Those divinely possessed and inspired have at least the knowledge that they hold some greater thing within them, though they cannot tell what it is; from the movements that stir them and the utterances that come from them they perceive the power, not themselves, that moves them: I the same way, it must be, we stand towards the Supreme when we hold nous pure; we know the Divine Mind within, that which gives Being and all else of that order: but we know, too, that other, know that it is none of these, but a nobler principle than anything we know as Being; fuller and greater; above reason, mind and feeling; conferring these powers, not to be confounded with them.
The height of all philosophy is to know thyself; and the end of this knowledge is to know God. Know thyself, that thou mayest know God; and know God, that thou mayest love him and be like him. In the one thou art initiated into wisdom; and in the other perfected in it.
Whatever study tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men and citizens is at best but a specious and ingenious sort of idleness, and the knowledge we acquire by it only a creditable kind of ignorance, nothing more.
With the gain of knowledge, connect the habit of imparting it. This increases mental wealth by putting it in circulation; and it enhances the value of our knowledge to ourselves, not only in its depth, confirmation and readiness for use, but in that acquaintance with human nature, that self-command, and that reaction of moral training upon ourselves, which are above all price.
To attain excellence in society, an assemblage of qualification is requisite: disciplined intellect, to think clearly, and to clothe thought with propriety and elegance; knowledge of human nature, to suit subject to character; true politeness, to prevent giving pain; a deep sense of morality, to preserve the dignity of speech; and a spirit of benevolence, to neutralize its asperities, and sanctify its powers.
Of all parts of wisdom, the practice is the best. Socrates was esteemed the wisest man of his time because he turned his acquired knowledge into morality and aimed at goodness more than greatness.