Concerning what is in our power and what is not (1) - Deepstash

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Concerning what is in our power and what is not (1)

  • The knowledge of what is mine and what is not mine, what I can and cannot do
  • I must die. But must I die bawling?
  • I must be put in chains – but moaning and groaning too?
  • I must be exiled; but is there anything to keep me from going with a smile, calm and self-composed?

Concerning what is in our power and what is not (2)

  • Man, the rational animal, can put up with anything except what seems to him irrational; whatever is rational is tolerable
  • Physical hardships are not intolerable by nature. The Spartans, for instance, gladly submit to being whipped because they are taught that it is done for good reason
  • But what about being hanged – isn’t that intolerable? Well, people frequently go and hang themselves, whenever they judge that it is a reasonable course of action.

On Providence

  • Why should I worry about what happens if I am armed with the virtue of fortitude? Nothing can trouble or upset me, or even seem annoying
  • Bring on whatever difficulties you like, Zeus; I have resources and a constitution that you gave me by means of which I can do myself credit whatever happens.

We are master of our own judgement

  • Whenever we do something wrong, then, from now on we will not blame anything except the opinion on which it’s based; and we will try to root out wrong opinions with more determination than we remove tumours or infections from the body
  • By the same token, we will acknowledge opinion as the source of our good behaviour too
  • And we, not externals, are the masters of our judgements

What philosophy professes

  • Philosophy does not claim to secure for us anything outside our control. Otherwise it would be taking on matters that do not concern it. For as wood is the material of the carpenter, and marble that of the sculptor, so the subject matter of the art of life is the life of the self.
  • Nothing important comes into being overnight; even grapes or figs need time to ripen. If you say that you want a fig now, I will tell you to be patient. First, you must allow the tree to flower, then put forth fruit; then you have to wait until the fruit is ripe.

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CURATED BY

ianpuang

Welcome, I post what i read Everything I post is in the book, I'll quote it if it's my own opinion

CURATOR'S NOTE

Selected writings of philosopher Epictetus

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Personally being an introvert this hits home hard for me. It encourages me to keep asking questions and seeking guidance at the cost of appearing foolish and ignorant. Don't fret over what others might think of you. Focus on improving the self.