You train your eye and your vision lusts after color. You train your ear, and you long for delightful sound. You delight in doing good, and your natural kindness is blown out of shape. You delight in righteousness, and you become righteous beyond all reason. You overdo liturgy, and you turn into a ham actor. Overdo your love of music, and you play corn. Love of wisdom leads to wise contriving. Love of knowledge leads to faultfinding. If men would stay as they really are, taking or leaving these eight delights would make no difference. But if they will not rest in their right state, the eight delights develop like malignant tumors. The world falls into confusion. Since men honour these delights, and lust after them, the world has gone stone-blind. When the delight is over, they still will not let go of it. . . .
Chuang Tzu (c.360 BC - c. 275 BC)
Source: Quotations from Chuang Tzu, (11:1-2, pp. 103-104)
Goods and possessions are no gain in his eyes. He stays far from wealth and honor. Long life is no ground for joy, nor early death for sorrow. Success is not for him to be pround of, failure is no shame. Had he all the world's power he would not hold it as his own. If he conquered everything he would not take it to himself. His glory is in knowing that all things come together in One and life and death are equal.
Weep for me, whoever has charity, truth and justice! I did not come on this voyage for gain, honor or wealth, that is certain; for then the hope of all such things was dead. I came to Your Highnesses with honest purpose and sincere zeal; and I do not lie. I humbly beseech Your Highnesses that, if it please God to remove me hence, you will help me to go to Rome and on other pilgrimages.
Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506)
Source: Lettera Rarissima to the Sovereigns, July 7, 1503 (Fourth Voyage)
The effective impact upon us of men of honor, rectitude and goodwill is to arouse kindred impulses within us. We begin to detect in ourselves undeveloped capacities. The touch of the heroic awakens in us the slumbering hero. Fellowship with a true servant of mankind calls into action our latent impulses to minister.
Spanking Jack was so comely, so pleasant, so jolly, Though winds blew great guns, still he'd whistle and sing; Jack loved his friend, and was true to his Molly, And if honour gives greatness, was great as a king.
It is true that Fourier had the opinion that the principal aim of mathematics was public utility and explanation of natural phenomena; but a philosopher like him should have known that the sole end of science is the honor of the human mind, and that under this title a question about numbers is worth as much as a question about the system of the world.
Source: N. Rose Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC:Rome Press Inc., 1988.