BUT you set up for a physician, provided with nothing but medicines, and without knowing, or having studied, where or how they are to be applied. "Why, such a one had medicines for the eyes, and I have the same." Have you, then, a faculty too of making use of them? Do you at all know when and how and to whom they will be of service?
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §21. ¶1
HIPPOCRATES having cured many sicknesses, fell sick himself and died. The Chaldeans and Astrologians having foretold the deaths of divers, were afterwards themselves surprised by the fates. Alexander and Pompeius, and Caius Caesar, having destroyed so many towns, and cut off in the field so many thousands both of horse and foot, yet they themselves at last, were fain to part with their own lives. Heraclitus having written so many natural tracts concerning the last and general conflagration of the world, died afterwards all filled with water within, and all bedaubed with dirt and dung without. Lice killed Democritus; and Socrates, another sort of vermin, wicked ungodly men.
MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book ii. 3.
The focus of these messages reminds that we must literally practice what we profess. If we style ourselves as philosophers, lovers of wisdom, we must put those principles into effect in our own lives. The practical is critical.ReplyDelete