Enchirdion 45 for urbanites.

Quote

“Does anyone bathe in a mighty little time? Don’t say that he does it ill, but in a mighty little time. Does anyone drink a great quantity of wine? Don’t say that he does ill, but that he drinks a great quantity. For, unless you perfectly understand the principle from which anyone acts, how should you know if he acts ill? Thus you will not run the hazard of assenting to any appearances but such as you fully comprehend.”

— Epictetus, Enchiridion 45.


“Does anyone signal for a turn in a mighty little time?  Don’t say the he does it badly, but just that he does it in a mighty little time.  Does anyone drive by weaving in and out of traffic?  Don’t say that he does it like an asshole, but that he drives by weaving in and out.  For unless you understand the principle from which anyone pilots a vehicle, how should you know if he does so badly?  Thus you will not run the hazard of assenting to any appearances but such as you fully comprehend.”

— Enchirdion 45 (with some artistic license)

Stoic philosophy and the art of motorcycle maintenance

Standard

Today, I rode past a church which had on its sign “The one who makes you angry controls you.” Motorcycle riding offers a unique sort of period for contemplation, and this was excellent fodder for my ride.

I think that what the church meant was that we should not surrender our freedom to others, but I took a different, Stoic message from it.

The one who makes us angry controls us, by which we could mean our ruling faculty, our reason controls us and has the ability to make a judgement of being harmed which can result in anger.

Instead of worrying over whether our neighbor controls our actions, we should firmly look to controllong ourselves, since it is by means of a judgement that we are made angry… or not.

Strive

Standard

Strive:

Strive to follow your own nature.
Let reason be your guiding light.
Avoiding the moral danger,
You must seek that which is the right.

Let reason be your guiding light.
It is fate determines your time.
You must seek that which is the right,
Knowing vice is the only crime.

It is fate determines your time.
In life you’ll encounter failure,
Knowing vice is the only crime.
Strive to follow your own nature.

In life you’ll encounter failure,
Recognize things indifferent.
Strive to follow your own nature.
And blame not men their ignorance.

Recognize things indifferent.
Life is the great struggle, a fight.
And blame not men their ignorance,
If you can, guide them through the night.

Life is the great struggle, a fight.
Remember: none is a stranger,
If you can, guide them through the night.
Strive to follow your own nature.


I wrote a poem the other day.  It’s a formalized style called a pantoum, where the second and fourth line of each quatrain become the first and third line of the next.

On paradoxes.

Quote

“Whenever philosophy or life presents you with a seeming paradox, thinking on whence that word came might be valuable. Paradox comes from the Greek meaning ‘against the popular opinion,‘ not originally an incongruous or contradictory idea.

“A paradox offers a chance to think differently, to approach something from a new direction, and quite literally to change the way our brains operate.”

— K.L. Patrick