Seneca, Moral Epistles 90.1-2
“My Lucilius, who can question that the live we live is a gift from the immortal gods, but the fact that we live well comes from philosophy? So, by this logic, as much as a good life is a greater benefit than merely living, so much more so would we owe to philosophy than we would owe to the gods, if philosophy itself were not something the gods gave us.
They granted this knowledge to no one, but they gave the ability to develop it to all. For, if they had made philosophy a gift shared by all and we were born wise, then wisdom would have missed what is best in itself, not being a chance acquisition. For now wisdom’s most valuable and impressive trait is that it does not come to us, because each person is in debt to themselves for wisdom and it is not found at someone else’s cost”
Quis dubitare, mi Lucili, potest, quin deorum immortalium munus sit quod vivimus, philosophiae quod bene vivimus? Itaque tanto plus huic nos debere quam dis, quanto maius beneficium est bona vita quam vita, pro certo haberetur, nisi ipsam philosophiam di tribuissent. Cuius scientiam nulli dederunt, facultatem omnibus. Nam si hanc quoque bonum vulgare fecissent et prudentes nasceremur, sapientia quod in se optimum habet, perdidisset: inter fortuita non esse. Nunc enim hoc in illa pretiosum atque magnificum est, quod non obvenit, quod illam sibi quisque debet, quod non ab alio petitur.