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Preview — The Art of Living by Epictetus
The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness
Epictetus was born into slavery about 55 C.E. in the eastern outreaches of the Roman Empire. Sold as a child and crippled from the beatings of his master, Epictetus was eventually freed, rising from his humble roots to establish an influential school of Stoic philosophy. Stressing that human beings cannot control life, only how they respond to it, Epictetus dedicated his...more
This book which present the teachings of stoic philosopher "Epictetus", is filled with practical wisdom, many of which constitute the foundation of many books I've read or many sayings you and I have heard. Not only books and sayings, teachings of Epictetus I can't help but to notice is the foundation of prominent fields ...more
Don't demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.
If you ever happen to turn your attention to externals, so as to wish to please anyone, be assured that you have ruined your scheme of life.
My favorite quote, maybe because it's so personally relevant and so incisive, is, and bear with Epictetus, this one is a bit long-winded:
In every affair consider what precedes and follows, and then...more
#1. Some things are in our control and others are not. Work, therefore, to be able to say to every harsh appearance, “You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to be.”
#5. Do not be proud of any excellence that is not yours. If a horse thinks “I am handsome”, that is acceptable. But if you the owner ...more
First, say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do.
Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours. If you do this, you will be impervious to coercion and no one can ever hold you back. You will be truly free and effective, for your efforts will be put to good use and won't be foolishly squandered finding fault ...more
It's something worth remembering on the 4th of July. Independence Day.
"Forgive Over and Over and Over.""Never suppress a generous impulse." One of the greatest books of philosophy I've ever read. It is more of a reinterpretation of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus than a straight academic translation but it wonderfully conveys the wisdom of a a great philosopher who was born a slave. If you ever find yourself at a point in your life when ...more
Seneca puts great emphasis on the shortness of life, tranquility, and being above suffering. Marcus Aurelius looks at the bigger picture, and the idea that we don’t have ...more
Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in...more
That said, even though it is difficult to know how faithful this ...more
"Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and in one word, whatever are not our actions".
Further along, what to do with this realization:
"Work, therefore, to be able to say to every harsh appearance, "You are but an appearance, and not absolutely the thing you appear to ...more
I was impressed by the degree to which the thoughts expressed in this book could be applied in modern daily life. Epictetus believed that for philosophy to have any real value it had to be put into ...more
I think it's interesting that something that was written more than 1,880 years ago can still be applicable to life today, as ...more
This philosophical text is a collection of 52 quotes or sayings or advice by Epictetus. It has been collected by one of his students and is presented as almost a proto-handbook style format.
This handbook is a wealth of good information and I feel I was very impressed with it overall. Some of the ...more
A friend and I were discussing the ramifications and liabilty of the Vincennes's Captain, when a gentleman at the next table said that he knew of an apt quote which he often used in court when a case was going against him and the opposing counsel was roundly denouncing him in front of the judge. He would stand ...more
One other very different but solid word of wisdom from so many in this book:
"When we name things ...more
Wow. What a life changing book this is! This is one of those books that I'll definitely re-read it in near future. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph was essential and ...more
But, there's also a lot of radical ideas that in my opinion go against everything that makes us human. For example:
"With regard to whatever objects give you delight, are useful, or are deeply loved, remember to tell yourself of what general nature they are, beginning from the most ...more
The problem I have with this work is that Epictetus, it seems to this non-classicist, does not give value to responsibility of obligation. For example, I sense that if someone was unhappy in a marriage, Epictetus would tell that someone to leave the marriage instead of working it out. I also sense he did not put value in emotions of ...more
THERE are things which are within our power, and there are things which are beyond our power.
Now the things within our power are by nature free, unrestricted, unhindered; but those beyond our power are weak, dependent, restricted, alien. Remember then, that, if you attribute freedom to things by nature dependent, and take what belongs to others for your own; you will be hindered, you will lament, you will be disturbed,...more
Contains the 52 propositions of the Enchiridion and 178 fragments thereafter. A number of the propositions in the Enchiridion concern the eidos zoe of the philosopher (V, XV, XXII, XXIII,XXXII, XLVIII, XLIX, L, LI), though some will apply to all bios, and likely to Agamben's 'bare life.' The former text opens with the premise that there're two sets of things--those within 'our power' and those ...more
This slender book is not a translation of Epictetus, so one must be careful. Instead, the author summarizes the philosopher's key ideas. But his ideas make so much clear sense that no matter your religious affiliation, understanding stoicism will strengthen your character. IF you can ...more