REMEMBER hat it is not only the desire of riches and power that makes us mean and subject to others, but even of quiet and leisure, and learning and travelling
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iv. §4. ¶1.
THOU hast no opportunity to read. What then? Hast thou not time and opportunity to exercise thyself, not to wrong thyself; to strive against all carnal pleasures and pains, and to get the upper hand of them; to contemn honour and vainglory; and not only not to be angry with them, whom towards thee thou dost find insensible and unthankful, but also to have a care of them still, and their welfare?
MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book viii. 8.
Both of these readings are incredibly focussed. It is the desire (as opposed to intention toward) for ANYTHING that causes us to get distressed. Have we not enough to do? We can care for our bodies, our souls and each other. If, after that, there is time for reading, and learning, and travelling, well and good. Until then, 'do thy duty'.ReplyDelete
It ins't because we desire riches and power that we are under the control of others, but because we desire things that out of our control. Even if we desire peace we are subject to those who can grant or withhold peace. Be just and peaceful for these are within our control. Then we can be at peace when the time is right to do so and warlike when justice demands our strength and resolve. - Lessons from EpictetusReplyDelete
Interesting. I posted already on the "newer" blog post of yours. The idea seems to be that, there is a clear distinction between desire and intention. Desire being more primal, primitive drive? And intention a more composed, logical force? I feel he difference when I think about it, but it is difficult to put it into words.ReplyDelete