Wisdom of Life

Zeno of Citium: On the Wisdom and the Purpose of Life

“The goal of life is living in agreement with Nature.”

“Man conquers the world by conquering himself.”

“Happiness is a good flow of life.”

All things are parts of one single system, which is called Nature; the individual life is good when it is in harmony with Nature.

It is in virtue that happiness consists, for virtue is the state of mind which tends to make the whole of life harmonious.

Steel your sensibilities, so that life shall hurt you as little as possible.

We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.

By silence, I hear other men’s imperfections and conceal my own.

Well-being is attained little by little, and nevertheless is no little thing itself.

Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue.

Extravagance is its own destroyer.

A bad feeling is a commotion of the mind repugnant to reason, and against nature.

When a dog is tied to a cart, if it wants to follow, it is pulled and follows, making its spontaneous act coincide with necessity. But if the dog does not follow, it will be compelled in any case. So it is with men too: even if they don’t want to, they will be compelled to follow what is destined.

The avaricious man is like the barren, sandy ground of the desert, which sucks in all the rain and dews with greediness, but yields no fruitful herbs or plants for the benefit of others.

Love is a God, who cooperates in securing the safety of the city.

No evil is honorable; but death is honorable; therefore death is not evil.

The end may be defined as life in accordance with nature or, in other words, in accordance with our own human nature as well as that of the universe.

***

~Zeno of Citium was a Hellenistic philosopher from Citium, Cyprus. Zeno was the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy, which he taught in Athens from about 300 BC.

Quotes of Zeno from the Philosophy Book

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Categories: Wisdom of Life

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