Knowledge and Ignorance

“Knowledge and ignorance, the great and the small, are the same, ever circling round and passing one into the other in the sport of time. The highest good, therefore, for mortals is that clarity of perception in respect to oneself and all that is, whereby we shall learn to apprehend somewhat of the eternal unity and harmony, that underlies the good and evil of time, the shock and stress of circumstance and place. The highest virtue for man is the placid and quiet constancy, whatever the changes and chances of life may bring.

The sadder note of humanity, the note of Euripides and at times of Sophocles, the note of Dante and of the Tempest of Shakespeare, of Shelly and Arnold and Carlyle- this note we hear thus early and thus clear, in the dim and distant utterances of Heraclitus. The mystery of existence, the unreality of what seems most real, the intangibility and evanescence of all things earthly,- these thoughts obscurely echoing to us across the ages, have remained, and always will remain, among the deepest and most insistent of the world’s thoughts, in its sincerest moments and in its greatest thinkers.”

John Marshall’s ‘Greek Philosophy


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