THE PYTHAGORIC SENTENCES OF DEMOPHILUS

Translated by THOMAS TAYLOR

as reprinted in “Theosophical Siftings” - Volume - 6 - 1893-1894

[Page 24] REQUEST not of the divinity such things as when obtained you cannot preserve; for no gift of divinity can ever be taken away; and on this account he does not confer that which you are unable to retain.

Be vigilant in your intellectual part; for sleep about this has an affinity with real death.

Divinity sends evil to men, not as being influenced by anger, but for the sake of purification; for anger is foreign from divinity, since it arises from circumstances taking place contrary to the will: but nothing contrary to the will can happen to a god.

When you deliberate whether or not you shall injure another, you will previously suffer the evil yourself which you intended to commit: but neither must you expect any good from the evil; for the manners of everyone are correspondent to his life and actions; for every soul is a repository; that which is good, of things good, and that which is evil, of things depraved.

After long consultation, engage either in speaking or acting; for you have not the ability to recall either your discourses or deeds.

Divinity does not principally esteem the tongue, but the deeds of the wise; for a wise man; even when he is silent, honours divinity.

A loquacious and ignorant man, both in prayer and sacrifice, contaminates a divine nature: the wise man therefore is alone a priest, is alone the friend of divinity, and only knows how to pray.

The wise man being sent hither naked, should naked invoke him by whom he was sent; for he alone is heard by divinity who is not burdened with foreign concerns.

Gifts and victims confer no honour on the divinity, nor is he adorned with offerings suspended in temples; but a soul divinely inspired, solidly conjoins us with divinity; for it is necessary that like should approach to like.

It is more painful to be subservient to passions than to tyrants themselves.

It is better to converse more with yourself than with others.

Believe that you are furious and insane, in proportion as you are ignorant of yourself.


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