January 19

WHY do you say nothing to me, then?

I have only this to say to you: That whoever is ignorant of what he is, and wherefore he was born, and in what kind of a world, and in what society; what things are good, and what evil; what fair, and what base: who understands neither discourse nor demonstration; nor what is true nor what is false; nor is able to distinguish between them: such a one will neither exert his desires, nor aversions, nor pursuits, conformably to nature; he will neither intend, nor assent, nor deny, nor suspend his judgment conformably to nature; but will wander up and down entirely deaf and blind, supposing himself to be somebody, while he is in reality nobody. Is there anything new in all this? Is not this ignorance the cause of all the errors that have happened from the very original of mankind?

EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §24. ¶2.


  1. Don't you know what you are, who you are, where you are? Don't you see how you are connected to everything and everyone? If you truly understand your complete dependance on Nature and on each other, how can you choose to do what is against reason? Isn't ignorance the cause of error and of vice? If you don't understand these things, then your studies are incomplete. Go and study a leaf. - Lessons from Epictetus

  2. To me the leaf is an almost perfect analogy of myself. It's purpose, position, life, dependence, death... all remind me of my interconnection with Nature.