Sit down on the bank of a rippling river:
you will see it flowing in a perpetual current,
and, rolling wave after wave in a thousand twists
and turns, outpouring its watery course through die meadows.
But you will see nothing of that first wave
which once flowed by. The water changes every day,
every day it passes and we still call it the same river,
and the same water, in the same way.
So does man vary, and tomorrow the strength
of the poor human body which time shortens
and consumes will not be the same as today:
The name follows us until death without changing and,
although today I am not the same man who was living yesterday,
yet am I still called the same.
The most beautiful of apes is ugly in comparison with the race of man;
the wisest of men seems an ape in comparison to a god.
The world of the waking is one and shared,
but the sleeping turn aside each into his private world.
Most men do not think things in the way they encounter them,
nor do they recognize what they experience,
but believe their own opinions.
All the men that exist in the world, are far removed from truth and just dealings;
but they are full of evil foolishness, which leads them to insatiable covetousness
and vain-glorious ambition.
I, however, forgetting all their worthlessness,
and shunning satiety,
and who wish to avoid all envy on the part of my countrymen,
and all appearance of arrogance, will never come to Persia,
since I am quite contented with a little,
and live as best suits my own inclination.
god is day and night,
winter and summer,
war and peace,
surfeit and hunger.