Recently I was reading the Book, The Art of Living, The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and effectiveness. The book includes famous writings of the great Stoic Philosopher Epictetus, that have been interpreted by Sharon Lebell.
Epictetus was a Stoic philosopher, born into slavery in the Roman Empire. He established a school of philosophy where his distinguished students included Marcus Aurelius, author of the famous book Meditations.
Be suspicious of convention.
Be suspicious of convention.Take charge of your own thinking.
Rouse yourself from the days of unexamined habit. Popular perceptions, values, and ways of doing things are really the wisest. Many pervasive believe would not pass appropriate tests of rationality. Conventional thinking – its means and ends are essentially uncreative and uninteresting. Its job is to preserve the status quo for overly self-defended individuals and Institutions.
On the other hand, there is no inheritance virtue you in new ideas. Judge ideas and opportunities on life-giving whether they are life-giving. Give your assent to that which promotes humaneness, Justice, beneficial growth, kindness, possibility and benefit to the human community.
Examine things as they appear to your own mind. Objectively consider what is said by others and then establish your own convictions.
Socially Taught beliefs are frequently unreliable. So many of our beliefs have been acquired through accident and irresponsible or ignorant teaching. Many of these beliefs are so deeply ingrained that they are getting from our own view. A commonplace sluggishness of the lives lived by the undisciplined is dangerously contagious, for we are often exposed to no alternative healthful way of living. Awaken and be vigilant. Take stock of your habits to preserve your higher standards.
Many people declare with all sincerity that they are committed to their own integrity while engaging in thoughtless or intemperate actions. They proceed willingly, well-intentionedir otherwise well-intentioned effort by failing to save themselves and to articulate a coherent personal moral code to which their future actions would confirm. Don’t listen to what people say. Watch what they do and evaluate the attendant consequences.
Just as we must clean, order, and maintain our homes to move forward with anything, we need to do the same with our mind. For not only do we risk inefficiency by failing to do so, we invite our soul’s very corruption. A disorganized, foggy soul is dangerous, for It is vulnerable to the influence of better organised but unsavoury influences. Trust nothing and nobody but yourself. Be ceaselessly watchful over your beliefs and impulses.