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When someone is proud because he can explain the writings of Chrysippus, say to yourself, “If Chrysippus had written more clearly, this person would have nothing to boast about.”

What’s my wish? To understand nature and live in harmony with it. I hear that Chrysippus explains nature, so I want to understand him. I find his writings obscure, so I seek someone to explain them. So far, there’s nothing I can take pride in. When I find someone to explain Chrysippus to me, what counts is to make use of his principles – that’s the thing I can take pride in. If I merely admire the interpretation, I’m using my teacher as a literary critic rather than as a philosopher, and we might as well be studying Homer instead of Chrysippus.

When anyone asks me to explain Chrysippus, I’m embarrassed when I can’t show my own actions to be in keeping with his words.

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