BUT what says God? “O Epictetus, if it were possible, I had made this little body and property of thine free, and not liable to hindrance. But now do not mistake: it is not thine own, but only a finer mixture of clay. Since, then, I could not give thee this, I have given thee a certain portion of myself: this faculty of exerting the powers or pursuit and avoidance, of desire and aversion; and, in a word, the use of the appearances of things. Taking care of this point, and making what is thy own to consist in this, thou wilt never be restrained, never be hindered ; thou wilt not groan, wilt not complain, wilt not flatter anyone. How then! Do all these advantages seem small to thee?" Heaven forbid! "Let them suffice thee then, and thank the gods."
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §1. ¶3
It would seem, in Epictetus' theology, even the Gods are limited to the Cosmos, the physical realm. The God-like portion is the ability to choose. Is this an expression of the logos?ReplyDelete
Reason and Strength of Will seem to be attributed as a portion of the Gods by Epictetus. Reason and determination become divine and combined in our capacity for choice and right action.ReplyDelete
Our ability to determine right action is a gift from the Gods. This ability to reason is seen as that spark of Divine within each of us. We can choose to dissent or assent and this is our spark of Divinity.ReplyDelete
Summary: We have been given a portion of divinity. We have the power to choose what we will pursue or avoid, accept or reject. We are free.ReplyDelete
Even the Gods, according to Epictetus, are subject to the laws of the Universe. And yet, like them, we can open vistas of possibility by using the god-like powers we possess, those of choice. We may all be swept along by the flow of cosmic causality, but we can choose to navigate the waters calmly, or to be dragged along as so much flotsam and jetsam.
"But now do not mistake: it is not thine own.."ReplyDelete
Simply a borrowed jumble of elememnts on temporary loan.
How would you use them? What statments would you make?
Have you found reason to be their highest order?
Perhaps individual choice is the highest expression of the logos..?
"Listening not to me but to the LOGOS it is wise to agree that all things are one." ~Heraclitus
We can make choices with reason --that consider all things, or we can make selfish choices. Walk in stride or be dragged.
@ Scott - love this... make choices with reason, agreed. :)ReplyDelete