Epictetus, Discourses according to Arrian 3.18-22
“These are the cruel beliefs that need to be excised, what we need to focus on completely. What is weeping and groaning? A kind of judgment. What is bad luck? A belief? What is conflict, nitpicking, accusation, sacrilege, nonsense? These are all just beliefs and they are also beliefs that sit outside the selection of what is actually good and evil. Have someone change their focus to these real things and I promise they will stand fast no matter what things change around them.
The soul is a bit like a bowl of water and its experiences are like the ray of light that dances on the water’s face. When the water is rough, it seems like the light is disturbed too, even though it isn’t touched. Just so, whenever someone suffers a moment of darkness, their skills and virtues aren’t all mixed up, just the breath in which they subsist. When it finds peace again, so do they.”
ταῦτ᾿ οὖν ἐκκόπτειν δεῖ τὰ πονηρὰ δόγματα, περὶ τοῦτο συντετάσθαι. τί γάρ ἐστι τὸ κλαίειν καὶ οἰμώζειν; δόγμα. τί δυστυχία; δόγμα. τί στάσις, τί διχόνοια, τί μέμψις, τί κατηγορία, τί ἀσέβεια, τί φλυαρία; ταῦτα πάντα δόγματά ἐστι καὶ ἄλλο οὐδὲν καὶ δόγματα περὶ τῶν ἀπροαιρέτων ὡς ὄντων ἀγαθῶν καὶ κακῶν. ταῦτά τις ἐπὶ τὰ προαιρετικὰ μεταθέτω, κἀγὼ αὐτὸν ἐγγυῶμαι ὅτι εὐσταθήσει, ὡς ἂν ἔχῃ τὰ περὶ αὐτόν.
Οἷόν ἐστιν ἡ λεκάνη τοῦ ὕδατος, τοιοῦτον ἧ ψυχή, οἷον ἡ αὐγὴ ἡ προσπίπτουσα τῷ ὕδατι, τοιοῦτον αἱ φαντασίαι. ὅταν οὖν τὸ ὕδωρ κινηθῇ, δοκεῖ μὲν καὶ ἡ αὐγὴ κινεῖσθαι, οὐ μέντοι κινεῖται. καὶ ὅταν τοίνυν σκοτωθῇ τις, οὐχ αἱ τέχναι καὶ αἱ ἀρεταὶ συγχέονται, ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα, ἐφ᾿ οὗ εἰσίν· καταστάντος δὲ καθίσταται κἀκεῖνα.