I’ve finished re-reading Book I of the Discourses, and I wanted to highlighted a few passages from section 29 (near the end of the book), “On steadfastness.” Notice Epictetus’ clear discussion of “externals” and correct judgment. I also like the defense of the value of philosophy in which he engages (which is still, unfortunately, necessary today!), as well as the attack on logic chopping, from which modern analytic philosophers could take a lesson. And of course I have included his classic and delightful example of the thief who steals his lamp (hence the image accompanying this entry, from Kevin Patrick Jr.).
“ The essence of good and evil consists in the condition of our character.
 And externals are the means by which our character finds its particular good and evil.
 It finds its good by not attaching value to the means. Correct judgements about externals make our character good, as perverse or distorted ones make it bad. …
 Who is there left for me to fear, and over what has he control? Not what is in my power, because no one controls that except myself. As for what is not in my power, in that I take no interest. …
 This is how I came to lose my lamp: the thief was better than I am in staying awake. But he acquired the lamp at a price: he became a thief for its sake, for its sake, he lost his ability to be trusted, for a lamp he became a brute. And he imagined he came out ahead! … anyone who affirms that, in a circle, lines that extend from the centre to the circumference can be unequal is not going to win the respect of mathematicians.
 So – a true philosopher is under no obligation to respect vulgar opinion as to what is religious or irreligious, what is just or unjust. … It isn’t more logic chopping that is needed – our Stoic texts are full of that. What we need now are people to apply their learning and bear witness to their learning in their actions.”