The Teaching of Epictetus identifies “three steps to perfection”. They happen to have many similarities with the three three Buddhist poisons (attachment, aversion and delusion; also known as greed, hatred, and ignorance). The main difference is that Epictetus suggests to let them go only when asking questions to an oracle, but not in daily life. Epictetus three divisions may be labelled as Action (to reach what one wants, and avoid what one doesn’t want), Character (about definying what one wants or doesn’t want) and Judgement (based on using logic).
As translated by T.W. Rolleston:
Book II, Chapter IV: three steps to perfection
1. There are three divisions of Philosophy wherein a man must exercise himself who would be wise and good.1
The first concerns his pursuit and avoidance, so that he may not fail of aught that he would attain, nor fall into aught that he would avoid.
The second concerns his desires and aversions, and, generally, all that it becomes a man to be, so that he bear himself orderly and prudently and not heedlessly.
The third is that which concerns security from delusion and hasty apprehension, and, generally, the assenting to appearances.
Of these the chief and most urgent is that which hath to do with the passions,2 for the passions arise in no other way than by our failing in endeavour to attain or to avoid something. This it is which brings in troubles and tumults and ill-luck and misfortune, that is the cause of griefs and lamentations and envies, that makes envious and jealous men; by which things we become unable even to hear the doctrines of reason.
The second concerns that which is becoming to a man; for I must not be passionless,3 like a statue, but maintain all relations natural and acquired, as a religious being, as a son, as a brother, as a father, as a citizen.
The third is that which concerns men as soon as they are making advance in philosophy, which provides for the security of the two others; so that not even in dreams may any appearance that approacheth us pass untested, nor in wine, nor in ill-humours. This, a man may say, is beyond us. But the philosophers of this day, passing by the first and second parts of philosophy, occupy themselves in the third, cavilling, and arguing by questions, and constructing hypotheses and fallacies. For, they say, when dealing with these subjects a man must guard himself from delusion. Who must? The wise and good man.
Book IV, Chapter V
1. When thou goest to inquire of an oracle, remember that what the event will be thou knowest not, for this is the thing thou art come to learn from the seer; but of what nature it is (if haply thou art a philosopher), thou knewest already in coming. For if it be any of those things that are not in our own power, it follows of necessity that it can be neither good nor evil.
2. Bring, therefore, to the seer neither pursuit nor avoidance, nor go before him with trembling, but well knowing that all events are indifferent and nothing to thee. For whatever it may be, it shall lie with thee to use it nobly; and this no man can prevent. Go, then, with a good courage to the Gods as to counsellors; and for the rest, when anything hath been counselled thee, remember of whom thou hast taken counsel, and whom thou wilt be slighting if thou art not obedient.
3. Therefore, as Socrates would have it, go to the oracle for those matters only where thy whole inquiry bendeth solely towards the event, and where there are no means either from reason or any other art for knowing beforehand what it shall behove thee to do. Thus, when it may be needful to share some peril with thy friend or thy country, inquire of no oracle whether thou shouldst do the thing. For if the seer should declare that the sacrifices are inauspicious, this signifies clearly either death, or the loss of some limb, or banishment; yet doth Reason decree that even so thou must stand by thy friend, and share thy country’s danger.