Still it is given thee to fight and overcome thy foolish passions;
learn thou to subdue them.
Be sober, diligent, and chaste; avoid all wrath.
In public or in secret ne’er permit thou any evil,
and above all else, respect thyself.
Speak not nor act before thou hast reflected; be just.
Remember that a power invincible ordains to die,
that riches and the honors easily acquired, are easy thus to lose.
As to the evils which destiny involves, judge them what they are,
endure them all and strive, as much as thou art able, to modify the traits.
The gods, to the most cruel, have not exposed the sage.
Even as truth, does error have its lovers.
With prudence the philosopher approves or blames;
if error triumph, he departs and waits.
Pythagoras was the first to coin and use the words philosophy and philosopher. Philosophy means love of wisdom, and philosopher means a friend of wisdom. Before Pythagoras, other words were used for the same purpose. For philosophy, the word sophia was used – sophia means wisdom; and for the philosopher, sophos – sophos means the wise man, the sage. They were beautiful words, but they have fallen, they have become associated with wrong people. They have fallen on bad times. Words also have good times and bad times, days of glory and days of humiliation.
Sophos is a beautiful word: the sage. Remember, the sage does not mean the saint. The saint is against the sinner; it is a polar opposite to it. The saint is one who is not a sinner; he has chosen to be virtuous, against vice. The sinner is one who has chosen vice against virtue. They are polarities like negative and positive. The saint cannot exist without the sinner; the sinner cannot exist without the saint. They are partners; they can only coexist. A world without saints will be a world without sinners too. If you really want sinners to disappear from the world, let the saints disappear first and immediately there will be no sinner.
The existence of the saint creates the sinner. And the more you respect the saint the more you condemn the sinner, and the rift goes on becoming bigger and bigger. And the irony is that they exist together, two sides of the same coin. They are not different, their logic is not different, just their choice is different. One has chosen the night part of life; the other has chosen the day part. But life consists of both day and night; it is not day alone nor night alone. Both are halves of one whole, hence both remain in misery.
Your sinners are miserable because they go on missing the beauties of virtue, the beauties of the other part that they have chosen not to choose. And your saints are miserable because they have repressed something which cannot be destroyed, which is an absolutely essential part of their being.