August 13

IS there not a divine and powerful and inevitable law which exacts the greatest punishments from those who are guilty of the greatest offences? For what says this law? Let him who claims what doth not belong to him be arrogant, be vainglorious, be base, be a slave; let him grieve, let him envy, let him pity; and, in a word, let him be unhappy, let him lament.

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book iii. §24. ¶4.

HE that sinneth, sinneth unto himself. He that is unjust, hurts himself, in that he makes himself worse than he was before. Not he only that committeth, but he also that omitteth something, is oftentimes unjust.



  1. Today's quotation from Aurelius reminds me of yesterday's from Epictetus. Rather than an outside force imposing punishment on us for acting a certain way, the very consequences of our actions -- often caused by not thinking things through or applying wisdom to our choices -- punish us.

  2. We cannot hide behind our ineffectiveness by claiming that we have committed no crime. We may be innocent of doing the worst things, but we fail ourselves, we fail to be our real selves, when we do not strive to do the best things.

  3. When we fall short of what we are able to do we fall short of that goal of our best self. Let's strive to do our best and be able to say at the end of our days that we have lived our best life.

    1. I like what you say, Pamela, for it is all about one's own attitude. Since I don't really know if all who live greedy lives are unhappy, I have to take care not to move one inch away from my own reasonable nature telling me that I cannot attain my own good without contributing something for the good of all...