It’s like a banquet, with dishes going around. If something tasty stops in front of you, take some if you want. If it hasn’t reached you yet, don’t grab for it. If it misses you entirely, don’t make a fuss.
Take the same attitude toward family, money and position. Partake of them as they come to you and there’s no blame. But if you scorn them when you could easily have them, that’s better – even divine. It’s for this behavior that Diogenes and Heraclitus were rightly called godlike.
Remember that you ought to behave in life as you would at a banquet. As something is being passed around it comes to you; stretch out your hand and take a portion of it politely. It passes on; do not detain it. Or it has not come to you yet; do not project your desire to meet it, but wait until it comes in front of you. So act toward children, so toward a wife, so toward office, so toward wealth; and then some day you will be worthy of the banquets of the gods. But if you do not take these things even when they are set before you, but despise them, then you will not only share the banquet of the gods, but share also their rule. For it was by so doing that Diogenes and Heracleitus, and men like them, were deservedly divine and deservedly so called.
Remember that you must behave in life as you would at a banquet. A dish is handed round and comes to you; put out your hand and take it politely. It passes you; do not stop it. It has not reached you; do not be impatient to get it, but wait till your turn comes. Bear yourself thus towards children, wife, office, wealth, and one day you will be worthy to banquet with the gods. But if when they are set before you, you do not take them but despise them, then you shall not only share the gods’ banquet, but shall share their rule. For by so doing Diogenes and Heraclitus and men like them were called divine and deserved the name.
Remember that in life you ought to behave as at a banquet. Suppose that something is carried round and is opposite to you. Stretch out your hand and take a portion with decency. Suppose that it passes by you. Do not detain it. Suppose that it is not yet come to you. Do not send your desire forward to it, but wait till it is opposite to you. Do so with respect to children, so with respect to a wife, so with respect to magisterial offices, so with respect to wealth, and you will be some time a worthy partner of the banquets of the gods. But if you take none of the things which are set before you, and even despise them, then you will be not only a fellow banqueter with the gods, but also a partner with them in power. For by acting thus Diogenes and Heraclitus and those like them were deservedly divine, and were so called.
Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast. Is some dish brought to you? Then put forth your hand and help yourself in seemly fashion. Does it pass you by? Then do not hold it back. Has it not yet come to you? Then do not stretch out for it at a distance, but wait till it is at your hand. And thus doing with regard to children, and wife, and authority, and wealth, you will be a worthy guest at the table of the Gods, And if you even pass over things that are offered to you, and refuse to take of them, then you will not only share the banquet of the Gods, but also their dominion. For so doing, Diogenes and Heracleitus and such as they were rightly divine, as they were said to be.
Remember that you must behave as at a banquet. Is anything brought round to you? Put out your hand, and take a moderate share. Does it pass by you? Do not stop it. Is it not yet come? Do not yearn in desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. So with regard to children, wife, office, riches; and you will some time or other be worthy to feast with the gods. And if you do not so much as take the things which are set before you, but are able even to forego them, then you will not only be worthy to feast with the gods, but to rule with them also. For, by thus doing, Diogenes and Heraclitus, and others like them, deservedly became divine, and were so recognized.
Remember that you must behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you? Don’t stop it. Is it not yet come? Don’t stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a wife, to public posts, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy partner of the feasts of the gods. And if you don’t even take the things which are set before you, but are able even to reject them, then you will not only be a partner at the feasts of the gods, but also of their empire. For, by doing this, Diogenes, Heraclitus and others like them, deservedly became, and were called, divine.
Μέμνησο, ὅτι ὡς ἐν συμποσίῳ σε δεῖ ἀναστρέφεσθαι. περιφερόμενον γέγονέ τι κατὰ σέ: ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα κοσμίως μετάλαβε. παρέρχεται: μὴ κάτεχε. οὔπω ἥκει: μὴ ἐπίβαλλε πόῤῥω τὴν ὄρεξιν, ἀλλὰ περίμενε, μέχρις ἂν γένηται κατὰ σέ. οὕτω πρὸς τέκνα, οὕτω πρὸς γυναῖκα, οὕτω πρὸς ἀρχάς, οὕτω πρὸς πλοῦτον: καὶ ἔσῃ ποτὲ ἄξιος τῶν θεῶν συμπότης. ἂν δὲ καὶ παρατεθέντων σοι μὴ λάβῃς, ἀλλ’ ὑπερίδῃς, τότε οὐ μόνον συμπότης τῶν θεῶν ἔσῃ, ἀλλὰ καὶ συνάρχων. οὕτω γὰρ ποιῶν Διογένης καὶ Ἡράκλειτος καὶ οἱ ὅμοιοι ἀξίως θεῖοί τε ἦσαν καὶ ἐλέγοντο.