NEVER call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about philosophic principles, but act conformably to them. Thus, at an entertainment, do not talk how persons ought to eat, but eat as you ought. For remember that in this manner Socrates also universally avoided all ostentation. And when persons came to him and desired to be recommended by him to philosophers, he took and recommended them, so well did he bear being overlooked. And, if anyone tells you that you know nothing, and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun your business. For sheep do not throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk. Thus, therefore, do you likewise not show theorems to the unlearned, but the actions produced by them after they have been digested.
EPICTETUS. MANUAL. 46.
Remembering of course that what we are speaks so loud that few actually hear what we are saying. Perhaps I should speak less about Stoicisim, and just show it? But this may be why the Stoics ceased to be a powerful force.ReplyDelete
It is how we live our life on a daily basis that will teach our philosophy. I hope to be able to live my life in such a way that the Stoic principles are plainly seen. To continually adjust my behaviour so that I would live life based on virtues and fidelity towards my fellow companions in this life.ReplyDelete
Humans learn by example. Let me strive to be an example of how to live the examined life.ReplyDelete
O' does Epictetus sting me today. I, recently, did not heed his advice and have heard all the Stoic's admonishments since. Mute sign post are the best we can be, for when we seek to become more than that..oh, then comes pride. We do best to avoid that beast.ReplyDelete
"What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary." R. W. EmersonReplyDelete
Actions speak louder than words. Walk the talk. We have heard it time and time again. But do we understand it? Epictetus warned against applying labels to ourselves. Rather he instructed us not to "talk a great deal among the unlearned about philosophic principles, but act conformably to them." Does this mean we shouldn't call ourselves 'Stoics?' No, it isn't in the label, but in how we bear it that the issues lie. Our Stoicism must never be a garment we put on for the admiration of the people. It is a sign-post that we carry, so that when asked, "How do you have such joy, or bear such sadness, or rest so serenely amongst the turmoil?", we can then point to the way, and say, "Come, see what I have been taught, that we may both learn, and be a peace together."