CHOOSE rather to punish your appetites than to be punished by them.
EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 108.
WHEN you have shut your doors, and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not; but God is within, and your genius is within; and what need have they of light to see what you are doing? To this God you likewise ought to swear such an oath as the soldiers do unto Caesar. For do they, in order to receive their pay, swear to prefer before all things the safety of Caesar; and will you not swear, who have received so many and so great favours, or if you have sworn, will you not stand to it? And what must you swear? Never to disobey, nor accuse, nor murmur at any of the things appointed by him, nor unwillingly to do or suffer anything necessary. Is this oath like the former? In the first, persons swear not to honour any other beyond Caesar; in the last, beyond all, to honour themselves.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book i. §14. ¶1.
"beyond all, to honour themselves"... Wow that is a huge principle to live up to. We often find it so much easier to live to an external set of rules or ideals. Stoicism takes it internal and makes us step up to the plate and live worthy of ourselves, worthy of that potential that lives inside of all of us, the Sage.ReplyDelete