Manual of Epictetus

The Book of Wisdom
Revised By Christian H. Godefroy

ertain things in the world depend on us, and certain others do not. The things that depend on us are our opinions, our movements, our desires, our inclinations, our aversions; in other words, all our actions. The things that do not depend on us are the body, the good fortune, the reputation, the dignity; in other words, all the things not forming part of our actions. The things that depend on us are free by nature, nothing can stop them, they brook no obstacles; the things that do not depend on us are weak by nature, slaves, dependent, subject to thousands of obstacles and inconveniences and belonging to total strangers. Remember then, that, if you think that the things which by their nature are really slaves, as free, and those depending on others as belonging to you, you will have to face obstacles at each step, you will be afflicted, troubled and you will be obliged to complain to God and to men. Instead if you think as yours only those things which really belong to you and as strange which belong to others, never will anyone force you to do anything against your will, nor will anyone hold you back from whatever you want to do, you will not complain to anyone, you will not accuse anyone and you will do nothing, not even the smallest thing against your


will; nobody will hurt you, and you will have no enemies because you will not do anything harmful. Let us aspire then for such great good fortune, remember that you should not work in a mediocre way to achieve them, and regarding the external things, you should entirely renounce quiete a few of them and keep aside the others for sometime later. For if you try to put them together, and you pursue them and these genuine fortune and these riches and this dignity, may be you will not even obtain these latter for having desired the others; but certainly you will miss acquiring the fortunes which can only give you your freedom and your happiness.

n that way, towards all painful imagination, be ready to say: “ you are merely an imagination, and you are not at all what you appear to be.” Then examine it, go deep inside it, and to understand it, make use of the rules that you have learned, mainly the first one, which is to know whether the thing which is painful to you is the part which depends on us or not, and if it is the part which is not in our power, tell yourself without any preference: “It is none of my concern”.


emember that the aim of your desires, is to obtain what you have desired, what you want; consequently you will not complain to anyone, you will not accuse anyone, you will do nothing, in spite of you, not even the smallest thing; nobody will hurt you, and you will have no enemy for nothing harmful will happen to you.


et us aspire then for such great good fortune, remember that you should not work in a mediocre way to achieve them, and regarding the external things, you should entirely renounce quiete a few of them and keep aside the others for sometime later. For if you try to put them together, and you pursue them as well as these genuine fortunes and these riches and this dignity, may be you will not even obtain these latter for having desired the others; but certainly you will miss acquiring the fortunes which can only give you your freedom and your happiness. The end to your fears is to avoid what you fear. One who does not obtain what he desires is unhappy, and one who falls in what he fears is miserable. Hence if you have aversion only for the things which are against your true good deed, -those which depend on you,- you will never fall into what you fear. But if you fear death, illness or poverty, you will be miserable. Change then the objects of your fears and make them

go away from the things which do not depend on us to those which depend. tell yourself that you like a mortal being. you are still not in the state to know what are the things good to be desired. If you are going to take bath. n front of all the things that amuse you. and as for your desires suppress them for the moment entirely. For if you desire something which is not in our power then you will necessarily be unhappy. tell yourself that you like a mud pot. which serve your needs or your likes. you should not be troubled. but slowly always with reservation and without any hurry. and if the being dies. and for the ones which are in our power. never forget to ask yourself what is it truly. imagine yourself of what are the things happening in a public swimming pool. If you like your son or your wife. I W hen you are on the verge of taking up something. remain contended either to know them or to avoid them. Start from the very little ones. While you are in the process of knowing them . people . put it clearly in your mind what sort of thing you are up to. If you like a mud pot. you should not be troubled. and if it breaks.

but our opinion of death is bad and thereby it becomes bad. for. that is the way of the ignorant. And likewise for all the things that might come up. troubled or sad. let us not accuse others . but only ourselves. hat troubles men are not the things by themselves. which they have on them. I would not have conserved them if I became angry”. W A ccusing others for one’s misfortunes. For in this manner. they speak in abusive language and some even steal. For example. if you would have said before: “I want to take bath. but I wanted to also conserve my liberty and my independence. if it would have been so. but the opinions. those . death is not something bad. So when we are upset. but I would like to also conserve my liberty and my independence.plunge into the water. you would have this thought ready: “I did not want to merely bathe. that is to say our opinions. it would have seemed so to Socrates.they push each other. accusing oneself means that the persons has started educating himself. You will then go more assuredly to do what you wanted to. if any obstacle hinders you from bathing. which are genuine prerogatives of my nature”.

you can on your way pick up shells or pluck a mushroom. but your thought should be always on your boat. if the way you imagine is in accordance with the nature. when you say with pride: “I have a beautiful car”.” this could be bearable. and you are allowed to go for taking water. It is the same in this life’s voyage: if instead of a shell or a mushroom we give you a woman or a boy. and you would often turn your head. ever glorify yourself by things belonging to strangers. If one car said with pride: “I am beautiful. but if the pilot calls. you can take them. if you make him wait. I . your boat enters a port. surely you are glorifying owning a beautiful car. because. he might throw you in the boat feet and hands bound as a beast. and if he calls. but you. N f in a marine voyage. for you shall glorify a good attribute that is your own. you must throw away everything and run. in fear of the pilot calling you.who accuse neither themselves nor others are persons already educated. What is there belonging to you? The usage which is being done by your imagination. then you shall be able to really glorify yourself. Thus.

This is an impediment to my leg but not at all to my will power. And if you are old. but desire that things should happen in their own way. To all accidents that you will have to face. and you will always find that it is an impediment to something else and not to you. which is . llness is an obstacle to the body. If you see a handsome boy and a beautiful girl. n each object encounterd remember to introspect and search for the virtue you can utilise out of this object.“I am lame”. but not to the will power. lest when the pilot calls. you will find a virtue against these objects. do not go away too far from the boat. A I I sk not for things to happen as per you desire. you are not in a state to follow him. without looking back. tell yourself the same will have to run to the boat leaving everything behind. and you shall always prosper. unless it weakens the will power.

if it is some abuses. It is preferable that your employee I . “ But the one who has taken away my land is a cheat”. Your lands have been taken away? Here is still a restitution that you have made. I shall soon be ruined and not have enough to live on. you will never be carried away by your imagination. If it is some grief. it is better to die in hunger than live in abundance with anxiety and sorrow. Your son is dead? You have returned him. you will find resignation and patience. but “ I have returned ”. some insults. he shall become lazy ”. What does it matter who gave it to you and who has wanted to take it away? During the time he gave it to you. if I do not punish my employee. Your wife is dead? You have returned her. some laborious work. W f you would like to advance in the path of wisdom leave all these considerations : “If I neglect my business. use it as if it does not belong to you. Because for after having banished all the worries and fears. hatever may be the circumstances never say : “I have lost this ”.continence. as the tourists use the hotels. you will find courage. If like this you accustom yourself to face each accident by the virtue given to you by the nature to combat.

Some one has overturned your lamp? Some one has stolen your robe? Tell yourself: “ It is at this cost that we buy tranquility. you are a fool. If you do not want to be frustrated I . When you are calling your employee. he may not obey. do not refuse to appear externally . Start then by little things. you are a fool. challenge yourself. Do not look forward to be seen as a learned man and if you think that you desire to be seen as somebody. Know that it is not easy to conserve at the same time your will power in conformity with the nature and with the external things . “But you may say that my employee will take advantage of my patience and will become incorrigible ”. you will learn to put yourself away from anxiety and trouble. or having heard you. thanks to him. The same. it is at this cost that we buy liberty.would be lazy rather than you may become miserable. If you want that your children and your wife and your friends would live always. to be like a fool or like a madman. for instead of his being your employee. But yes. if you were his employee that possibly could have been reasonable. you will profit. f you want to advance in the path of wisdom. think that he may not hear you. we can not have something for nothing”. for you want that the things which do not depend on you to depend. if you want your employee never to make any mistakes. but it is very much necessary that you should be attached to one and neglect the other. and that which is strange you want it to be yours.

only then will you not be the guests of the Gods. Is it taken away? Do not retain it. Has a dish come to you? Stretch your hands in a restrained way and. who wants to be free. with the riches and you will even be honoured to be admitted at the God’s table. you can. Each man. and you will reign with them. he true teacher for each one of us is the one who has the power to give us or to discriminate between what we want and what we do not . but know to be pleased with the little that is necessary without giving in to your cravings. should not want or run after anything which depends on others. with a woman. And if you do not take what one offers. but wait for the dish to come at last to you. desire only those things which depend on you. Behave likewise with your friends. but their equal. with the merchandise and honoured things. T emember that you will have to behave in life as you do in a dinner party. It is by moving like this that Diogenus and Heraclitus R . Hasn’t it yet come? Do not stretch your desire. be your desires. else he will necessarily become a slave.

beware that your imagination does not carry you far away or does not captivate you in persuading that this man is indeed unhappy due to his external things. is not the accident with which he met.and a few others have merited to be called divine men. but take care that your compassion does not exceed you and that you do not truly be afflicted. that. that moved him to tears. If he wanted you to act as a beggar. Do the same . if he wanted you to act as a lame man. For it is your duty to act well the R . which in effect they were. long or short. as a man of people. as a prince. you will have to play that role in the best possible manner. hen you see someone cry may be because he is in mourning or may be because his son is away abroad or may be because he has lost his properties. W emember that you are an actor in a drama. do not refuse to cry along with him and to sympathise with his grief by your soothing words. Even then if it is necessary. but his opinions. where the author wanted you to enter. but make this distinction within you. that which afflicts him.

if you never engage yourself in combats which you are not necessarily required to win. growing tall or flourishing in some other manner.character given to you. when you see a black cat do not allow yourself to be carried away by your imagination . fine morning. do not allow your imaginatiomn to run . For me. B eware of seeing someone heaped with honours. if I so desire there are happy omens only. but the choice to assign you is someone else’s. it is for me to draw a lesson which shall enrich me”. or my children. beware. for whatever happens. or my wife. the bad things afflict my puny body. A Y ou can be invincible.But immediately discriminate and say : “ This bad omen does not concern me. or my small riches or my petty reputation.

R M ay the death and the exile and all other things that seem terrible be in front of eyes everyday. that it is not the one who insults you nor one who beats you.riot and captivate you. nor who outrages you but it is the opinion that you have on them. when someone bothers you and irritates. nor a politician. come to know that it is not the man who irritates. then there will be no craving. but shall be free. you will easily master yourself. nor a hero in a cinema. for if you gain some time or delay a bit . Hence. Therefore first of all . emember. which makes them appear as people by whom you are outraged. For if the essence of the veritable good consists in the things depending on us . nor competetiveness nor even jealousy and you yourself would not want to be a big business man. try hard not to let your imagination run riot. above all the death .Then you . but your opinion. Therefore a single way leads us to be free: the contempt of things which do not depend on us.That way you will not be happy.

From where did he get his arrogant look?” As for you isn’t this philosopher’s look superb. if you remain firm. If it happens that way then know that you are fallen from your state. D . but. W o not turn your back on the external things just to please somebody. It would suffice to be in every respect a philosopher. and perceive well that the ordinary people will whistle at you and say: “ this philosopher has come to us overnight. you will be mocked all the more.would never have low thoughts and you would not have acute desire for anything . And remember that. if you give in to their insults. be happy in appearing to your own eyes and that is sufficient. those who mocked at you first would soon admire. And if you want to appear a little more. than a philosopher. ould you like to become a philosopher ? Prepare yourself all the time for the mockery. stick firmly to your maxims which seem the best and the most beautiful to you.

I shall be nothing in the world”. show me the way to become rich. and they belong to us. fidelity. and I would become. then how is it that it is still a scorn and a dishonour to you? How is it possible that you are nothing in the world. and to what degree you are ungrateful and ill considered. who himself has nothing? M ccumulate fortunes. nor be in vice by yourself. Who can give to others. so that we also have them.“ If I can have them by conserving the sense of propriety.ay not such thoughts and reasonings trouble you: “ I shall be mocked at. For if the mockery is something wrong. and none other.What do you prefer more ? Money or a wise and faithful friend? Oh! Help me rather to acquire these virtues. and by which you can be significant? “But my friends will be of no help to me”. see for yourself how badly the scales are tipped. you who should be by that alone which depends on you. and do not oblige A . magnanimity. you cannot be in the wrong because of others. What do you mean by of no help? You will not give them money? Will you not invite them to spend their vacations with you? Who then has told you that these things are within our power. Does he depend on you to be named to a prestigious post? Does he depend on you to be invited to a party? Not at all. But if you want me to lose my true fortunes so that you obtain the false ones. modesty. someone will say.

What services? It will not have any gifts from you? It will not have any new hospital? So what ? It is enough if everyone fills his area and does his work. not to do anything to gain the things which do not depend on us. then what service will the city draw from you. you will not be useless to it. in the way others do to obtain them. And if that brings misfortune.” But you will say “ My town will not get any services”. “Then what rank shall I have in the city ”? The status which you will obtain by conserving faithfulness and modesty. by your example. But if. you will rejoice on what has happened with all. you lose these virtues. in a board of to do things which will me make me lose these virtues. But remember. do not be afflicted by your deprivation. modest and faithful inhabitant to your town. won’t you give it any service? Certainly. If that brings fortunes. But if. for it is impossible that you shall have equal share. you will give it one and a big one. For how shall one who has never been to a rich and powerful man’s doorstep be treated the same way as a man S . in a visit. you give a wise. when you would have become impudent and perfidious? omeone else was liked in a reception. wanting to serve.

If your neighbour gives the coin and takes the lettuce and on the other hand you do not give the coin and return without a lettuce. he has his lettuce and you have the coin which you did not give. a dependence. Don’t you have anything which can have in place of anniversary to which you had not been? Definitely.This price is a praise. . It is the same here. a visit. you have something much more valuable than the anniversary. For how much do we buy the lettuces at the market? One coin.for. you are insatiable and unfair. a kindness. But if. without paying you want the goods. you should not imagine that you have received less than him . you are then unfair and insatiable. the price at which he is selling it. Hence give the price if it suits. it is of not having praised the one whom you did not want to praise. You were not invited to an anniversary? That means you have not paid to the person who is is celebrating . and you have not been humiliated by his pride and insolence at his doorstep.who goes there regularly? Those who do not accompany him when he goes out from those who accompany? Those who neither flatter nor praise from those who do nothing else but flatter and praise? If you do not want to give the things by which to buy all these favours and want them for nothing.

in order to console him. But if the same person’s son or wife dies. in this world nothing bad exists in nature. when a plate belonging to you breaks. you should be as quiet as you were when your neighbour’s plate broke. but you do not get angry! O . when an employee of your neighbour has broken a plate or something else. immediately we hear cries. If your body is to be handed over to the discretion of some one at the the first opportunity. shouts. every one says life is like hat. that it is a simple accident. your soul would be touched and troubled. and for the same reason. and when you yourself abandon your soul to some one at the first opportunity. you would no doubt be very angry. For example.e can learn the plans of nature by the things in which we do not distinguish ourselves. moanings: “How miserable I am! I am lost!” It is now that one should recall all the sentiments which we had when we heard of similar accidents to others W ne does not envisage a goal for not fulfilling it. you will surely tell him. if he insults you. Know that. When a son or a wife of someone dies. Carry this maxim to the most important things as well.

you will be filled with confusion. observe well what precedes and follows. and undertake it after this examination. There. the shame will start appearing . If you do not take these precautions. and sometimes be humiliated and after all this. bite the dust a lot. can dislocate your leg. as recommended by a doctor. I ou would want to be crowned at the Olympic games. And me too. you will have to give yourself without reserve to day-to-day exercises. and after that go and participate in the game. You can undertake it after this examination. but at the end. for you would not have envisaged what follows. in a word. go if you want to become an athlete. before undertaking it. you can be injured. do your exercises at the appropriate time in winter and in summer. you will at first have pleasure in all that you do. If you do observe this conduct.n all business. who sometimes imitate the athletes. abstain yourself from all the things that flatter your taste buds. When you would have taken all this carefully into account. You should observe this discipline: eat well. for it is really glorious. be defeated. But examine well in advance what precedes and follows a similar enterprise. drink pure water and wine moderately. and Y . you will only twaddle or banter like children.

or hearing someone say that Euphrates speaks well ( who speaks like him?) would immediately like to become a philosopher. work. you will be able to eat as the others. be a doll to a slave. y friend . guided only by your cupidity and by your whim. stay away from parents and from friends. and a moment later represent tragedies. and then examine your nature to see whether it is strong enough to bear this burden. first consider the nature of the business you undertake. you would sometimes be athlete and sometimes a player. Like a monkey you will imitate all that you see. renounce like them all the pleasures? One has to stay awake. consider your thighs. and after all this a philosopher. much praised now a days by the media. It would be the same with you. because you did not examine well what you wanted to do. seeing a philosopher. You would like to be a philosopher? Do you think that clinging to this profession. drink like them. for we are not all born for the same purpose. or be a football player? Look at your arms. and all the objects will please you one after another. test your kidneys.sometimes the players. You would like to run the marathon race. to be at M . It is in this way that many people. and at the depth of your soul you would be nothing. you had been carried away recklessly without any circumspection.

These things do not go tegether. enerally. Is your brother unfair to you? In regard to him. do all other things. the liberty. that is to say. It is a must that you be a single person. you may find yourself in the state of G . and if you work in the way nature intends. If not. tomorrow a politician. and then a business man and after that a prime minister. only to a father. in a word in every business. and see if you want to buy at this cost the tranquility. conserve your brotherly status. to suffer his reprimands and his ill treatments. rather see what you should do.disadvantage everywhere. to obey him in all respect. and a single good or a bad person. Consider well all this. or what concerns your body . respects are measured in relation to our position in society. you must sustain the character of a philosopher or of a common man. Is he your father? He has ordered you to take care. has the nature necessarily linked you to a father who is good? No. and do not see what he is doing. in pursuit of honours. you should do what concerns your soul. But he is a bad father. in the tribunals. And what! my friend. and do not do like children. responsibilities. do not be a philosopher today. the consistency. you should work to acquire inner fortunes or external fortunes.

only if you accustom yourself to maintain always these relations in front of your eyes. Hence.liberty.For then none will ever be offensive and will ever hurt you even if you want. and considering only of the good and the bad in the ones which depend on us. that He governs the world with kindness and justice. by this means. you will always be happy with your neighbour. and you shall never accuse him of not having taken care of you. that you feel sorry and you hate the One who is the cause to your unhappiness. and to acquiesce full heartedly as the things coming from a good and saintly Providence. You can only have these sentiments by renouncing all the things which do not depend on us. For all animal are born to abhor and to run away from K . to take everything that happens in the right attitude. while you are frustrated by your desire. to believe in His existence.In this way you shall never complain about God. that you are down here to obey Him. sane and straight forward opinions. For if you take one of these strange things to be good or bad. your colleague. that He extends his Providence on all. you will be injured only when you believe to be so. your master. there is necessarly a doubt. now that the principle and the foundation of the religion consists of having about God. or fall down to your fear.

from where it ensues that none rejoices nor is pleased by their unhappiness. and in his offerings . when his father does not settle his share regarding the properties. without any nonchalance. without meanness. without irreverence.without negligence. Here is what makes the farmer. For where utility lies. and here is also the cause of the murmurs of those who lose their wives and children. that is what made Etocleus and Polyneus irreconciliable enemies: they regarded the throne as a big fortune. and also not in a grandiose manner beyond his means. the merchant curse God. In his prayers. It is then impossible to believe that being injured pleases more to the cause of the injury. may care to nourish and increase the piety. ere comes a son with a heap of criticism and insults to his father. H . Hence each man who takes care to govern their desires and aversions according to the prescribed rules. in a pure way. each one has to follow the custom of his country. and to like and to find out what is useful and which is good and it’s cause.what seems bad and destructive and which could be the cause. the pilot. there lies also the piety.

do not go to consult an astrologer to know whether you should do it or not. as if you were approaching God. when he would have given you advice. remember the advisors and to whom you had recourse and who are the ones to whom you will disregard the orders if you disobey. For if it is one of the things that do not depend on us. in spite of all these things. But at the same time remember.hen you go to consult an astrologer. or exile. or injuries. if you are a philosopher and you want to go to consult him. you know pretty well the nature of what would come to you. For if a soothsayer says that the configuration of your astrological sky is bad. otherwise you will always tremble . But go to see the astrologer only to know the events which cannot be seen through reason. Thus if you will have to expose yourself to a great danger for your friend’s or country’s sake. this is a sign of death. nobody can prevent you from that. it can assuredly be neither good nor bad for you. but the right reason says that. who expelled a man from his temple who W . Hence for worldly things do not lean on the astrologer nor be averse to him . remember to ignore what would come to you and what you want to learn from him. as if He deigns well in advising you. Go then with confidence. but be persuasive and convincing that whatever happens is immaterial and does not concern you. it depends on you to make a good use of it. obey Apollo Pythian. nor by any other rules of art. one should help one’s friend and country obey then a greater soothsayer than you consulted. and whatever the nature maybe. Besides.

but never speak of trivial or common things: never speak of football matches. . keep silent. nor on cinema heroes. nor to bet on the horses. doggedly. and if you find yourself among strangers. If you can then. or say only the necessary things. eep silent as often as possible. that you will have to speak.did not go to rescue his friend when he was being assassinated. neither to blame nor to praise nor to compare them. eating which are topics of ordinary conversations. include in your speeches the conversations with your friends what is decent and proper. and say them in as few words as possible. K D o not laugh for a long time. nor even excessively. It may be . nor of drinking. Above all speak not of men. nor often. though rarely. when occasion demands.

redouble your vigilance on yourself. make use of them only as much as is required for the needs of the soul. A R egarding things necessary for the body such as food. housing and servants. one who is seated beside and follows him. Know that if one of the guests is impure. otherwise only as much as the occasion demands. and be away from all public banquets. And reject all that relates to luxury or vanity. dress.R efuse to vow altogether and everywhere. lest you should go the way in which others in the crowd behave. if it is in your power. . is bound to be soiled and lose the purity which he can preserve if he remains by himself. void eating outside. but if because of certain compulsions you are obliged to break this rule.

And. from the pleasures of love before marriage. because if he had known about them. undoubtedly does not know about my other vices. and making big gestures. And after you have come back. nor make you a more honest . A I I f a person comes and tells that someone has spoken badly about you. if you go there occasionally. do not support either of the teams. do not start refuting what he has said. Avoid also shouting . if you can. do not engage in long conversation on all that has happened because that will not serve the purpose of correcting your errors. that is to say.” t is not at all necessary to go frequently to cinema or to matches of games. and reserve your support and zeal to yourself. in this way you shall never be angry or troubled. But do not be severe to those who make use of it. and if you have it. remain contented with what happens and accept that the victory is deserved by him who has won. do not view them harshly and do not brag about continence all the time. laughing loudly. let it at least be in accordance with the law. but simply reply: “The one who has told you so. surely he would not have forgotten to mention them.bstain.

for the long conversation proves that the only thing that has drawn your admiration is the show. or he may not open . on't go to cinema or the theatre or at least do not go to these places without a purpose.By this method you will have confidence in doing your duty and in making proper use of all that would be faced by you. D hen you are required to have a conversation with some one. more so with some of the top people of the town. But if you happen to be there. W W hen you have to meet a big man. be prepared in advance that he may not be at his place. maintain a seriousness and keep it under control and also a pleasantness which will not be contaminated with any trace of sorrow and dullness. or he may be preoccupied.person. ask yourself what Socrates or Zeneus would have done in such a situation.

bear with all that happens and never consider about saying or thinking that the encounter was not worth the trouble. others may not find much in it to listen. T . n ordinary conversation.his doors and he may not even meet you. By that you are inclined to gravitate towards people who are not of serious type and at the sametime that may diminish you before the eyes of others. take great care of not speaking badly or for a long duration about your exploits and the dangers you have come across. because though you may have much pleasure in recounting them. Because that is the way of a vulgar person. your duty calls him there. of a person who has lot of power on external matters. I ake care still more not to play the role of being funny. If even after that.

take great care that this allurement and its charms do not overpower and seduce you and oppose them with the greater pleasure you can witness if you conquer them.t is very dangerous to get in the midst of obscene talks. the period of enjoyment and the period of regret that follows and how you will reproach yourself and oppose the satisfactions you will get with the praises you will shower on yourself if you resist. do not hesitate to take into task these who are indulging in it. I I f you start imagining about some sensual pleasure. keep a watch on yourself. Afterwards compare the two moments. after having known that this is your duty. if possible. and make evident by the reddening of your face or by the seriousness of your countenance that you are not amused by this type of conversation. otherwise at least remain silent. W hen you have to do something. so that you are not trapped by it. If you find that it is the time to enjoy this pleasure. then as always. vulgar jokes and when you find yourself in the midst of such conversations. do not avoid doing it because of the possible bad opinions . that this sensuality may not access you even a little and obtain some support from you.

do not. when they form two opposite sides. in the same way nothing is more unreasonable than to covet everything for oneself without looking at others. Think of the nature of the people who have invited you and give them the esteem and regard that is due to them. why are you afraid of those who would condemn it without reason and think bad about it? amething with the two propositions: "It is day. on the contrary if it is good. It is night. think about the quality of the dish that will be served and which may invigorate your appetite. not only do you make a mess of it but you also forego a task which you could have fulfilled. and it is very unreasonable if one takes them up at the same time and make the two sides as one. When you are invited for meals. . If the act is bad." they are very reasonable when they are separated. do not do it. S I f you take up a task which is beyond your capacity.of others.

If you remember this rule then you will be able to keep the correct measure . you are lost: you will be going down as if in a precipice and no body could stop you . take care similarly not to hurt the controlling part of yourself.ust. J J ust as shoes are for the requirement of the feet so also riches are for the requirement of each man's body. the reason. then you will first have shoes with decoration . he women when they are young are called mistresses by their husbands. which guides you. then you will like to have golden shoes and finally you will like to have shoes with diamonds. think T . The same thing for the shoes: if once you cross the limits of requirement of your feet. For there is no limit for those who have once crossed the limits. If in each action of our life we observe reason’s precept we shall surely do everything properly. These women therefore. as you take great care of not treading on nails and spraining your ankle while walking. but if you do not take this into account. seeing that their husbands consider them only for the pleasures they give to their husbands.

because he is the only one who is deceived. certain sign of a dull soul is to remain occupied a long time with the care of the body. and these things should be done only on passing: all our applications and our attention should be for the soul.only of the pleasures they can give them .Consequently if he judges wrongly he alone is hurt. try to understand that he is obliged to do so. he follows only his own. prudent and modest. W . like exercising for long . It is not possible for him to follow your judgement.think of only dressing up themselves for pleasing them. All these things should not be the principal item of our life but its accessories. drinking and eating for long and devoting much of the time to the other needs of the body. and they put all their confidence in make up and dressing table. A hen somebody wrongs you or speaks ill of you. It is therefore most necessary to make them understand that they will be honoured and respected only to the extent they become wise.

if someone thinks that a well thought out and just syllogism is wrong. and you will consider him by the good side which will make you put up with him. who is the man who has been brought up and fed with you. but take him by the other side of him. but the person who has deceived himself by his wrong judgement." The correct reasoning is to say: "I am richer than you. because I am more fortunate than you are. the syllogism does not suffer on that account. verything has two aspects: one with which it can be carried. If you follow this rule then you shall be able to patiently bear with all those who speak ill of you. If therefore your brother does you an injustice do not consider him by the side of him which has been unjust to you. and therefore I am worthier than you. and the other with which it can not be.In fact. I am more I . because for each insult you will not fail to say: 'He thinks that he is right'. because that is the handle by which you can neither take him nor carry him. who is your brother. E t is not correct reasoning to say "I am richer than you and therefore I am better than you: I am more brilliant than you.

you are poor both in fortunes and speech. Because. S on't theorise. but say only that he drinks a lot. Some one drinks a lot of wine. without knowing what makes him act that way. every time you judge in this way. And remember always that in everything and everywhere Socrates had rejected all show and all display. but eat as one should. The young men went to him for recommending them to other teachers. omeone bathes at very early hours. don't flaunt grandiose principles before the ignorant . For example. Don't say that it is bad to take bath so early. how do you know that he is doing something bad. Thus. don't say how one should eat.But you.brilliant than you because my speech is more useful than yours ". Don't say it is bad to drink. something will be apparent before you but you will arrive at something else. on the other hand do what these principles mean. but say that he bathes before it is the time to take bath. D . and he sent them to others less worthy and although he was suffering in this way but still he did not complain. in a banquet.

do that for yourself and not for showing to others. if you are extremely thirsty. I T he ignorant has this habit and character: he never concern himself with his good or bad. do not sell your good principles to the ignorant. take water in your mouth and throw it out and don't tell that to any one. don't become vain about it. I f you are accustomed to lead an ascetic life and to treat your body with austerity. because there is the danger of soon telling something which you have not assimilated. if you are not pricked by the reproach. If you want to practise patience and tolerance. Because the sheep do not show to the shepherds how much they have eaten. know that you are on the way to becoming a philosopher. they produce wool and milk. remain silent. do not show your devotion. make them manifest in your actions. You too.f it comes to discoursing on some good questions before the ignorant. but always of others. And if someone tells you that you know nothing. but after digesting well in the pasture in which they had been. and if you do not drink even water. don't always say that you do not drink water. if you have learnt them well. the philosopher has the habit and .

If people consider him as simple and ignorant he is not in pain because of it.For all things he has only movements not very assidous and rather subdued. certain sign that a person has made some progress in the path of wisdom: he does not blame anybody. he does not complain against anybody . before his health is fully restored. he examines himself and observes lest he should disturb or trouble the process of recovery which has just commenced.character: he is concerned with all the good and bad fortune of himself. he takes it on himself. he does not accuse anybody. If someone praises him he mocks discreetly at those flatterers and if he tries it again then he does not look for its justification. When he finds some obstacle or some hindrances to what he wants. A . he is always vigilant against himself as if he is against a person who is continually trying to trap him and who is his most dangerous enemy. In other words. He has conquered in him all desires and he has aversions only to the things that do not depend on us. he does not praise anybody. but like a person recovering. he does not speak of himself as if he was something or he knew something.

W ive firmly in accordance with these precepts and obey them as laws which can not be broken without being irreverent. what do I want? Knowing the nature and following it. And do not pay any importance whatsoever to what others are going to tell you. with the difference that instead of explaining Homer. nothing is very extraordinary. then the only thing to be done is to follow the precepts explained to me and to put them into practice. and that is the only thing deserving merit. I therefore look for some one who would explain to me. Because if I am satisfied only with explaining this philosopher and admiring what he had said. As for me. tell yourself: If Chrysippus did not write enigmatically. I start reading Chrysippus but I do not understand him.When I have found someone who is a good interpreter. if I can not show the actions conforming to these precepts.hen some one boasts about understanding and explaining the writings of Chrysippus. what does that mean to me?It means that I am only a grammarian and not a philosopher. So when someone tells me "Explain Chrysippus". I explain Chrysippus. Upto this point. L . I shall be all the more ashamed of myself and confused. I am told that Chrysippus has done so. then this man who is boasting would not have anything by which he could glorify himself. I therefore search for those who have explained it well.

if each day you think of another day when you would take care of yourself. you will not make any progress. that the olympic games is declared open. it will happen that. If you indulge in yourself. if you make resolution after resolutions. you will remain ignorant in your life and after your death. If that presents something painful or agreeable to you. if you have not guarded yourself against it. amuse yourself. This is how Socrates had become T . there is now no time to postpone. and in a moment or in a single courageous action or lapse depends your progress or your fall. like one who has already made some progress in the path of the wise and all that appears to you as very beautiful and very good should be for you an absolute law. remember that the day of battle has come.because that is not among your power. Start considering yourself today itself as fit for living like a man. the things which are within ill when will you postpone of being worthy of the highest things and to put you in a state when you have nothing to offend the right senses? You have received the commandment to which you should give your consent and you have given it. For which preceptor are you waiting now for turning over a new leaf till he comes? You are not a child but a grown up man. something glorious or shameful.

it is there that one should pay attention and concentrate ordinarily. do not tell a lie. for providing the proof. what is the staff of which truth and certitude are made of .perfect. for example. truth and falseness. But it is the first part which is the most important of all the three. We proceed in the reverse order. our studies. T . and at the same time we are always ready to prove very much that one should not lie. As for you. facing everything in his progress . and following always the right thing. It happens that we tell lies. you should nevertheless live like one who wants to become Socrates. explaining why is the theorem required. all our action. consequence. opposition . are for the third part. since you have still not become Socrates. theory. and the second for the first one. we dwell entirely on the third aspect. he first most important and the most necessary part of a follower of a philosopher is to practise the precepts. And the third part is to prove the theorem. it defines the different terms . The second aspect is to provide the theory why one should not tell a lie. which is putting it into use and to practise. and we totally neglect the first one. This third part is required for the second part.

I should follow Thee”. because it is by this that God leads us and calls us. besides when I become wicked and irreverent inspite of myself. The wicked can kill me but they cannot spoil me.tart all your actions and all your work with this prayer: " Oh. my lord. tell further " Let me pass by courageously. Also tell yourself : Those who can adjust according to necessity are sages and wise in the knowledge of the divine. Even when I resist your orders. lead me to where you are and guide me to that place ! I shall follow there with all my heart and without hesitation." S . In the third place.

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