BUT he who hath the power hath given sentence. “I judge you to be impious and profane." What hath befallen you? — I have been judged to be impious and profane. Anything else? — Nothing. Suppose he had passed his judgment upon an hypothetical proposition, and pronounced it to be a false conclusion, that if it be day it is light; what would have befallen the proposition? In this case who is judged; who condemned; the proposition, or he who is deceived concerning it? Doth he, who hath the power of pronouncing anything concerning you, know what pious or impious mean? Hath he made it his study, or learned it? Where? From whom? A musician would not regard him if he pronounced bass to be treble: nor a mathematician, if he passed sentence that lines drawn from the centre to the circle are not equal. And shall he, who is truly learned, regard an unlearned man, when he pronounces upon pious and impious, just and unjust?
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §29. ¶7
Consider the source...ReplyDelete
Correctly decide if an opinion comes from an appropriate source or not. A personal application for this would be to only concern myself with the opinion that others I value have of me, not the rest of the world.
Quote: And shall he, who is truly learned, regard an unlearned man, when he pronounces upon pious and impious, just and unjust?ReplyDelete
"Do not be blown about by every wind of doctrine."
It seems that in our day, every opinion is taken to be of equal value, and it has become fashionable to reject the pronouncements of those who have devoted a lifetime to knowledge and practice.
Would I take the opinion of a passerby over the recommendation of my physical trainer to handle my weight and health issues? Should I ignore the warning signs that tell me that tests on the water have shown levels of chloroform beyond the norm, and drink it anyway because my friends tell me it tastes good? Will I allow my pursuit of excellence in mind and character to be judged and swayed by those who choose to follow paths contrary to my own? No, but instead I will turn to those whose lives have exemplified the strength and dignity, the wisdom and generosity, the integrity and vision, that I wish for myself.