April 1, 2015
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On one hand, there are things that are in our power. And on the other hand, there are things that are not in our power. In our power are our opinion, intention, desire, aversion; whatever is our own doing. Things not in our power include our body, possessions, reputations, status; whatever is not our own doing.
(Epictetus, Handbook 1.1)
Yesterday we looked at the second part of Epictetus’ claim concerning what is not in our power. As you went about your activities yesterday, were you able to think of potential obstacles that might hinder your success? As we learned, our body, possessions, reputations, and status are not 100% completely under our own control. The flip-side of this is Epictetus’ first claim, that our opinion, intention, desire, and aversion are 100% completely under our own control. All the time. No matter the circumstances. Read more of this post
March 30, 2015
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Greetings! I had originally planned to post today’s entry regarding Epictetus’ lessons on what is “in our power.” However, while paraphrasing the selection we’d be reading from, it was all becoming a befuddled mess in my mind. (It probably didn’t help that I was attempting this at 4:00am.) Despite looking at multiple translations of the excerpt last night, it just wasn’t clicking the way it needed to. I’m under the impression that it would benefit us not only for the next lesson, but in our overall progress toward the philosophic life, if we took a moment now to direct our attention from the chapter at hand and investigate some key terms and concepts in philosophy.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Read more of this post