June 7

WHAT makes a tyrant formidable? His guards, say you, and their swords; they who belong to the bedchamber, and they who shut out those who would go in. What is the reason, then, that, if you bring a child to him when he is surrounded by his guards, it is not afraid? Is it because the child doth not know what they mean? Suppose, then, that anyone doth know what is meant by guards, and that they are armed with swords, and, for that very reason, comes in the tyrant's way, being desirous, on account of some misfortune, to die, and seeking to die easily by the hand of another : doth such a man fear the guards? No; for he wants the very thing that renders them formidable. Well, then, if anyone without an absolute desire to live or die, but, as it may happen, comes in the way of a tyrant, what restrains his approaching him without fear? Nothing.



  1. It seems to me that it is our fear and desire that cause us to be unhappy in life. Our desire for things beyond our control and our fear of losing them once we have attained them.

    The only thing that is in our control is our will to live a virtuous life. The outcome of our virtuous actions are not even under our control. We must let go of the outcomes once we act virtuously in order to experience true freedom and a life without fear.

  2. It is desire that leads to fear. If we have an absolute desire for anything outside of our control, then we will fear the one who has control over those things. Examine what you fear, then you will know what you desire. Examine your desires, and you will know who controls you. Refuse to be controlled, but rather choose to live by your own virtue, and you will cease to desire what others control, and you will cease to fear what they may take away from you.