Further, there are things of which the mind understands one part, but remains ignorant of the other; and when man is able to comprehend certain things, it does not follow that he must be able to comprehend everything.
You know already that most of the lusts and licentiousness of the multitude consist in an appetite for eating, drinking and sexual intercourse.
The whole object of the Prophets and the Sages was to declare that a limit is set to human reason where it must halt.
Anticipate charity by preventing poverty.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
All this is applicable to the intellectual faculties of man. There is a considerable difference between one person and another as regards these faculties, as is well known to philosophers.
No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.
It is thus necessary to examine all things according to their essence, to infer from every species such true and well established propositions as may assist us in the solution of metaphysical problems.
How individuals of the same species surpass each other in these sensations and in other bodily faculties is universally known, but there is a limit to them, and their power cannot extend to every distance or to every degree.
Medical practice is not knitting and weaving and the labor of the hands, but it must be inspired with soul and be filled with understanding and equipped with the gift of keen observation . . .
Consequently he who wishes to attain to human perfection, must therefore first study Logic, next the various branches of Mathematics in their proper order, then Physics, and lastly Metaphysics.
He, however, who begins with Metaphysics, will not only become confused in matters of religion, but will fall into complete infidelity.
Be convinced that, if man were able to reach the end without preparatory studies, such studies would not be preparatory but tiresome and utterly superfluous.
Teach thy tongue to say 'I do not know,' and thou shalt progress.
If a person studies too much and exhausts his reflective powers, he will be confused, and will not be able to apprehend even that which had been within the power of his apprehension. For the powers of the body are all alike in this respect.
The same is the case with those opinions of man to which he has been accustomed from his youth; he likes them, defends them, and shuns the opposite views.
You must consider, when reading this treatise, that mental perception, because connected with matter, is subject to conditions similar to those to which physical perception is subject.
Now, we occupy a lowly position, both in space and rank in comparison with the heavenly sphere, and the Almighty is Most High not in space, but with respect to absolute existence, greatness and power.
The soul is subject to health and disease, just as is the body. The health and disease of both . . . undoubtedly depend upon beliefs and customs, which are peculiar to mankind.
You must accept the truth from whatever source it comes.
To the totality of purposes of the perfect Law there belong the abandonment, depreciation, and restraint of desires in so far as possible.
While one man can discover a certain thing by himself, another is never able to understand it, even if taught by means of all possible expressions and metaphors, and during a long period; his mind can in no way grasp it, his capacity is insufficient for it.
The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.
One should see the world, and see himself as a scale with an equal balance of good and evil. When he does one good deed the scale is tipped to the good - he and the world is saved. When he does one evil deed the scale is tipped to the bad - he and the world is destroyed.
Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen.
Do not imagine that what we have said of the insufficiency of our understanding and of its limited extent is an assertion founded only on the Bible: for philosophers likewise assert the same, and perfectly understand it,- without having regard to any religion or opinion.
You will certainly not doubt the necessity of studying astronomy and physics, if you are desirous of comprehending the relation between the world and Providence as it is in reality, and not according to imagination.
More Maimonides Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Education - Metaphysics - Religions & Spirituality - Body - Perfection - World - Mind - Power - Medicine & Medical - Charity - Physics - Mankind - Labor - Prophets & Prophecies - Poverty - Greatness - Space - Decision Making - View All Maimonides Quotations
Immanuel Kant - Bertrand Russell - Zhuangzi - Thales - Robert M. Pirsig - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - Mohammad Khatami - Ludwig Wittgenstein - Leo Strauss - Baruch Spinoza