There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge. We try all the ways that can lead us to it. When reason fails us, we use experience.. which is a weaker and less dignified means. But truth is so great a thing that we must not disdain any medium that will lead us to it.
The spirit of politeness is a desire to bring about by our words and manners, that others may be pleased with us and with themselves.
If we crave for the goal that is worthy and fitting for man, namely, happiness of life - and this is accomplished by philosophy alone and by nothing else, and philosophy, as I said, means for us desire for wisdom, and wisdom the science of truth in things, and of things some are properly so called, others merely share the name - it is reasonable and most necessary to distinguish and systematize the accidental qualities of things.
Not need, nor desire - no, the love of power is the demon of man. One may give them everything - health, nourishment, quarters, they remain unhappy; for the demon insists on being satisfied. One may take away everything from them and satisfy this demon: they then are almost happy.
The desire of one man to live on the fruits of another's labor is the original sin of the world.
The health of the soul is to have its faculties - reason, high spirit, and desire - happily tempered, with reason in command, and reining in both the other two, like restive horses. The special name of this health is temperance.
To philosophize is but to desire to see things accurately.
To shun desire is to conquer a kingdom.
If thou desire to see thy child virtuous, let him not see his father’s vices; thou canst not rebuke that in children that they behold practiced in thee; till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts; such as thy behavior is before they children’s faces, such commonly is theirs behind their parents backs.
If you desire to be magnanimous, undertake nothing rashly, and fear nothing thou undertakes; fear nothing but infamy; dare anything but injury; the measure of magnanimity is neither to be rash nor timorous.
There is a cowardly propensity in the human heart that delights in oppressing somebody else, and in the gratification of this base desire we always select a victim that can be outraged with safety.
Eyes will not see when the heart wishes them to be blind. Desire conceals truth as darkness does the earth.
Lack of desire is the greatest riches.
Regardless of how much honor he receives, an honor-seeker will feel upset if even one person does not show him the honor and approval he demands. There will never be an amount of honor that will satisfy him. Physical desires have a saturation point, but the desire for honor is based on falsehood and illusion and is really nothing in itself.
It is... most profitable to us in life to make perfect the intellect or reason as far as possible, and in this one thing consists the highest happiness or blessedness of man; for blessedness is nothing but the peace of mind which springs from the intuitive knowledge of God, and to perfect the intellect is nothing but to understand god, together with the attributes and actions of God, which flow from the necessity of His nature. The final aim, therefore, of a man who is guided by reason, that is to say, the chief desire by which he strives to govern all his other desires, is that by which he is led adequately to conceive himself and all things which can be conceived by his intelligence.
Men who are governed by reason... desire for themselves nothing which they do not also desire for the rest of mankind.
Shame, although it is not a virtue, is nevertheless good, in so far as it shows that a desire of living uprightly is present in the man who is possessed with shame, just as pain is called good in so far as it shows that the injured part has not yet putrefied. A man, therefore, who is ashamed of what he has done, although he is sorrowful, is nevertheless more perfect than the shameless man who has no desire of living uprightly.
We do not desire a thing because we adjudge it to be good, but, on the contrary, we call it good because we desire it, and consequently everything to which we are averse we call evil. Each person, therefore, according to his affect judges or estimates what is good and what is evil, what is better and what is worse, and what is the best and what is the worst. Thus the covetous man thinks plenty of money to be the best thing and poverty the worst.
With regard to marriage, it is plain that it is in accordance with reason, if the desire of connection is engendered not merely by external form, but by a love of begetting children and wisely educating them; and if, in addition, the love both of the husband and wife has for its cause not external form merely, but chiefly liberty of mind.
The desire to serve others is the highest impulse of the human heart and the rewards of such service are beyond measure. If you wish to taste this, then just do it. Just take one step... You will see that the tyranny of self-concern, worry, and trivial pursuits can be released from your life with that single step. It doesn't really matter what you do, it only matters that you do it.