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Epictetus - The Enchiridion - 16, 17, 18



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Enchiridion

           16. When you see anyone weeping in grief because his son has

           gone abroad, or is dead, or because he has suffered in his

           affairs, be careful that the appearance may not misdirect you.

           Instead, distinguish within your own mind, and be prepared to

           say, "It's not the accident that distresses this person,

           because it doesn't distress another person; it is the judgment

           which he makes about it." As far as words go, however, don't

           reduce yourself to his level, and certainly do not moan with

           him. Do not moan inwardly either.


           17. Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind

           as the author pleases to make it. If short, of a short one; if

           long, of a long one. If it is his pleasure you should act a

           poor man, a cripple, a governor, or a private person, see that

           you act it naturally. For this is your business, to act well

           the character assigned you; to choose it is another's.


           18. When a raven happens to croak unluckily, don't allow the

           appearance hurry you away with it, but immediately make the

           distinction to yourself, and say, "None of these things are

           foretold to me; but either to my paltry body, or property, or

           reputation, or children, or wife. But to me all omens are

           lucky, if I will. For whichever of these things happens, it is

           in my control to derive advantage from it."

The source of the experience


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