EppsNet Archive: Stoicism

You were a fool, and set your thoughts on uncertainties. Why then do you not accuse yourself, instead of sitting crying like young girls? — Epictetus, Discourses, Book IV, Ch. 10

What Would Heracles Have Been?


What would Heracles have been if he had said, “How am I to prevent a big lion from appearing, or a big boar, or brutal men?” What care you, I say? If a big boar appears, you will have a greater struggle to engage in; if evil men appear, you will free the world from evil men. “But if I die thus?” You will die a good man, fulfilling a noble action. — Epictetus, Discourses, Book IV, Ch. 10 Read more →

Not Even a God Can Save You


What greater good do you look for than this? You were shameless and shall be self-respecting, you were undisciplined and shall be disciplined, untrustworthy and you shall be trusted, dissolute and you shall be self-controlled. If you look for greater things than these, go on doing as you do now, not even a god can save you. — Epictetus, Discourses, Book IV, Ch. 9 Read more →

You Are at Peace With All Men


Why do you not come forward and openly proclaim that you are at peace with all men, whatever they do, and that you laugh above all at those who think that they are harming you? saying, “These slaves do not know who I am, nor where to find what is good or bad for me, for they have no way of getting at my position.” — Epictetus, Discourses, Book IV, Ch. 5 Read more →

There is But One Way to Peace of Mind


There is but one way to peace of mind (keep this thought by you at dawn and in the daytime and at night) — to give up what is beyond your control, to count nothing your own, to surrender everything to heaven and fortune. — Epictetus, Discourses, Book IV, Ch. 4 Read more →

What is Not Given You


Ought you to desire what is not given you, or to be ashamed if you do not attain to it? Is this all the habit you acquired when you studied philosophy, to look to others and to hope for nothing from yourself and your own acts? — Epictetus, Discourses, Book III, Ch. 26 Read more →

The True Cynic


“Look at me, I have no house or city, property or slave: I sleep on the ground, I have no wife or children, no miserable palace, but only earth and sky and one poor cloak. Yet what do I lack? Am I not quit of pain and fear, am I not free? When has any of you ever seen me failing to get what I will to get, or falling into what I will to avoid? When did I blame God or man, when did I accuse any? Has any of you seen me with a gloomy face? How do I meet those of whom you stand in fear and awe? Do I not meet them as slaves? Who that sees me but thinks that he sees his king and master?” There you have the true Cynic’s words; this is his character, and scheme of life. — Epictetus, Discourses Ch.… Read more →

In What Then Does the Good Reside?


It is where you think not, and will not seek for it. For if you had wished you would have found it in yourselves and would not have wandered outside and would not have sought the things of others as your own. — Epictetus, Discourses, Book III, Ch. 22 Read more →

In Praise of Stoicism


Over the course of my lifetime, it certainly seems like there’s been a strange American emphasis on embracing any emotion you happen to be having at any given moment, and that there’s something psychologically wrong with you if you’re not constantly confronting your emotions in public. I don’t like that quality. I think it’s bad for society. — Chuck Klosterman Read more →