Love is a madness produced by an unsatisfiable rational desire to understand the ultimate truth about the world.
Such, Echecrates, was the end of our comrade, who was, we may fairly say, of all those whom we knew in our time, the bravest and also the wisest and most upright man.
A man's duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life.
Either death is a state of nothingness and utter consciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if death be of such a nature, I say that to die is to gain; for eternity is then only a single night.
There's a victory and defeat-the first and best of victories, the lowest and worst of defeats-which each man gains or sustains at the hands not of another, but of himself.
And the first step, as you know, is always what matters most, particularly when we are dealing with those who are young and tender. That is the time when they are taking shape and when any impression we choose to make leaves a permanent mark.
Either we shall find what it is we are seeking or at least we shall free ourselves from the persuasion that we know what we do not know.
It behooves those who take the young to task to leave them room for excuse, lest they drive them to be hardened by too much rebuke.
Worthy of honor is he who does no injustice, and more than twofold honor, if he not only does no injustice himself, but hinders others from doing any.
Being well satisfied that, for a man who thinks himself to be somebody, there is nothing more disgraceful than to hold himself up as honored, not on his own account, but for the sake of his forefathers. Yet hereditary honors are a noble and splendid treasure to descendants.
Of all the Gods, Love is the best friend of humankind, the helper and healer of all ills that stand in the way of human happiness.
It is our duty to select the best and most dependable theory that human intelligence can supply, and use it as a raft to ride the seas of life.
We should not exercise the body without the joint assistance of the mind; nor exercise the mind without the joint assistance of the body.
He that lendeth to another in time of prosperity, shall never want help himself in the time of adversity.
He who has followed the path of love's initiation in the proper order will on arriving at the end suddenly perceive a marvelous beauty, the source of all our efforts.
Neither human wisdom nor divine inspiration can confer upon man any greater blessing than this live a life of happiness and harmony here on earth.
He who without the Muse's madness in his soul comes knocking at the door of poesy and thinks that art will make him anything fit to be called a poet, finds that the poetry which he indites in his sober senses is beaten hollow by the poetry of madmen.
No intelligent man will ever be so bold as to put into language those things which his reason has contemplated.
Grant that I may become beautiful in my soul within, and that all my external possessions may be in harmony with my inner self. May I consider the wise to be rich, and may I have such riches as only a person of self-restraint can bear or endure.
Many men are loved by their enemies, and hated by their friends, and are the friends of their enemies, and the enemies of their friends.
All learning is in the learner, not the teacher.
If it is naturally in you to be a good orator, a notable orator you will be when you have acquired knowledge and practice.
If we are to keep our flock at the highest pitch of excellence, there should be as many unions of the best of both sexes, and as few of the inferior as possible, and that only the offspring of the better unions should be kept.
We obtain better knowledge of a person during one hour's play and games than by conversing with him for a whole year.
The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves.
The heaviest penalty for deciding to engage in politics is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself.
Few men are so obstinate in their atheism, that a pressing danger will not compel them to acknowledgment of a divine power.
For the poet is a light winged and holy thing, and there is no invention in him until he has been inspired and is out of his senses and the mind is no longer with him. When he has not attained this state he is powerless and unable to utter his oracles.
The god, O men, seems to me to be really wise; and by his oracle to mean this, that the wisdom of this world is foolishness and of none effect.
He who is learning and learning and doesn't apply what he knows is like the one who is plowing and plowing and doesn't seed.
Just as it would be madness to settle on medical treatment for the body of a person by taking an opinion poll of the neighbors, so it is irrational to prescribe for the body politic by polling the opinions of the people at large.
The fear of death is indeed the pretence of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown.
To escape from evil we must be made as far as possible like God; and the resemblance consists in becoming just and holy and wise.
Man's music is seen as a means of restoring the soul, as well as confused and discordant bodily afflictions, to the harmonic proportions that it shares with the world soul of the cosmos.
The human race will have no respite from evils until those who are really philosophers acquire political power or until, through some divine dispensation, those who rule and have political authority in the cities become real philosophers.
Those who practice philosophy in the right way are in training for dying and they fear death least of all men.
They would be subject to no one, neither to lawful ruler nor to the reign of law, but would be altogether and absolutely free. That is the way they got their tyrants, for either servitude or freedom, when it goes to extremes, is an utter bane, while either in due measure is altogether a boon.
It is as expedient that a wicked man be punished as that a sick man be cured by a physician; for all chastisement is a kind of medicine.
He who advises a sick man, whose manner of life is prejudicial to health, is clearly bound first of all to change his patient's manner of life.
To conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one's own nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat.
Great is the issue at stake, greater than appears, whether a man is to be good or bad. And what will any one be profited if, under the influence of money or power, he neglect justice and virtue?
So the nature required to make a really noble Guardian of our commonwealth will be swift and strong, spirited, and philosophic.
So their combinations with themselves and with each other give rise to endless complexities, which anyone who is to give a likely account of reality must survey.
Knowledge of the soul is the only universal truth and the only wisdom -- all other knowledge is transient.
I have this tattooed on my left side! I love the saying and it's a perfect description of Karma, don't judge discriminate and don't do to someone what you wouldn't want done to you.
Nothing is more unworthy of a wise man, or ought to trouble him more, than to have allowed more time for trifling, and useless things, than they deserve.
If someone separated the art of counting and measuring and weighing from all the other arts, what was left of each (of the others) would be, so to speak, insignificant.
Truthfulness. He will never willingly tolerate an untruth, but will hate it as much as he loves truth... And is there anything more closely connected with wisdom than truth?
A democracy is a state in which the poor, gaining the upper hand, kill some and banish others, and then divide the offices among the remaining citizens equally, usually by lot.
The philosopher is in love with truth, that is, not with the changing world of sensation, which is the object of opinion, but with the unchanging reality which is the object of knowledge.
What if the man could see Beauty Itself, pure, unalloyed, stripped of mortality, and all its pollution, stains, and vanities, unchanging, divine,... the man becoming in that communion, the friend of God,... ?
Both poverty and wealth, therefore, have a bad effect on the quality of the work and the workman himself. Wealth and poverty, I answered. One produces luxury and idleness and a passion for novelty, the other meanness and bad workmanship and revolution into the bargain.
Even the good artisans fell into the same error as the poets; because they were good workmen they thought that they also knew all sorts of high matters, and this defect in them overshadowed their wisdom.
From a short-sided view, the whole moving contents of the heavens seemed to them a parcel of stones, earth and other soul-less bodies, though they furnish the sources of the world order.
Much more wretched than lackof health inthe body, it is to dwell with a soul that is not healthy, but corrupt.
Democracy does not contain any force which will check the constant tendency to put more and more on the public payroll. The state is like a hive of bees in which the drones display, multiply and starve the workers so the idlers will consume the food and the workers will perish.
O youth or young man, who fancy that you are neglected by the gods, know that if you become worse, you shall go to worse souls, or if better to the better... In every succession of life and death, you will do and suffer what like may fitly suffer at the hands of like. This is the justice of heaven.
The disposition of noble dogs is to be gentle with people they know and the opposite with those they don't know...How, then, can the dog be anything other than a lover of learning since it defines what's its own and what's alien.
Knowledge is the food of the soul.
And what, Socrates, is the food of the soul? Surely, I said, knowledge is the food of the soul.
Hence it is from the representation of things spoken by means of posture and gesture that the whole of the art of dance has been elaborated.
For neither birth, nor wealth, nor honors, can awaken in the minds of men the principles which should guide those who from their youth aspire to an honorable and excellent life, as Love awakens them.
Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood let alone believed by the masses.
The reason is that they utter these words of theirs not by virtue of a skill, but by a divine power -- otherwise, if they knew how to speak well on one topic thanks to a skill, they would know how to speak about every other topic too.
The matter is as it is in all other cases: if it is naturally in you to be a good orator, a notable orator you will be when you have acquired knowledge and practice .
The Muse herself makes some men inspired, from whom a chain of other men is strung out who catch their own inspiration from theirs.
So I spoke the truth when I said that neither I nor you nor any other man would rather do injustice than suffer it: for it is worse.
For it is clear, on the one hand, that have you been familiar with these things for a long time--whatever you wish to signify when you utter being--and, before this we used to believe it, but now we have been perplexed.
I Laïs who laughed scornfully at Hellas,
who kept a swarm of young lovers at my door,
I lay my mirror before the Paphian,
for I will not see myself as I am now,
and cannot see myself as once I was.
A poet, you see, is a light thing, and winged and holy, and cannot compose before he gets inspiration and loses control of his senses and his reason has deserted him.
Only a philosopher's mind grows wings, since its memory always keeps it as close as possible to those realities by being close to which the gods are divine.
For to fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise without really being wise, for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For no one knows whether death may not be the greatest good that can happen to man.
Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature.
Aristotle was the most eminent of all the pupils of Plato.... He seceded from Plato while he was still alive; so that they tell a story that Plato said, Aristotle has kicked us off, just as chickens do their mother after they have been hatched.
When the citizens of a society can see and hear their leaders, then that society should be seen as one.
To the rulers of the state then, if to any, it belongs of right to use falsehood, to deceive either enemies or their own citizens, for the good of the state: and no one else may meddle with this privilege.
Philosophy is an elegant thing, if anyone modestly meddles with it; but if they are conversant with it more than is becoming, it corrupts them.
But tell me, this physician of whom you were just speaking, is he a moneymaker, an earner of fees, or a healer of the sick?
Again, truth should be highly valued; if, as we were saying, a lie is useless to the gods, and useful only as a medicine to men, then the use of such medicines should be restricted to physicians; private individuals have no business with them.
The orators and the despots have the least power in their cities ... since they do nothing that they wish to do, practically speaking, though they do whatever they think to be best.
Remember our words, then, and whatever is your aim let virtue be the condition of the attainment of your aim, and know that without this all possessions and pursuits are dishonourable and evil.
And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves, then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven...Last of all he will be able to see the sun.
Thus rhetoric, it seems, is a producer of persuasion for belief, not for instruction in the matter of right and wrong ... And so the rhetorician's business is not to instruct a law court or a public meeting in matters of right and wrong, but only to make them believe.
The honour of parents is a fair and noble treasure to their posterity, but to have the use of a treasure of wealth and honour, and to leave none to your successors, because you have neither money nor reputation of your own, is alike base and dishonourable.
Let us describe the education of our men. What then is the education to be? Perhaps we could hardly find a better than that which the experience of the past has already discovered, which consists, I believe, in gymnastic, for the body, and music for the mind.
In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill... we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.
Too much attention to health is a hindrance to learning, to invention, and to studies of any kind, for we are always feeling suspicious shootings and swimmings in our heads, and we are prone to blame studies from them.
What is at issue is the conversion of the mind from the twilight of error to the truth, that climb up into the real world which we shall call true philosophy.
He is unworthy of the name of man who is ignorant of the fact that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with its side.
According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.
Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long …arousing and persuading and reproaching…You will not easily find another like me.
Serious things cannot be understood without laughable things, nor opposites at all without opposites.
That in our state one man was to do one job, and the job he was naturally most suited for .. And further, we have often heard and often said that justice consists of minding your own business and not interfering with other people.
When a beautiful soul harmonizes with a beautiful form, and the two are cast in one mould, that will be the fairest of sights to him who has the eye to contemplate the vision.
A person who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he or she ought only to consider whether in doing anything he or she is doing right or wrong- acting the part of a good person or a bad person.
My good friend, you are a citizen of Athens, a city which is very great and very famous for its wisdom and power -- 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?
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.
For I am certain, O men of Athens, that if I had engaged in politics, I should have perished long ago and done no good either to you or to myself.
Socrates: I'm afraid that it might actually be sacrilegious to stand idly by while morality is being denigrated and not try to assist as long as one has breath in one's body and a voice to protest with.
And we have made of ourselves living cesspools, and driven doctors to invent names for our diseases.
These, then, will be some of the features of democracy... it will be, in all likelihood, an agreeable, lawless, parti-colored commonwealth, dealing with all alike on a footing of equality, whether they be really equal or not.
I know not how I may seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with.
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent.
Human beings have Love for one another inborn in them -- Love, reassembler of our ancient nature, who tries to make one out of two and to heal human nature.
And when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment.
The soul takes nothing with her to the next world but her education and her culture. At the beginning of the journey to the next world, one's education and culture can either provide the greatest assistance, or else act as the greatest burden, to the person who has just died.
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
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.
Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on Simplicity.
Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity -- I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is only a euphemism for folly.
Mankind will never see an end of trouble until lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power become lovers of wisdom.
The true lover of knowledge naturally strives for truth, and is not content with common opinion, but soars with undimmed and unwearied passion till he grasps the essential nature of things.
The learning and knowledge that we have is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.