Marsilio Ficino

"Philosophy in every part accords with the Godhead whole and perfect, and contains, so far as it is revealed to us, a full and complete image of the power, wisdom and goodness of Father, Son and Spirit."

"Since philosophy is defined by all as love of wisdom and wisdom is the contemplation of the divine, the certainly the purpose of philosophy is knowledge of the divine."

"Plato testifies in the seventh book of the Republic that true philosophy is the ascent from the things that flow and rise and fall, to those that truly are, and always remain the same."

"Philosophy is a gift, a likeness, and a most happy imitation of God."

"Thus philosophy is the ascent of the mind from the lower regions to the highest, from darkness to light. Its origin is an impulse of the divine mind, its middle steps are the faculties and disciplines and its end is the possession of the highest good."

"Philosophy is defined by everyone as love of truth and devotion to wisdom.  But truth, and wisdom itself, are God alone, so it follows that lawful philosophy is not different from true religion, and lawful religion is exactly the same as true philosophy."

From the Chapter ‘Knowledge and Philosophy” in “Meditations on the Soul


"On this path there are no frames, therefore one must leap suddenly out of the window and be able to remain in the imponderable… This is the path of the ‘arrow’, it is the metaphysical pathway, it is the way of the colorless Fire."

"Etymologically the word ‘philosophy’ comes from phylos = friend and sofia = wisdom-knowledge and therefore it means  friend of knowledge-wisdom… Traditional philosophy leads to realization, it is cathartic, it is transforming because, as Plato holds, it represents a means of ascesis."

"The metaphysician does not preserve his individuality but he or she transforms it, by resolving it.. the metaphysican transcends or resolves multiplicity into unity.  Thus, the metaphysical vision is one of synthesis, of wholeness, of unity, of essence, because the way of synthesis (not syncretism) is the pathway of solution, of reintegration, of true initiation."

"The true meditation of the heart is Comprehension.  To comprehend we must transform our mind using the power of Fire.  Metaphysical knowledge is a ”Fire that consumes."

"No-one can prevent you from being free and yet you force yourself to live in bondage and in limitation. In all your sentimental weakness you prefer to imagine that there is someone, inside or outside of you, hindering your freedom, but remember that this someone is yourself."

"Only acceptance leads to comprehension and only comprehension produces liberation.  Whoever does not accept him or herself betrays themselves.  To overcome ignorance it is necessary, first of all, to recognize it. If you refuse to recognize the Dragon that has you in its grip then you can never combat it."

From the Threefold Pathway of Fire

Manly Palmer Hall

"The philosophic ascension of the soul is simply the process of raising motives and activities to ever higher levels of freedom."

"Understanding is the rarest of all faculties. It is a subtle power which adds to the intellectual concept a definite stimulating realization or intuitive grasp of the fundamental elements involved in any problem and their relationship to each other. Understanding is the ultimate stage of knowledge, it is the perfect realization of the purpose and meaning of things."

"Philosophy stands for something infinitely superior to physical honesty; something far more difficult of attainment; it stands for mental honesty. It is the fellowship of those who understand, a brotherhood of as many orders as there are degrees of understanding."

"Philosophy is a discipline which impels all activities to flow toward their own causal principle. Its chief province, therefore, is to restore all natures to their origins and thus accomplish the perfection of natures; for that is perfect which has been accepted back into the fullness of its own unity."

"We are all idolaters, not because we worship the lesser in lieu of the greater, but because we do not learn to understand what we worship and why we worship."

From Lectures on Ancient Philosophy


"The theorems of Philosophy are to be enjoyed as much as possible, as if they were ambrosia and nectar; for the pleasure arising from them is genuine, incorruptible and divine.  Magnanimity they are also able to produce, and though they cannot make us eternal beings, yet then enable us to obtain a scientific knowledge of eternal natures."

"Wisdom, therefore, according to nature, is to us an end, and the ultimate end or object for the sake of which we came into this world, i.e, that we may know.  Therefore if we were generated, it is plain the purpose and object of our generation was that we may gain insight and learn something.  Rightly for this reason did Pythagoras affirm that for the sake of knowing and contemplating was every person made by God."

"Wherefore philosophy, since it brings to us the greatest good, namely a liberation from the chains in which the soul is bound from the date of its birth until into time, must be sought with the most intense avidity and study."

"From this course of reasoning it is evident that Philosophy brings to us a release from human or corporeal chains and a deliverance from the incidents of temporal birth (generation), and leads to that which truly is, and to a knowledge of Truth itself and the purification of souls.  But if in this above all things there is true felicity, we must cultivate philosophy most zealously, if we wish to be truly happy."


"This do, this think, to this your heart incline,
This way will lead you to the life divine.
The Golden Verses"


"Wisdom is not conversant with a certain particular one of the things which are, but is absolutely conversant with all the things which truly exist.  And it is requisite that it should not first investigate the principles of itself, but the common principles of all beings.  For the relation of wisdom to all beings is the same as that of sight to all things visible, and it is the function of it to know and contemplate the universal qualities of all things.  And on this account wisdom discovers the principles of all beings."

Cited in Iamblicus’ Exortation to Philosophy

Paul Brunton

"We may begin by asking what this philosophy offers us. It offers those who pursue it to the end a deep understanding of the world and a satisfying explanation of the significance of human experience. It offers them the power to penetrate appearances and to discover the genuinely real from the mere appearance of reality; it offers satisfaction of that desire which everyone, everywhere, holds somewhere in his heart - the desire to be free." 

"Because its concepts are not merely the productions of a mechanical logic but the inspirations of a living soul, they are powerfully creative, dynamically stimulative. In philosophy, art consummates itself." 

"The practice of philosophy is an essential part of it and consists not only in applying its principles and its wisdom to everyday active living, but also in realizing the divine presence deep, deep within the heart where it abides in tremendous stillness." 

"This view is the philosophic. It declares that truth may be arrived at by combining all the other views which yield only partial truths into the balanced unity of whole truth, and unfolding the faculty of insight which penetrates into hidden reality." 

"It is perhaps the amplitude and symmetry of the philosophic approach which make it so completely satisfying. For this is the only approach which honours reason and appreciates beauty, cultivates intuition and respects mystical experience, fosters reverence and teaches true prayer, enjoins action and promotes morality. It is the spiritual life fully grown." 

"The basis of philosophic living is simply this: the higher self feels nothing but the good, the true, and the beautiful; we are its projections and are to become its reflections. Why then should we not, here and now, discipline ourselves until we also feel only the same?" 

"To separate the essential truth from its accidental overlay, the permanent fact from the personal dream, the full insight from its temperamental colouring - this is one task of philosophy." 

"It is a doctrine inspired by divinity, founded on truth, and applied to life."

"It is not only a metaphysical doctrine to satisfy the reason in its acutest questionings; it is also a religious power to sustain the ego in its darkest hours."

"Philosophy is at one and the same time a doctrine, a practice, and a realization."

"Why is philosophy the love of wisdom? Because as such it leads to a quest for what is Timeless, the Universal, the True, the Real, the Enduring Peace-Bestowing Satisfaction: that is, the Absolute which alone is free from all relativities."

"The term philosophy we reserve for the philosophy of truth, which is the harmonious and balanced union of all these elements in their perfected state… This integrality is more in accord with the ancient and essential meaning of the word, derived as it is from the Greek sophia (wisdom or ultimate knowledge) and philos (love)." 

"If philosophy begins with doubt and wonder, it ends by taking away whatever doubts are left in the mind and converting the wonder into holy reverence."

"Whoever wishes to become an inspired, intelligent, brave, and good human being must look to philosophy. For it will make him acquainted with his divine soul, endow him with the power of right reasoning, fortify him against the chagrins and reverses of life, train him never to be hurtful and always to be helpful, and teach him the knowledge of true values."

"The worth of this teaching does not depend upon the numbers of people who espouse it. The weaker the response which it receives from the world in general, the stronger should be the effort put forth by the few, if they really believe in it, to keep it alive."

"We may call that ideal worth following which brings people closer to knowing the truth about life, which offers them what is real, not illusory, which improves and refines character, and which can be tested by practicable action."

"Philosophy does all that religion does for a man, but it does more. It not only restores or reinforces faith in a higher Power, gives each life a higher meaning, brings consolation and support during trouble, and ennobles one's treatment of other people, but also explains the deeper mysteries of the nature of God, the universe, and man."

In "What is Philosophy" (Category 20, Towards Defining Philosophy)