Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: A Teach Yourself Guide

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: A Teach Yourself Guide
  • Author: Donald Robertson
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill
    Genres: Philosophy
    Publish Date: March 5, 2014
    ISBN-10: 1444187104
    Pages: 224
    File Type: Epub
    Language: English

Book Preface
O ye who’ve learnt the doctrines of the Stoa And have committed to your books divine The best of human learning, teaching men That the mind’s virtue is the only good! She only it is who keeps the lives of men And cities safer than high gates and walls. But those who place their happiness in pleasure Are led by the least worthy of the Muses. (Athenaeus the Epigrammatist, quoted in Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers) Well – I’m not the final word on this, Mr. Croker, but what [the ancient Stoic teacher Epictetus is] saying, it seems to me, he’s saying that the only real possession you’ll ever have is your character and your ‘scheme of life,’ he calls it. Zeus has given every person a spark from his own divinity, and no one can take that away from you, not even Zeus, and from that spark comes your character. Everything else is temporary and worthless in the long run, your body included. You know what he calls your possessions? ‘Trifles.’ You know what he calls the human body? ‘A vessel of clay containing a quart of blood.’ If you understand that, you won’t moan and groan, you won’t complain, you won’t blame other people for your troubles, and you won’t go around flattering people. I think that’s what he’s saying, Mr. Croker. (Wolfe, 1998, p. 683)
  • File Type: Epub
  • Upload Date: November 15, 2014

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