Thursday, April 12, 2018

Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 1 - confidence, caution and your duty

I'm not going to commentate on this chapter.  I highlighted several parts and they really stand on their own.  I'll simply copy them here.

Be confident in everything outside the will, and cautious in everything under the will's control.  For if evil is a matter of the will, then caution is needed there; and if everything beyond the will and not in our control is immaterial to us, then those things can be approached with confidence.

,,,

When deer are frightened by the feathers, they seek safety in the hunters' nets.  Confusing ruin with refuge, they come to an ill-timed death.

...

Death is not fearful, but dying like a coward is.  So be confident about death, and caution yourself against the fear of it.

...

Pain too is just a scary mask: look under it and you will see.  The body sometimes suffers, but relief is never far behind.  And if that isn't good enough for you, the door stands open; otherwise put up with it.

...

Only educated people are entitled to be called free.  What else is freedom but the power to live our life the way we want?

...

No one doing wrong is free.  Do you want to live your life in fear, grief, and anxiety?  ... No one in a state of constant fear is free either.  By the same token, whoever has gained relief from grief, fear and anxiety has gained freedom.

...

What master, I wonder, do you yourself serve?  Money?  Women?  Boys?  The emperor or one of his subordinates?  It has to be one of them, or you wouldn't fret about such things.

...

I notice your clever phrases, yes - and you can have them.  Show me instead how you practice desire and aversion to get what you want and avoid what you do not want.  As for those treatises of yours, if you have any sense, you will go on and burn them.

...

[Socrates] would test and examine himself, forever subjecting to scrutiny one assumption or another.  That's the writing of a real philosopher.

...

Look how I don't fail in my desires, or have experiences I don't want.  I'll prove it to you in the case of death, I'll it to you in the case of physical pain, in the case of prison, of condemnation, and ill repute.  That's the real test of a youth fit to finish school.  ... be content to look like a nobody or know-nothing.

...

Show them this, though, that you know how not to fail in your desires or experience what you don't desire.

...

Your duty is to prepare for death and imprisonment, torture and exile and all such evils, with confidence, because you have faith in the one who has called on you to face them, having judged you worthy of the role.  When you take on the role, you will show the superiority of reason and the mind over forces unconnected with the will.

No comments:

Post a Comment