Now there are two sorts of petrifaction: the one, a petrifaction of the understanding ; the other, of the sense of shame, when a person hath obstinately set himself not to assent to evident truths, nor to quit the defence of contradictions. We all dread a bodily mortification; and would make use of every contrivance to avoid it: but none of us is troubled about a mortification of the soul. And yet, indeed, even with regard to the soul, when a person is so affected as not to apprehend or understand anything, we think him in a sad condition: but where the sense of shame and modesty is under an absolute mortification, we go so far as even to call this, strength of mind.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. I. 5, 1-2.
We won't let anyone steal our possessions, and set guards about them to keep them safe. We protect our bodies with clothing and armor to fend off harm. Yet we have subjected our minds to abuse and lies, and refuse to teach it self-defense. Worse still, we have opened the treasury of our time, so that any and all may sqander our lives as they will, while we ourselves spill precious moments on the ground. - Inspired by SenecaReplyDelete
What are true values? What is it that triggers our reflection on true values? Do we need to fall sick and feel there is not much energy left for trivialities before we are willing to examine the true values of life? What good is there in a healthy condition if wasting precious energy in so many stupid ways?...ReplyDelete
This is why we can safely conclude, I think, that nothing ‘good’ can be expected from health, sickness, death, wealth, poverty, political programs etc. None of them offer guarantees that we shall find that which is the driving force for all our actions: well-being, happiness. The question, thus, is if there is something that will allow us to enjoy any condition? If so, would we not consider 'that' as a true value – something more important to have or to be than anything else?
Well, if that highest of values cannot be found outside, would we not want to seek it inside; more precisely in the way we are able to deal with unavoidable situations such as benefit and loss, health and disease, life and death?
If 'good' is not to be found outside, wouldn't we want to look for it in the realm of our own character?...