As Plato entertained some friends in a room where there was a couch richly ornamented, Diogenes came in very dirty, as usual, and getting upon the couch, and trampling on it, said, “I trample upon the pride of Plato.” Plato mildly answered, “But with greater pride, Diogenes!”
As an example of just how useless these philosophers are for any practice in life there is Socrates himself, the one and only wise man, according to the Delphic Oracle. Whenever he tried to do anything in public he had to break off amid general laughter. While he was philosophizing about clouds and ideas, measuring a flea’s foot and marveling at a midge’s humming, he learned nothing about the affairs of ordinary life.
This I always religiously observed, as a rule, says one, never to chide my husband before company, nor to prattle abroad of miscarriages at home. What passes between two people is much easier made up than when once it has taken air.
Amongst the learned the lawyers claim first place, the most self-satisfied class of people, as they roll their rock of Sisyphus and string together six hundred laws in the same breath, no matter whether relevant or not, piling up opinion on opinion and gloss on gloss to make their profession seem the most difficult of all. Anything which causes trouble has special merit in their eyes.
This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind.
Only by the good influence of our conduct may we bring salvation in human affairs; or like a fatal comet we may bring destruction in our train.
If you look at history you’ll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
Topics: Literature, Books
The nearer people approach old age the closer they return to a semblance of childhood, until the time comes for them to depart this life, again like children, neither tired of living nor aware of death.
Now I believe I can hear the philosophers protesting that it can only be misery to live in folly, illusion, deception and ignorance, but it isn’t –it’s human.
Topics: Humanity, Human Nature
What difference is there, do you think, between those in Plato’s cave who can only marvel at the shadows and images of various objects, provided they are content and don’t know what they miss, and the philosopher who has emerged from the cave and sees the real things?
Everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age?
Topics: Babies, Family, Children
Ask a wise man to dinner and he’ll upset everyone by his gloomy silence or tiresome questions. Invite him to a dance and you’ll have a camel prancing about. Haul him off to a public entertainment and his face will be enough to spoil the people’s entertainment.
Topics: Intellectuals, Intelligence
He who allows oppression shares the crime.
Time takes away the grief of men.
There is nothing I congratulate myself on more heartily than on never having joined a sect.
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