“What Chance has made yours, is not really yours. The good that could be given, can be removed.”
If you would enjoy real freedom, you must be slave to Philosophy.
Letter 8 : On the Philosopher’s Seclusion
Avoid whatever pleases the throng: avoid the gifts of Chance! Halt before every good which Chance brings to you, in a spirit of doubt and fear; for it is the dumb animals and fish that are deceived by tempting hopes. Do you call these things the ‘gifts’ of Fortune? They are snares. And any man among you who wishes to live a life of safety will avoid, to the utmost of his power, these limed twigs of her favour, by which we mortals, most wretched in this respect also, are deceived; for we think that we hold them in our grasp, but they hold us in theirs.
Hold fast, then, to this sound and wholesome rule of life – that you indulge the body only so far as is needful for good health, and reflect that nothing except the soul is worthy of wonder; for to the soul, if it be great, naught is great.
“If you would enjoy real freedom, you must be the slave of Philosophy.” The man who submits and surrenders himself to her is not kept waiting; he is emancipated on the spot. For the very service of Philosophy is freedom.