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Learn to be wise and happy with Epictetus and Plato

Epictetus

Stoic philosopher (50-c. 130). He was a Phrygian slave taken to Rome, he studied philosophy and taught before being banished by Domitian.
His teaching was recorded by Arrien in the Talks and the Handbook.

“Apply yourself, then, to what you can.”

“It is the act of an ignorant man to accuse others of his own failures; he who has begun to learn accuses himself: he who is learned accuses neither others nor himself.”

“He is a wise man, who does not regret what he does not have, but rejoices in what he has”.

“It is a curse for the ears of corn not to be harvested, and it would be a curse for men not to die”.

“What one should do, one knows it much better than the philosophers”.

“What troubles men are not things, but the judgments they make about things”

“He who progresses blames no one, praises no one, criticizes no one, incriminates no one. He says nothing of his importance or of his knowledge”.
“Let us look for our goods within ourselves, otherwise we will not find them”.

“First tell yourself who you want to be, then do accordingly what you have to do”.

“In general, all knowledge acquired by frustrated and weak people offers the danger of inflating them with pride”.

“Practice, for the love of heaven, doing small things”.

“There is only one road to happiness, and that is to renounce those things which do not depend on our will.

“One should not bind a ship to a single anchor, nor a life to a single hope”.

“The essence of philosophy is that a man should live in such a way that his happiness depends as little as possible on external causes”

“Happiness does not consist in acquiring and enjoying, but in desiring nothing, for it consists in being free”

“The principle of all evils for man, of baseness, of cowardice, is not death, but rather the fear of death”

“Opportunities are indifferent, the use one makes of them is not”

“When someone makes you angry, know that it is your judgment that makes you angry”

“Don’t wait for events to happen the way you want them to. Decide to want what happens … and you will be happy” “Our salvation or our loss is in ourselves”

“No one can harm you, if you do not want it, because you will only be harmed if you judge that you are harmed”.

“Where is the good? In the will? Where is the evil? In the will. And what is neither good nor evil? In that which does not depend on the will.”

“For me, there is nothing but good omen; for, whatever happens, it depends on me to derive good from it.”

“What is yours? The use of ideas”

“When you have closed the door of your room and turned off the light, be sure never to pretend that you are alone; for God is with you”

“If your neighbor gets dirty, you can’t rub up against him without necessarily getting dirty, no matter how clean you are yourself”

“If you take on a role that is beyond your strength, you not only make a poor showing, but you also leave out a role that you could have fulfilled.

“Be silent most of the time, say only what is necessary and in few words”.

“Remember that you are like an actor in the role that the author has entrusted to you: short, if it is short; long, if it is long. It depends on you to play your part well, but not to choose it”.

Plato

Greek philosopher (428-348 BC).
Of aristocratic origin, he followed the teaching of Socrates (408-399 BC).
Father of philosophy, Plato left a work that remains without comparison in the history of Western thought.

“It is the mark of a philosopher that a sense of wonder”

“He was a wise man who invented God”.

“It is not to live according to science that brings happiness; nor even to gather all the sciences at once, but to possess the only science of good and evil”

“It is not because one fears to commit it, but it is because one fears to suffer it that one blames injustice”

“Those who created the words believed in delirium”

“Each one, because he thinks, is alone responsible for the wisdom or folly of his life, that is to say, for his destiny”.

“Give and you will receive”.

“Between friends, everything is common”.

“Beware of giving children the food of study by force, but let it be mixed with their games, so as to be even more capable of perceiving what are the natural inclinations of each one”.

“There are in each of us calculations that we call hope”.

“Love is blind”.

“The soul finds its rest in little sleep, the heart in little worry and the tongue in silence”

“The essential is not to live, but to live well”

“Excessive freedom can only turn into excessive servitude for an individual as well as for a state”.

“Opinion is something intermediate between knowledge and ignorance”.

“One of the harms of refusing to take part in political life is that you end up being governed by your subordinates”

“The knowledge of words leads to the knowledge of things”

“Hunger is a cloud from which falls a rain of science and eloquence. Satiety is another cloud from which rains ignorance and rudeness”

“The justice of intelligence is wisdom. The wise man is not he who knows many things, but he who sees their just measure”

“Most men in power become wicked”

“True simplicity combines goodness with beauty”.

“The life, which has in common temperance, courage, wisdom or health is more pleasant than the one where intemperance, cowardice, madness or disease are found”

“Old age is a state of rest as to the senses. When the violence of the passions is relaxed, one sees oneself delivered from a crowd of forcible tyrants”

“Time is the mobile image of the immobile eternity”.

“The first good is health, the second beauty, the third wealth”.

“True philosophers practice dying and they are, of all men, those who are the least afraid of death”

“One can neither escape the gaze of the gods nor compel them”

“You can know more about someone in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”.

“If you question men well, by asking the right questions, they discover the truth about everything by themselves”

“Touched by love, every man becomes a poet”

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