art of being human and divine.
Pain is never unbearable or unending, so long as you are mindful of its limits and bridle your imagination.
No one knowingly chooses to live without the truth.
Look at the past with its endless succession of empires, and you see the future. The two are the same since there is no way of escaping the changeless rhythm of the present. Study man for forty years or for ten thousand - it's all the same. What more can you expect to see?
It is the fate of kings to do men good and to be hated for it.
Don't hanker after what you don't have. Instead, fix your attentions on the finest and best that you have, and imagine how much you would long for these if they weren't in your possession. At the same time, don't become so attached to these things that you would be distraught if you were to lose them.
When someone wrongs you, ask yourself: What made him do it? Once you understand his concept of good and evil, you'll feel sorry for him and cease to be either amazed or angry. If his concept is similar to yours, then you are bound to forgive him since you would have acted as he did in similar circumstances. But if you do not share his ideas of good and evil, then you should find it even easier to overlook the wrongs of someone who is confused and in a moral muddle.
It is within a man's power to love even those who sin against him. This becomes possible when you realize that they are your brothers, that they wrong you unintentional or out of ignorance...
No matter what anyone else does or says, I must be good. It is as if gold or an emerald or purple dye were perpetually telling itself, "No matter what anyone may do or say, I must be an emerald and keep my color."
The happiness of those who want to be popular depends on others; the happiness of those who seek pleasure fluctuates with moods outside their control; but the happiness of the wise grows out of their own free acts.
Be content with what you have.
In all things, show yourself to be the faithful student of Antoninus, who never tired of living in complete accord with reason, acting with moderation on all occasions, controlling even the expressions on his face. Be worthy of his sweetness and devotion, his indifference to praise, his love of putting things in order. Remember how he never abandoned a subject until he had studied it in depth and understood it thoroughly; how he put up with unjustified accusations without saying a word; how he never acted in haste or listened to slander; how he weighed carefully a man's character and actions; how he was never spiteful, craven, suspicious, or pedantic; how simpler were his tastes and spare his needs in lodging and bed and dress and food and service; and how he loved hard work and bore the inconveniences and irritations of life with inexhaustible patience.
How shameful and absurd for it is for the spirit to surrender when the body is able to fight on!
Persuade me or prove to me that I am mistaken in thought or deed, and I will gladly change - for it is the truth I seek, and the truth never harmed anyone. Harm comes from persisting in error and clinging to ignorance.
Do your duty - and never mind whether you are shivering or warm, sleeping on your feet or in your bed, hearing yourself slandered or praised, dying or doing something else. Yes, even dying is an act of life and should be done, like everything else, "to the best of your abilities".
There is no reason why you shouldn't live here on earth as you'd like to live in the hereafter.
Nothing ever happens to a man that he is not equipped by nature to endure.
Wherever life is possible, it is possible to live the right way. What if you live in a palace? Then it is possible to live in a palace in the right way.
Let the virtues you do possess shine forth: your honesty, dignity, and stamina; your indifference to pleasure and loathing of self-pity; your wanting little for yourself and giving much to others; your measured words and temperate deeds.
Just image the gods saying to you, "Tomorrow, you're going to die, or at the latest, the day after tomorrow." Are you going to make a big deal over the difference between tomorrow and the day after and start begging the gods for an extra day? Not unless you're a thorough-going coward. Really, what's the difference? Well then, take the same attitude toward living to be a ripe old age or dying tomorrow.
Everything is as natural and familiar as a spring rose or a summer grape. This includes diseases, death, slander, treason, and all those things that gladden and sadden the hearts of fools.
For all things fade away, become the stuff of legend, and are soon buried in oblivion. Mind you, this is true only for those who blazed once like bright stars in the firmament, but for the rest, as soon as a few clods of earth cover their corpses, they are "out of sight, out of mind."
In the end, what would you gain from everlasting remembrance? Absolutely nothing. So what is left worth living for? This alone: justice in thought, goodness in action, speech that cannot deceive, and a disponsition glad of whatever comes, welcoming it as necessary, as familiar, as flowing from the same source and fountain as yourself.
Cherish your gifts, however humble, and take pleasure in them.
The good man isn't looking around for cheaters. He dashes straight for the finish and leans into the tape.
We live only in the present, in this fleet-footed moment. The rest is lost and behind us, or ahead of us and may never be found.
Purge your mind of all aimless and idle thoughts, especially those that pry into the affairs of others or with them ill.
Because you have chosen not to respect yourself, you have made your happiness subject tot he opinions others have of you.
He [Sextus] demonstrated how to praise without overdoing it and how to possess knowledge without showing it off.
Claim your right to say or do anything that accords with nature, and pay no attention to the chatter of your critics. If it is good to say or do something, then it is even better to be criticized for having said or done it.
Bear in mind that the measure of a man is the worth of the things he cares about.
Don't become a Buddhist. The world doesn't need more Buddhists. Do practice compassion. The world needs more compassion.
As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope and movies and the radio, it will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.
In terms of experience, reality has physical, mental, emotional, social, planetary, spiritual, and dimensional-density aspects to it. Typically, in an attempt to define the real Matrix, the last three are not figured into the equation (because they generate knowledge and information which transcends social perception), and no one can see the “box” or what it’s made of. On Earth, the general population is barely aware of planetary aspects beyond wars and weather fronts. Spiritual aspects? Well, look around you and see the blind lead the blind.
Our obstacles to inner freedom are usually formed during childhood. As children we know how we feel about things, and we seldom hesitate to make our feelings known. But pressure from family and friends leads us to adopt the more narrow views and patterns that conform to what people expect. When our natural ideas and feelings are discouraged, we grow out of touch with our senses, and the flow of communication between our bodies and minds is inhibited; we no longer know what we truly feel. As the patterns of suppression grow stronger and more fixed, our opportunities for self-expression diminish. We become so used to conforming, that as we grow older we let these patterns rule our lives; we become strangers to ourselves.
Most social institutions of great significance on this planet (religions, governments and cultural traditions) actively promote their version of information dealing with the ‘big questions’ in life. Who are we? Why are we here? What more is out there? Yet, anyone having the time to do any degree of research at all eventually realizes that what we are faced with is a situation where open deceit has been institutionalized on a planetary scale.