Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 17

The quotes ...

"Why do you get what you do not want, and don't get what you do?  This is categorical proof of inner confusion and unhappiness.  I want something to happen, and it fails to happen, or I don't want something to happen, and it does - and can any creature be more miserable than I?"  (verses 17-18)

"Don't want anything except what God wants, and no one will stop or stay you, any more than they can stand in the way of God.  When you have him as your leader, and conform your will and desire to his, what fear of failure can you have?" (verses 22-23)

As long as "you still experience envy, pity, jealousy and fear ... hardly a day passes that you don't whine to the gods about your life." (verse 26)

"Begin to fashion your future in such a way that nothing happens contrary to your desire and nothing that you desire fails to materialize." (verse 28).

Three Stages of a True Philospher

STAGE 1
"It's enough if one day I can live without sorrow or frustration, if I can lift up my head like a free person in the face of circumstance and look to heaven as a friend of God without fear of anything that might happen." (verse 29)

STAGE 2
"I want to be free from fear and emotion, but at the same time I want to be a concerned citizen and philosopher, and attentive to my other duties, toward God, my parents, my siblings, my country, and my guests." (verse 31)

STAGE 3
"I want to be faultless, and unshakable, not just when I am awake, but even when I'm sleeping, even when I'm drunk or delirious."  (verse 49)

Having attained stage 3, "you are a god ... headed for the stars."

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