Ancient Stoicism in Plain English

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December 13, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Your Choices Shape Your Excellence

What makes an animal excellent does not make a human being excellent. Your superiority as a human being comes from your ability to reason. Adorn yourself as befits a human being. Your beauty comes from the nature of your choices.

December 9, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

The Woman Epictetus Made Rich

Epictetus was well-known during his lifetime and presumably taught many rich and powerful people (such as his student Arrian). Many of his students came all the way to Nicopolis in Greece from Rome, Italy, to study with him. And yet Epictetus lived a simple life.

October 21, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Workouts

4. The Stoic ‘Lojong’: A Habit Training Exercise

Stoic principles can help us lead a better life if we apply them in our daily lives. Even when we know this, when the time comes to apply them, we don’t remember them. We know, for example, that many things that happen are not under our control...

October 1, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Workouts

3. The Marcus Nine: A Stoic Tranquility Exercise

’The Marcus Nine’ is an exercise designed to keep you tranquil under difficult life conditions. This is a handy technique to use when you feel offended by the way someone speaks, acts or if someone behaves in an unacceptable way. This technique was devised by Marcus Aurelius.

September 27, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Become Skillful in Correcting Contradictions (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.26)

People indulge in contradictory actions only because they don’t know they are being contradictory and believe what they do is right. If you point out their contradiction, they will change. If they remain unconvinced, it means that you are not skilled enough to show them their contradiction.

September 23, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Why Do You Need Logic? (Epictetus Discourses in Plain English II.25)

If you want to know why logic is important, one needs to develop a logical argument to show that. But unless you know logic, you won’t even know whether the argument is valid or misleading. Therefore logic is needed, even to decide if logic is needed.

September 20, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Make Yourself Worthy (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.24)

If you want someone of knowledge to talk to you, you should first arouse an enthusiasm in that person to talk to you. To excite a teacher to talk to you, you should first demonstrate that you are capable of learning.

September 16, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Choice is Your Best Faculty, Don't be Distracted (Epictetus Discourses II.23)

This discourse cautions us against neglecting faculties that are less important than choice. Our hearing, sight etc. may not be as important as our ability to choose, but they are valuable.

September 13, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Choose to be a true friend (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.22)

You cannot truly love anyone if you cannot tell the difference between what is good, what is bad, and what is indifferent. We readily admit to our faults, if we believe we are not truly responsible for them, but not when we believe we are responsible for them.

September 9, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Guard Yourself Against Inconsistencies (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English 11.21)

We admit to some of our faults but not to others. When we see a fault as something beyond our control, we admit to it. When we see it as something that should be under our control, we don’t admit to it.