Roman Calendar

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Living In Accordance With Nature" (from "Greeks to Geeks")

From Rohan Healey's Greeks to Geeks: Practical Stoicism for the 21st Century:

"Living in Accordance with Nature

Epictetus: 'Remember that you must behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you? Don't stop it. Is it not yet come? Don't stretch your desire towards it, but wait until it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a wife, to public posts, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy partner of the feasts of the gods. And if you don't even take the things that are set before you, but are able even to reject them, then you will not only be a partner at the feasts of the gods, but also of their empire. For, by doing this, Diogenes, Heraclitus, and others like them, deservedly became. and were called, divine.'

Allow life to come to you, states Epictetus in the above passage. Don't go outside of your philosophy in order to attain things, live your life honestly, authentically, and with dignity and let things flow into your life as they naturally do, and partake of them when they are presented to you.
. . .
Marcus Aurelius: 'We are made for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature.'

Fairness, equality, and cooperation are central to Stoic beliefs as, like Marcus Aurelius here states, we do not see nature tearing itself apart, or destroying itself, and by that logic neither should the human race."

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