Ancient Stoicism in Plain English

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September 7, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Choose the Right Doctrine to Guide You (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.20)

Some ideas are so true that even those who deny the truth of such ideas are forced to make use of them.

September 2, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Choose To Practice, Not To Argue Cleverly (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.19)

There are clever arguments like the Master Argument. But they don’t contribute to living your life better. Most people are good at remembering and repeating what the great philosophers said. That’s of no use either unless we judge for ourselves the truth about the impressions we encounter.

August 30, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Choose Habits To Fight Impressions

When you repeat a behavior, it leads to a habit. When you don’t repeat a behavior, it does not lead to a habit. We sustain habits by feeding behaviors associated with them. When we keep feeding anger, for example, we become ill-tempered.

August 26, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Knowing Means Nothing If You Don’t Practice The Right Way (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.17)

You should come to learn philosophy with no conceit. We all understand intuitively concepts like good and bad. But we don’t know how to apply them properly to a given situation. This is why get into conflict with other.

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

Our Choices Give Rise To Good And Evil (Epictetus Discourses in Plain English II.16)

All good and evil arise out of the choices we make. You will stop being fearful once you understand the nature of praise and blame. We are given the gift of endurance, nobility, and courage. Let’s use them to solve our problems and stop complaining.

August 19, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Choose A Sound Foundation For Your Decisions (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.15)

1. Some people make decisions and stand by them, because they believe standing by their decision is the right thing to do. 2. However, standing by one’s decision is good only if the decisions are based on a sound foundation.

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

Align Your Desires With Reality (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.14)

1. The learning process is difficult. While the results are pleasing, the practice is monotonous. 2. The practice of a philosopher is to bring his desires in line with whatever happens. Nothing can happen against his will so his life is free from sorrow, fear, and disturbance.

August 12, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Choose Knowledge Over Anxiety (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.13)

1. When you feel anxious about meeting someone, it is because you believe they have something that you want and you may not get it. 2. This arises out of your ignorance about what is under your control and what is not...

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

How To Argue (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.12)

1. It is important that our arguments are logical. 2. However, we don’t know how to argue logically. We confuse ourselves and others, become abusive and walk away.

August 5, 2017 - Ancient Stoicism in Plain English
Tag(s): Book Excerpts

Have Standards to Evaluate Your Principles (Epictetus’ Discourses in Plain English II.11)

1. We have an innate sense of good and evil, honorable and dishonorable, appropriate and inappropriate. 2. But this innate sense is not sufficient to apply these principles in specific cases, because different people see these things differently.