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Epictetus (55-135 CE) Enchiridion
A manual for living a contented life
Rendered by Charles Scamahorn (1935- ) 2014

Paragraph 53

Direct me, my self-created spirit-character, to function well within the Universe, of which I am a part. Let my character take me enthusiastically into whatever situations come my way. But what if I do not want to go enthusiastically? Wouldn’t I be compelled by events to go some way, perhaps grudgingly some other way, and then become a victim of external circumstance, and drift into despair? So, I choose to follow the wise ones who themselves are on Nature’s proper paths, and choose to control only that which is within my ability, and be content with the rest. Ultimately the Universe and Time will engulf me, but it will not destroy my essence for it is always with me, here in the eternal now.


This rendering of Epictetus’ Manual of 53 paragraphs has been loose in following his very old words, but close to my understanding of the original intent of those words. The goal is to set one’s habits into a harmony with the Universe and its Natural Laws, and in so doing reach tranquility within oneself and contentment with the Universe. That has been a grand goal for me, but writing this pamphlet is for you, and it is now you who must choose your own path of habits. Do it now.

Charles LeRoy Scamahorn
Bend, Oregon
March 1, 2015