Roman Calendar

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Of Tranquility: Preparing for the Trial" (from "Greeks to Geeks")

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

"Of Tranquility: Preparing for the Trial
. . .
Epictetus: 'Never say of anything, "I have lost it"; but, "I have returned it." Is your child dead? It is returned. Is your wife dead? She is returned. Is your estate taken away? Well, and is that not likewise returned? "But he who took it away is a bad man." What difference is it to you who the giver assigns to take it back? While he gives it to you to possess, take care of it; but don't view it as your own, just as travellers view a hotel.'
. . .
So here's an interesting idea, 'view nothing as your own' . . . unlike many religions and sects where it is necessary and part of the dogma to totally give up, or renounce certain material items, foods, drinks, wealth, and refrain completely from certain rituals or actions, in Stoicism the key is moderation. Should you go overboard or take part in some actions that you are not proud of, you have only disappointed yourself, and even then not beyond redemption, you don't torture yourself, you simply notice what you've done, notice that you dislike that you've done it and tell yourself that you'll try harder in the future, while maintaining full unconditional love and acceptance of yourself."

Radical detachment!

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