Discover the teachings of a stoic master – Epictetus – who experienced misfortune as a slave but emerged as a profound philosopher. In this captivating book, Discourses and Selected Writings, Epictetus’s lessons come to life through the direct and intense writing style of his student Arrian. Immerse yourself in the practice of philosophy as a way of life, and learn how to find contentment and happiness amidst external circumstances.
Epictetus, faithful to the stoic teachings, focuses on the individual’s free will and the correct use of impressions. By separating what we can control from what we cannot, and constantly reflecting on our values, we can free ourselves from torment and find inner peace. Epictetus challenges conventional notions of happiness, questioning the importance of external factors such as wealth, health, and social status. He reminds us that misfortune and death are natural parts of life, and it is futile to resist or fear them.
The essence of stoic teaching is to live fearlessly and without anxiety. This requires rigorous training of the will and an understanding of virtue and vice. Epictetus compares this training to that of athletes or craftsmen, emphasizing that it is a lifelong journey. Without this training, we remain slaves to material possessions, societal expectations, and futile struggles.
Comparing Epictetus to Marcus Aurelius, we see the struggles of a man of virtue who constantly reminds himself to live by stoic principles. Epictetus, on the other hand, penetrates our souls and exposes our inability to truly practice stoicism. He confronts us with our envy, jealousy, anger, and disappointed desires, forcing us to question our commitment to transforming our minds. As we reflect on our daily lives and the time we spend being controlled by negative emotions, stoicism appears as an ideal that is still far from our grasp.
Immerse yourself in the powerful teachings of Epictetus and embark on a journey towards inner peace and freedom from anxiety. Discourses and Selected Writings will challenge and inspire you to truly live as a stoic.