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Enchiridion 14

Posted on 2005.02.13 at 22:18
Epictetus's Enchiridion.
Chapter 14. Translation by J.

'If you will that your children and wife and friends always live, you are silly. For you are willing for matters who are not up to you to be up to you, and for what is another’s to be yours. Similarly, if you will that your slave-boy never errs, you are stupid. For you are willing for wickedness not to be wickedness, but something else(1). But if you will not to miss what you are reaching at, this is in your power. Exercise, therefore, that which is in your power. The master of each man is he who holds power over what that man wishes or has in aversion, regarding their acquisition or their privation. Whoever, therefore, wishes to be free, let him not will anything nor run away from anything which is up to others; if he does not do this, he is necessarily a slave'

(1) For the Stoic the only wickedness is that which results of an improper orientation of one’s own deliberate conduct (PROAI/RESIS). It is therefore to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of wickedness to will for unpleasant events which are ultimately dependent on either nature or the deliberate conduct of others to be under one’s control.

[Sending this in early, tomorrow seems rather packed.]

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