Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Epictetus Discourses Book 1 Chapter 9 (quotes)

Not really going to comment on this, but just share the parts that I highlighted in my copy.

student: "Epictetus, we can no longer stand being tied to this hateful body, giving it food and drink, resting it and cleaning it and have to associate with all manner of uncongenial people for its sake. Such things are indifferent, are they not, and as nothing to us; and death no evil thing? Aren't we akin to God, having come from him? Let us go home, then, to be free, finally, from the shackles that restrain us and weigh us down. Here we find robbers and thieves, and law-courts, and so-called despots who imagine that they wield some power over us precisely because of our body and it possessions. Allow us to show them that they have power over precisely no one."

Epictetus: "Friends, wait upon God. Whenever he gives the sign and releases you from service, then are are free to return. But for now agree to remain in the place where you've been stationed. Your time is short enough, and easy to endure for people of your convictions. No despot, thief or court of law can intimidate people who set little store by the body and its appurtenances. So stay, don't depart without good reason."

"It is absurd to suppose that, if a general of yours stationed me at a post, I would have to maintain and defend it, choosing to die a thousand times rather than quit, but if God has assigned us post with a set of duties, we might decide to abandon that."

"There you have a man who was a genuine kinsman of the gods.  But we, on the other hand, identify with our stomachs, guts and genitals.  Because we are still vulnerable to fear and desire, we flatter and creep before anyone with the power to hurt us where any of those things are concerned."

"Since I can get greatness of soul and nobility from myself, why should I look to get a farm, or money, or some office, from you?"

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