Saturday, December 23, 2017

My personal selected philosophical quotes and proverbs!

While being harassed and burned every day I took the time to read about philosophy. Currently I'm reading a book about Senaca and I also took the time to read quotes about other stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus ect...

For those of you not familiar with stoic philosophy I strongly recommend to visit this website:

How to be a stoic - collections  

But stoic philosophy is not the only topic I read about, I also took the time to read about proverbs and aphorisms. (An aphorism can be a terse saying, expressing a general truth or principle, or it can be an astute observation. An aphorism is spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.)


Anyway here is a small list of proverbs, aphorisms and philosophical quotes which I gathered while reading different sources of quotes. (this list not complete and will be updated If I find the time and will to do so.)


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Philosophical quotes, proverbs and aphorisms:

  1. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing
  2. The secret in happiness you see, is not found in seeking more but in developing the capacity to enjoy less
  3. Are you not ashamed of caring so much for the making of money and for fame and prestige, when you neither think nor care about wisdom and truth and the improvement of your soul
  4. Not all beautiful people are good but all good people are beautiful
  5. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds
  6. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals
  7. Vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare
  8. In any situation the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, the worst thing you can do is nothing
  9. Keep away from people that try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.
  10. Whenever you find the whole world against you just turn around and lead the world
  11. Being defeated is a temporary condition, giving up is what makes it permanent
  12. First determine what the right thing to do is, then afterwords do it
  13. In matters of style swim with the current, in matters of principle stand like rock
  14. To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing
  15. Do first things first and second things not at all
  16. If you're going through hell keep going
  17. Understanding a question is half an answer
  18. From the deepest desires often comes the deadliest hate
  19. The one who oppresses others is always a coward
  20. Slander cannot destroy an honest man, when the flood recedes the rock is there
  21. The greatest hero is one who has control over his desires
  22. It is better to lose on principle than to win on lies
  23. There is no medicine for hate
  24. Hope for the best prepare for the worst
  25. He who puts up with insult invites injury
  26. Better a polite refusal than a worthless promise
  27. A straight enemy is better than a false friend
  28. He who doesn't find a little enough will find nothing enough
  29. Who gossips with you will gossip of you
  30. Watch out for the patient man's anger
  31. He who acts too friendly does not seek your affection, but something from you
  32. Worry gives a small thing a big shadow
  33. Running away can be shameful, but not when it evades annihilation
  34. I have no knowledge of myself as I am, but merely as I appear to myself
  35. There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience
  36. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle
  37. What you do not desire for yourself do not to others
  38. The great man is he who still retains the innocent heart of a child
  39. One who loves will be loved by others, one who hates will be hated by others
  40. Mental punishment is a great crime, and it is hard to be proven
  41. I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. 
  42. The foolish undertake a trifling act and soon desist, discouraged; wise men engage in mighty works, and persevere.
  43. No one is more profoundly sad than he who laughs too much. 
  44. The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.
  45. Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity, he who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it.
  46. When a base fellow cannot vie with another in merit he will attack him with malicious slander. 
  47. A stranger who is kind is a kinsman, an unkind kinsman is a stranger. 
  48. There is not half so much danger in the desperate sword of a known foe, as in the smooth insinuations of a pretended friend.
  49. He travels safe and not unpleasantly who is guarded by poverty and guided by love.
  50. Pride is a vice which pride itself inclines every man to find in others and overlook in himself.
  51. By six qualities may a fool be known: anger without a cause, speech without a profit, change without motive, inquiry without an object, trust in a stranger and incapacity to indiscriminate between friend and foe.
  52.  Anger that has no limit causes terror and unseasonable kindness does away with respect. Be not so severe as to cause disgust, nor so lenient as to make people presume.
  53. He who intends to be a great man ought to love neither himself nor his own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by himself or by another.
  54.  A man eminent in learning has not even a little virtue if he fears to practise it. What precious things can be shown to a blind man when he holds a lamp in his hand.
  55. Purpose without power is mere weakness and deception and power without purpose is mere fatuity.
  56. Riches disclose in a man's character the bad qualities formerly concealed in his poverty. 
  57. No man learns to know his inmost nature by introspection, for he rates himself sometimes too low, and often too high, by his own measurement. Man knows himself only by comparing himself with other men, it is life that touches his genuine worth.
  58. I never yet found pride in a noble nature nor humility in an unworthy mind.
  59. The man who listens not to the words of affectionate friends will give joy in the time of distress to his enemies.
  60. He who lives beyond his means forfeits respect and loses his sense. Wherever he goes he will be regarded as a knave and women will hate him. 
  61. Poverty without debt is independence.
  62. The best conduct a man can adopt is that which gains him the esteem of others without depriving him of his own.
  63. Two persons die remorseful: he who possesed and enjoyed not, and he who knew but did not practise.
  64. A man cannot posses anything that is better than a good wife or anything that is worse than a bad one.
  65.  A swan is out of place among crows, a lion among bulls, a horse among asses, and a wise man among fools.
  66. Books are pleasant but if by being over studious we impair our health and spoil our good humour, two of the best things we have, let us give it over. I, for my part, am one of those who think no fruit drived from them can recompense so great a loss. 
  67. How can we learn to know ourselves? By reflection, never, but by our actions. Attempt to do your duty, and you will immediately find what is in you. 
  68.  All confidence is dangerous unless it is complete, there are few circumstances in which it is not better either to hide all or to tell all. 
  69. It is well that there is no one without a fault, for he would not have a friend in the world: he would seem to belong to a different species. 
  70. He does not think too much of himself is much more steemed than he imagines. 
  71.  A bad man is as much pleased as a good man is distressed to speak ill of others. 
  72.  There is such a grateful tickling in the mind of a man in being commended that even when we know the praises which are bestowed on us are not our due, we are not angry witht the author's insincerity. 
  73. The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove. 
  74. Misantropy ariseth from a man trusting another without having sufficient knowledge of his character, and, thinking him to be truthful, sincere and honourable, finds a little afterwards that he is wicked, faithless, and then he meets with another of the same character. When a man experiences this often, and more particularly from those whom he considered his most dear and best friends, at last, having frequently made a slip, he hates the whole world, and thinks that there is nothing sound at all in any of them. 
  75. Neither live with a bad man nor be at enmity with him, even as if you take hold of glowing charcoal it will burn you, if you take hold of cold charcoal it will soil you.
  76. Fair words without good deeds to a man in misery are like a saddle of gold clapped upon a galled horse.
  77. It is a common remark that men talk most who think least, just as frogs cease their quacking when light is brought to the water-side.
  78. Vociferation and calmness of character seldom meet in the same person.
  79. Let us be well persuaded that everyone of us possesses happiness in proportion to his virtue and wisdom, and according as he acts in obedience to their suggestion. 
  80. All property which comes to hand by means of violence, or infamy, or baseness, however large it may be, is tainted and unblest. On the other hand, whatever is obtained by honest profit, small dough it be, brings a blessing with it.
  81. Words of blame from those who are hostile to a great man cannot injure him. The moon is not hurt when barked at by a dog.
  82. Faith is like love, it cannot be forced. Therefore it is a dangerous operation if an attempt be made to introduce or bind it by state regulations, for, as the attempt to force love begets hatred, so also to compel religious belief produces rank unbelief.
  83. The wicked have no stability, for they do not remain in consistency with themselves, they continue friends only for a short time, rejoicing in each other's wickedness.
  84. Behaviour is a mirror in which every one shows his image.
  85. Noble birth is an accident of fortune, noble actions characterizes the great. 
  86. Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought.
  87. When anyone is modest, not after praise, but after censure, then he really is so.
  88. Experience has always shown, and reason shows, that affairs which depend on many seldom succeed.
  89. Every gift, though small, is in reality great, if it be given with affection.
  90. Poverty is not dishonourable in itself, but only when it arises form idleness, intemperance, extravagance and folly.
  91. Stupidity has it's sublime as well as genius, and he who carries that quality to absurdity has reached it, which is always a source of pleasure to sensible people. 
  92. It is commonly a dangerous thing for a man to have more sense than his neighbours. Socrates paid for his superiority with his life, and if Aristotle saved his skin, accused as he was of heresy by the chief priest eurymedon, it was because he took his heels in time. 
  93. Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as the blazing meteor when it descends to earth is only a stone. 
  94.  Avoid that friend if you are wise, who consorts with your enemies. 
  95. Whosoever lends a greedy ear to a slanderous report is either himself of a radically bad dispositionor a mere child in sense.
  96. Eminent positions make eminent men greater and little men less.
  97. No joy in nature is so sublimely affecting as the joy of a mother at the good fortune of a child.
  98. In character, in manners, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.
  99. In all companies there are more fools than wise men, and the greater part always gets the better of the wiser.
  100. It is a character of a simpleton to be a bore. A man of sense sees at once whether he is welcome or tiresome, he knows to withdraw the moment that precedes that in which he would be in the least in the way.


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