"The duration of a person's life is only a moment; our substance is flowing away this very moment; the senses arc dim; the composition of the body is decaying, the soul is chaos, our fate is unknowable, and reputation uncertain. In a word, all bodily things are like a flowing river, and everything of the soul is dream and smoke, and life is all warfare and a stranger's wanderings, and the reward is oblivion. What then could possibly guide us? Only one thing: philosophy, and this consists in keeping the divine spirit within each of us free from disrespect and harm, above pains and pleasures, doing nothing aimlessly or falsely and with pretense, without need of another's doing or not doing something, and, furthermore, accepting all that may happen and is allotted to us as coming from that source, whatever it is, from which we ourselves came. Also, philosophy consists in awaiting death with a contented mind, as nothing other than a liberation of those elements of which a living being is composed."