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This review is from: Enchiridion (Dover Thrift Editions) (Paperback)
Epictetus concerned himself with finding the satisfying life - not the happiest or richest, but the life filled with treasures that can never be taken away. His disciple, Arrian, collected his wisdom, and distilled it down into this booklet of aphorisms.
The essence is simple: "No man is free who is not master of himself." In part, that is because the self is all anyone can truly own. Everything else is under the control of others, of the state, or finally of the gods. Happiness based on what can be taken away is a flimsy sort of thing, and fighting the will of the gods is futile.
Still, this isn't about ascetic self-denial. There are pleasures to be had in the world. If there is wine, enjoy it, remembering that excess is hardly enjoyable. Enjoy the loves in your life, without becoming slave to them. He also recommends reticence in most matters, since so few are under one's control, and since foolishness is easier to speak than wisdom. These thoughts are as effective in today's life as they were two thousand years ago.