THIS is the work, if any, that ought to employ your master and preceptor, if you had one; that you should come to him, and say: "Epictetus, we can no longer bear being tied down to this paltry body, feeding and resting and cleaning it, and hurried about with so many low cares on its account. Are not these things indifferent, and nothing to us, and death no evil? Are not we relations of God, and did we not come from Him? Suffer us to go back thither from whence we came; suffer us, at length, to be delivered from these fetters, that chain and weigh us down. Here thieves and robbers, and courts of judicature, and those who are called tyrants, seem to have some power over us, on account of the body and its possessions. Suffer us to show them, that they have no power." And in this case it would be my part to answer: "My friends, wait for God, till He shall give the signal, and dismiss you from this service; then return to Him. For the present, be content to remain in this post where He has placed you. The time of your abode here is short, and easy to such as are disposed like you. For what tyrant, what robber, what thief, or what courts of judicature are formidable to those who thus account the body and its possessions as nothing? Stay. Depart not inconsiderately."
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §8. ¶3.
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