Saturday, March 10, 2018

Epictetus Discourses Book 1 Chapter 4

What is real progress in terms of Stoicism?

Epictetus resoundingly explains.

Stoicism is about living according to Nature where virtue is the sole good.

Therefore, if you want to make progress in becoming Stoic, you would not show a sage all the books you've read on the subject of Stoicism.  Rather, you would show them how you are living according to nature and focusing solely on virtue.  Epictetus likens this to an athlete.

"Show me evidence that you are an athlete."  The athlete would not show you his weight set!  Rather, he would show you his muscles and his strength.

What are the hallmarks of progress in Stoicism?

Renounce externals (desiring something that is out of your control, or avoiding something painful that is out of your control).

Focus on your character; cultivate it, perfect it.

Make your character honest, trustworthy, free.

Expunge from your life the following: sighs, sorrow, grief, disappointment and exclamations like, "poor me!"

Learn what death is; face it; realize it is your fate.

If you can do these things, then you are showing progress in becoming Stoic.

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