Ancient Wisdom

Epictetus:

μὴ ζήτει τὰ γινόμενα γίνεσθαι ὡς θέλεις, ἀλλὰ θέλε τὰ γινόμενα ὡς γίνεται καὶ εὐροήσεις.
“Don’t seek for things to go the way you wish, but wish for things to happen as they happen and you will do well.”

μέμνησο, ὅτι ὑποκριτὴς εἶ δράματος, οἵου ἂν θέλῃ διδάσκαλος: ἂν βραχύ, βραχέος: ἂν μακρόν, μακροῦ: ἂν πτωχὸν ὑποκρίνασθαί σε θέλῃ, ἵνα καὶ τοῦτον εὐφυῶς ὑποκρίνῃ ἂν χωλόν, ἂν ἄρχοντα, ἂν ἰδιώτην. σὸν γὰρ τοῦτ᾽ ἔστι, τὸ δοθὲν ὑποκρίνασθαι πρόσωπον καλῶς: ἐκλέξασθαι δ᾽ αὐτὸ ἄλλου.
“Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of whatever sort the author wishes: should your life be short, it is short; should it be long, it is long: if he wishes for you to play a beggar, play the role well, and the same if you are ruler or private citizen. For this is your calling, to play well the part you have been given; choosing the part is the calling of another.”

Marcus Aurelius:

βίος ὑπόληψις.
“Life [is] opinion.”

This basically means: “life is what you deem it to be.” This is analogous to Hamlet Act II Scene 2 “There’s nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

Πολλὰ λιβανωτοῦ βωλάρια ἐπὶ τοῦ αὐτοῦ βωμοῦ: τὸ μὲν προκατέπεσεν, τὸ δ᾽ ὕστερον, διαφέρει δ᾽ οὐδέν.
“Many grains of incense fall upon the same altar: some sooner, some later, it makes no difference.”

 

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