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Rocky Rook
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Epictetus Discourses Book 3 Chapter 22 - the virtues of Diogenes the Cynic
Who doesn't love a good dog!  Especially an under-dog!  The greatest dog of all time was Diogenes. Cynicism, as practiced by Diogenes, shocked people in the ancient world.  In today's society, he would be considered a homeless, loathed bum who would be wave...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 3 Chapter 20 - every circumstance is an opportunity
This is Epictetus' way of saying "the obstacle is the way." It is possible to benefit from every circumstance, "even abuse and slander." "A boxer derives the greatest advantage from his sparring partner - and my accuser is my sparing partner.  He trains me ...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 3 Chapter 5 - some notes on "attitude"
One of Epictetus' students is ill and wants to go home; Epictetus teaches him a lesson on attitude. While some want to die in the act of enjoying something they love (i.e. racing, travelling, etc), Epictetus wants to die in the act of improving his characte...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 3 Chapter 1 - what is good?
Artists work with paint; sculptors with marble - the good man works with his mind. "The raw material of the good man is his mind - his goal being to respond to impressions the way nature intended" (verse 1). Furthermore, "the soul will never reject a clear ...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 23 - the greatest gift
Indeed, we have been given many gifts: speech, writing, sight, hearing.  We should not "be ungrateful for these gifts, but at the same time, [we should not] forget that there are others superior to them" (verse 5).  The greatest gift is "the faculty of usin...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 22 - real friendship and love
Epictetus describes what ails so many of us - why we are not wise.  The reason: "you are frequently dazed or disturbed by certain sense impressions whose appearance of truth gets the better of you.  Sometimes you think that some things are good, then you co...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 19 - show me
Epictetus calls out he fake philosophers - the ones who read books and then quote them, but don't actually demonstrate they've thought about and applied what they've read. The real test of a Stoic is in the acts. "Let's see how you handle a storm while on b...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 18 - impressions and habits
The entire chapter deals with the discipline of assent, which should be managed by logic. Our souls or unique minds or our true inner identity is sovereign.  But the body and senses will take over our purest freedom, if we are not careful.  Therefore, it is...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 17
The quotes ... "Why do you get what you do not want, and don't get what you do?  This is categorical proof of inner confusion and unhappiness.  I want something to happen, and it fails to happen, or I don't want something to happen, and it does - and can an...
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Epictetus Discourses Book 2 Chapter 16 - how to gain tranquility and freedom (be Stoic)
I'm simply going to quote some moneyball quotes from this chapter - no need for commentary. "what oppresses and scares us?  It is our own thoughts.  What overwhelms people when they are about to leave friends, family, old haunts and their accustomed way of ...
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