Wednesday

May 27

GOD says, "If you wish for good, receive it from yourself." You say. No; but from another. — "Nay; but from yourself." In consequence of this, when a tyrant threatens and sends for me; I say. Against what is your threatening pointed? If he says, “I will chain you"; I answer, It is my hands and feet that you threaten. If he says, “I will cut off your head”; I answer, It is my head that you threaten. If he says, "I will throw you into prison"; I answer. It is the whole of this paltry body that you threaten: and, if he threatens banishment, just the same.

Doth not he threaten you, then ?

If I am persuaded that these things are nothing to me, he doth not; but, if I fear any of them, it is me that he threatens. Whom, after all, is it that I fear? The master of what? Of things in my own power? Of these no one is the master. Of things not in my power? And what are these to me?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §29, ¶1.

2 comments:

  1. This has to be balanced against the Stoic philanthropy. The things of the self can be risked in the interest of the others.

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  2. This needs to be balanced with the concepts of brotherhood and philanthropy. I think this is talking about strictly "self" not others. If Michel or my children were threatened then I would act to defend them.

    In this circumstance my love for them would give a person power over me. I have no solution for this as the alternative of not loving them whole heartedly would not be an option that I would wish to choose to live with.

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