When only a boy he was made a slave in Rome, banished by the Roman emperor Domitian, but he managed to study under the great Roman stoic teacher Musonius Rufus. After being freed---we are not sure when or why that occurred---he went to Greece, to a little town in Epirus, where he opened his own school of philosophy.
Then there’s this gem of Epictetus, which says much about the nature and ‘purpose’ of both philosophy and life itself: ‘The essence of philosophy is that we should so live that our happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.’ Yes, Epictetus was an early apologist for living simply. One other thing---he never speculated on life after death; indeed he never dealt directly with the subject at all.
When you are going about any action, remind yourself what nature the action is. If you are going to bathe, picture to yourself the things which usually happen in the bath: some people splash the water, some push, some use abusive language, and others steal. Thus you will more safely go about this action if you say to yourself, ‘I will now go bathe, and keep my own mind in a state conformable to nature.’ And in the same manner with regard to every other action. For thus, if any hindrance arises in bathing, you will have it ready to say, ‘It was not only to bathe that I desired, but to keep my mind in a state conformable to nature; and I will not keep it if I am bothered at things that happen.
P.S. This is my 250th post on this blogsite. Heartiest thanks to my many loyal readers. IEJ.