We often want one thing and pray for another, not telling the truth even to the gods.
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You are doing an excellent thing, one which will be wholesome for you, if, as you write me, you are persisting in your effort to attain sound understanding; it is foolish to pray for this when you can acquire it from yourself. We do not need to uplift our hands towards heaven, or to beg the keeper of a temple to let us approach his idol's ear, as if in this way our prayers were more likely to be heard. A god is near you, with you, and in you. This is what I mean, Lucilius: there sits a holy spirit within us, one who marks our good and bad deeds, and is our a guardian.
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