Wrestling With Epictetus

Painting of philosophers

If your body were put in a high place by fate, a judicial bench, or in a low place, a prison, what difference does that make to you who can choose as to whether you have a high or low disposition?

Where your body is placed does not matter, only where you choose to place your mind. 

Statue of Socrates.

Socrates wrote joyous hymns in prison, who of us could even stand to hear them while in prison let alone write them. “Can’t you see my terrible circumstance? How can you make me suffer more with hymns?” you choose perspective, no one else!

The right way is to only choose desires and aversions that are within your power, only “will” things that fate hath given you dominion over, such as perceptions, choice of foods, addictions or whether to read or watch TV. These are things that you have power over, total and complete dominion over.

Do you present an indifferent disposition to others?

Do you delight in others failures?

Picture of an elderly couple walking outside. The man has a cane and the woman has his hand, helping guide him along.

Do you help others without hope for reward?

You have been given power over virtue by the gods, an amazing gift, yet you curse fate for not giving you power over other people.

Then you give the gift of the Power Over Virtue back to the gods or your church.

Mansion with a pool.

Then you try to amass wealth, land and title so you may lord it over others.

Use your will where fate hath given you dominion, between your ears!

Two women wearing backpacks, raising their hands above their heads, standing in front of a canyon.

Choose a peaceful joyous life and let the fates have their way with externals.

Toss hope in the dumpster of religion and walk away from it.

Yin Yang symbol.

You have total power over all that is truly important, and no power over that which is not.

In virtue, you are god.

“Externals are not in my power, choice is. Where shall I seek good and evil? Within; in what is my own. But in what is controlled by others, count nothing good or evil, profitable of hurtful, or any such thing.” ~Epictetus

“Always tend to your own business, not to another’s. Let them that have other business tend to it themselves and you will never be disturbed.” ~ Epicetus

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