The Rules of Life: Epictetus' View

1105 WordsFeb 27, 20015 Pages
The Rules of Life: Epictetus' View As rational beings, we can become conscious of the law that guides all things. Virtue consists in conscious agreement with the inevitable order of things. According to Epictetus' The Enchiridion, one acts with the virtues of Stoicism: human imperfection, prudence, temperance, and courage. We can relate what Epictetus is saying to our own lives. It appears that some comfort comes in knowing that one has no control over the predetermined. Epictetus represents a myriad of concepts. One concept of which being that one should live with the awareness of human imperfection and finitude. He expresses the sentiment that one is able to relinquish the feelings of disrespect and desire by allowing all…show more content…
However, the best way to consider this is to realize that every circumstance is different, and to each, one must adapt appropriately. He is simply stating that it is essential for one to establish a certain disposition to be used when they are unaccompanied or surrounded by people. It is also critical for one to regard that it is only their judgment about things that make them bad, and not the things themselves. This represents courage and self-reliance. Epictetus employs death to depict his point in this passage, "Death is nothing dreadful (or else it would have appeared dreadful to Socrates), but instead the judgment about death that it is dreadful—that is what is dreadful" (V). As was discussed in lecture, men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things. This is the cause for extended and unnecessary grievances. It is through the nature of a simple man to accuse others when something bad happens to him, and it is the great man who sees that it is neither himself nor others that cause him to feel grievance. Epictetus puts it rightly in saying, "An uneducated person accuses others when he is doing badly; a partly educated person accuses himself, an educated person accuses neither someone else nor himself" (V). This is, perhaps, one of Epictetus' most influential ideas. As this is clearly
Open Document