Zitate von Philo von Alexandria
Philo von Alexandria
Geburtstag: 20 v.Chr
Todesdatum: 45 n.Chr.
Andere Namen:Philon von Alexandria
Philon von Alexandria war ein einflussreicher jüdischer Philosoph und Theologe. Er ist der bekannteste Denker des hellenistischen Judentums.
Zitate Philo von Alexandria
„What need is there of long journeying on the land or voyaging on the seas to seek and search for virtue, whose roots have been set by their Maker ever so near us, as the wise legislator of the Jews also says, “in thy mouth, in thy heart and in thy hand,” thereby indicating in a figure, words, thoughts and actions? All these, indeed, need the cultivator’s skill. Those who prefer idleness to labor, not only prevent the growths but also wither and destroy the roots. But those who consider inaction mischievous and are willing to labor, do as the husbandman does with fine young shoots. By constant care they rear the virtues into stems rising up to heaven, saplings ever blooming and immortal, bearing and never ceasing to bear the fruits of happiness, or as some hold, not so much bearing as being in themselves that happiness. These Moses often calls by the compound name of wholefruits. In the case of growths which spring from the earth, neither are the trees the fruit nor the fruit the trees, but in the soul’s plantation the saplings of wisdom, of justice, of temperance, have their whole being transformed completely into fruits.“
„Moses … denied to the members of the sacred commonwealth unrestricted liberty to use and partake of the other kinds of food. All the animals of land, sea or air whose flesh is the finest and fattest, thus titillating and exciting the malignant foe pleasure, he sternly forbade them to eat, knowing that they set a trap for the most slavish of the senses, the taste, and produce gluttony, an evil very dangerous both to soul and body.“
„It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed at all in time; [... ] Time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time.“
Allegories of the Sacred Laws (Legum allegoriae), Book I, §2; tr. C. D. Yonge, The works of Philo Judaeus (1854), Vol. 1, pp. 52–53.
„The holy Moses … discarded passion in general and detesting it, as most vile in itself and in its effects, denounced especially desire as a battery of destruction to the soul, which must be done away with or brought into obedience to the governance of reason, and then all things will be permeated through and through with peace and good order, those perfect forms of the good which bring the full perfection of happy living.“
„This too is a truth well known to everyone who has taken even a slight hold of culture, that freedom is an honorable thing, and slavery a disgraceful thing, and that honorable things are associated with good men and disgraceful things with bad men. Hence, it clearly follows that no person of true worth is a slave, though threatened by a host of claimants who produce contracts to prove their ownership.“
„If they are unwilling to give, they should at least lend with all readiness and alacrity, not with the prospect of receiving anything back except the principal. … In place of the interest which they determine not to accept they receive a further bonus of the fairest and most precious things that human life has to give, mercy neighborliness, charity, magnanimity, a good report and good fame. And what acquisition can rival these? Nay, even the great king will appear as the poorest of men if compared with a single virtue. For his wealth is soulless, buried deep in store-houses and recesses of the earth, but the wealth of virtue lies in the sovereign part of the soul, and the purest part of existence.“
„We must mention the higher, nobler wealth, which does not belong to all, but to truly noble and divinely gifted men. This wealth is bestowed by wisdom through the doctrines and principles of ethic, logic and physic, and from these spring the virtues, which rid the soul of its proneness to extravagance, and engender the love of contentment and frugality, which will assimilate it to God. For God has no wants, He needs nothing, being in Himself all-sufficient to Himself, while the fool has many wants, ever thirsting for what is not there, longing to gratify his greedy and insatiable desire, which he fans into a blaze like a fire and brings both great and small within its reach. But the man of worth has few wants, standing midway between mortality and immortality.“
„Pythagoras teaches among other excellent doctrines this also, “walk not on the highways.” This does not mean that we should climb steep hills—the school was not prescribing foot-weariness—but it indicates by this figure that in our words and deeds we should not follow popular and beaten tracks.“
„The road that leads to pleasure is downhill and very easy, with the result that one does not walk but is dragged along; the other which leads to self-control is uphill, toilsome no doubt but profitable exceedingly. The one carries us away, forced lower and lower as it drives us down its steep incline, till it flings us off on to the level ground at its foot; the other leads heavenwards the immortal who have not fainted on the way and have had the strength to endure the roughness of the hard ascent.“
„Homer often calls kings “shepherds of the people,” but nature more accurately applies the title to the good, since kings are more often in the position of the sheep than of the shepherd. They are led by strong drink and good looks and by baked meats and savory dishes and the dainties produced by cooks and confectioners, to say nothing of their craving for silver and gold and grander ambitions.“
„Those in whom anger or desire or any other passion, or again any insidious vice holds sway, are entirely enslaved, while all whose life is regulated by law are free. And right reason is an infallible law engraved not by this mortal or that and, therefore, perishable as he, nor on parchment slabs, and, therefore, soulless as they, but by immortal nature on the immortal mind, never to perish.“
„If one looks with a penetrating eye into the facts, he will clearly perceive that no two things are so closely akin as independence of action and freedom, because the bad man has a multitude of encumbrances, such as love of money or reputation and pleasure, while the good man has none at all. He stands defiant and triumphant.“