Epictetus on Philosophy as a Way of Life

“No thing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”

—Epictetus – Discourses  – Book I, ch. 15.

See http://classics.mit.edu/Browse/browse-Epictetus.html

As I have practiced stoicism, what I find online is often superficial and analytical and unsourced. Pierre Hadot is an exception with his books “The Inner Citadel” and “Philosophy as a Way of Life.” He presents the stoic spiritual practices that must be practiced to benefit from.

I have noticed a trend in the modern stoics relying heavily on written commentary and readings and not a lot of talk on practical application. Many argue esoteric points missing the heart of Epictetus in my opinion.

Books are good weights, but not the real thing.

“Epictetus’s chief concerns are with integrity, self-management, and personal freedom, which he advocates by demanding of his students a thorough examination of two central ideas, the capacity he terms ‘volition’ (prohairesis) and the correct use of impressions (chrēsis tōn phantasiōn), Heartfelt and satirical by turns, Epictetus has had significant influence on the popular moralistic tradition, but he is more than a moralizer; his lucid resystematization and challenging application of Stoic ethics qualify him as an important philosopher in his own right.”

—From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epictetus/

Thus it is very difficult to discuss these topics online without coming off as a moralizer of your own viewpoints when no one can see the application of said practices in your life.

Should we then say nothing online? Perhaps. But there is benefit in discussing and wrestling and pointing to the gold imho, but these dialogues are no substitute for practice and application.

I, as all of you, am a work of art in progress.

Epictetus spoke from the heart and was funny, not just in his mind. His philosophy was lived and practical.

You have to attain on your own. We can’t just moralize our viewpoints to others. Around normal folks not versed in these practices, example is the best teacher.

The below from “A SELECTION FROM THE DISCOURSES OF EPICTETUS WITH THE ENCHEIRIDION”

https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/10661/pg10661-images.html

LII.

In every thing (circumstance) we should hold these maxims ready to hand:

Lead me, O Zeus, and thou O Destiny,
The way that I am bid by you to go:
To follow I am ready. If I choose not,
I make myself a wretch, and still must follow.

But whoso nobly yields unto necessity,
We hold him wise, and skill’d in things divine.

And the third also: O Crito, if so it pleases the gods, so let it be; Anytus and Melitus are able indeed to kill me, but they cannot harm me.

Vision and Power

The Destiny of a Human Being is to confront fear.

You have everything you need to do so.

Two are made one within you.

Wander and seek until you find, then rest.

I can tell you from experience, this is the way.

The way of no way.

Once you know the I AM as you, you will go beyond the I AM into the Absolute, where all is then available to you.

I had to face the worst and most evil in myself and in my family.

I had to expel my hatred and anger.

It was the hardest thing I have had to do.

Enacting your will is the only thing that grants you power.

When you have come to the beginning, you will come to the end.

“The life of a person is a circle.
From childhood to childhood.
So it is with everything where power moves.
When a vision comes from the Thunder beings of the west,
it comes with terror, like a Thunderstorm.
But when the storm of the vision has passed,
the world is greener and happier.
For wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain.
The world you see is happier after the terror of the storm.
It is not enough to have a vision. In order to have its power,
you must enact your vision on earth for all to see.

Only then do you have the power.”

–Black Elk on his Vision Quest

Only then.

Witness of Love

I have witnessed the miracle of love today. I am humbled and in love with love. It is not love that must be found, it is us who strays from it. Today love has shown me, anything is possible, where two or more gather in solidarity of heart.

There was a great evil lurking in my family I have wrestled with for years. I became love’s flaming sword in the hand of god. Through courage and righteous anger, it was called out and its head cut off. In the shadow of that sacrifice, courageous acts of love filled the void. Cleaned out the puss and planted seeds sprouted where death and decay had reigned.

I cannot tell anyone the meaning of life. But what I was apart of today, has brought me back to the only meaning I could know. I am a witness of love and forever shall I hold it high in mind and body and never fear the lowly or the lost.

September 21st

Do you remember, 21st night of September?
Love was changing the mind of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away
Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember
How the stars stole the night away, oh yeahHey, hey, hey
Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember?
Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September
Ba-dee-ya, never was a cloudy dayBa-du, ba-du, ba-du, ba-duBa-du, ba-du, ba-du, ba-du
Ba-du, ba-du, ba-du-da, yeahMy thoughts are with youHolding hands with your heart to see you
Only blue talk and love
Remember
How we knew love was here to stay
Now December
Found the love we shared in September
Only blue talk and love
Remember
True love we share todayHey, hey, hey
Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember?
Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September
Ba-dee-ya, never was a cloudy day
There was a
Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember?
Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September
Ba-dee-ya, golden dreams were shiny daysThe bell was ringing, oh, oh
Our souls was singing
Do you remember, never a cloudy day, yowThere was a
Ba-dee-ya, say, do you remember?
Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September
Ba-dee-ya, never was a cloudy day
There was aBa-dee-ya, say, do you remember?
Ba-dee-ya, dancing in September
Ba-dee-ya, golden dreams were shiny daysBa-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya
Ba-dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya, dee-ya

We may think we are done with love, but love ain’t done with us.

I AM a Human Being

Not that anyone asked or needs to know, but know who you are reading.

A human being.

“I will govern my life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one and read the other, for what does it signify to make anything a secret to my neighbor, when to God, who is the searcher of our hearts, all our privacies are open?”

—Seneca the Younger

I am no nihilist.

I am no atheist.

I am no agnostic.

I am no believer.

I am no mystic.

I am no Angel.

I am no spy.

I am no Demon.

I am a human being.

I move swiftly, like 💨 and 🔥

Seneca the Younger spoke against the folk religion of the common people. But he had a deep sense of the invisible mover of our Will, God. Choose your name. Let us call it the original human religion.

I do not deny the invisible hand in my life, truly, I credit it with creating my will and body. I do not preach about this god. I reflect on the beauty of it in my life. I cannot teach this god. I cannot reveal this god to you. I cannot name it, nor do I claim it. Nor do I feel myself more special than any other. But I know this as I know my breath. Both mysterious in a way and profoundly beautiful. I am not so arrogant to imagine myself god’s special creation. This is all special and wonderful and beautiful and the ugly is beautiful too in a way. God itself can correct me through my clear burning Will, but no human could.

To know your Will, is to know the face of God.

I practice the first and only true religion.

It has no prophecies.

It has no priests or priestesses.

Zeus himself showed me.

Being a Human Being.

where the free roam

the earth trembles

the sky thunders

the waters part

beyond reproach

we leap

with the sureness of a goat

we know the love god

in ourselves

we die and live free

true to our purpose

fire and ice

Warriors of Love

Virtus Unita Fortior…Virtues United are Stronger

“Then out spake brave Horatius, the captain of the Gate: To every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.

And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his Gods?”

Throw it all in the 🔥

65

Yesterday I saw the trees by the river’s edge,
Wrecked and broken beyond belief,
Only two or three trunks left standing,
Scarred by blades of a thousand axes.
Frost strips the yellowing leaves,
River waves pluck at withered roots.
This is the way the living must fare.
Why curse at Heaven and Earth?

—Hanshan – Cold Mountain

Free Love

“What do you call free love?

There’s no other kind of love, is there?”

—Walt Whitman

enflamed

i felt it in my groin first

the heat moved up

through my veins

i felt a burning inside my chest

like lava hitting the ocean

pressure building

skin sweating

fire erupting

through every pore

enflamed with holy rapture