But if there is nothing better than the very god that is seated in you, which has brought all your own impulses under its control, which scrutinizes your thoughts, which has withdrawn itself, as Socrates used to say, from all inducements of the senses, which has subordinated itself to the gods and takes care for men – if you find all else by comparison with this small and paltry, then give no room to anything else. Once inclined to any alternative, you will struggle thereafter to restore the primacy of that good which is yours and yours alone. It is not right that the rational and social good should be rivaled by anything of a different order. For example, the praise of the many, or power, or wealth, or the enjoyment of pleasure. All these things may seem to suit you for a while, but they can take control and carry you away. So you must, I repeat, simply and freely choose the better and hold to it. If to your benefit as a rational being, adopt it: but if simply to your benefit as an animal, reject it. Stick to your judgment without fanfare. Make sure that your scrutiny is sound.
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