Enchiridion (Dover Thrift Editions) unknown Edition
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Dover Thrift Editions
Dover Publications has the most affordable editions available of the world's greatest literature — the lowest-priced choice for today's students, educators, and anyone who loves classic literature!
c. 50 – 135 AD
Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control; we should accept calmly and dispassionately whatever happens. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.
Check out these of titles by Epictetus and more at www.doverpublications.com
- ASIN : 0486433595
- Publisher : Dover Publications; unknown edition (January 15, 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 64 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780486433592
- ISBN-13 : 978-0486433592
- Reading age : 14 years and up
- Item Weight : 2.08 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.18 x 0.17 x 8.24 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #41,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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But to be honest I feel the Victorian style of Dr. Long's translation obstructs the message Devices such as the use of parentheticals to refine word-choice, disrupts the flow. I'd rather have a simpler, more natural colloquial translation even if it misses some of the finer scholarly nuance.
We live in an era where we get more and more information from social media, and in order for these mediums to work, they have to be emotionally engaging. As a result, they very often favour the most extreme and polarising viewpoints, meaning that you can quite literally have a never-ending stream of infuriating information available 24/7. Naturally, most of it doesn’t involve you directly, but it is tailor made to make you feel involved. Sadness, fear, anger, all of these things are being played up.
Stoicism, and perhaps particularly Epictetus, is a cure for this. Unlike what its critics say, Stoicism isn’t about neglecting the world and trying to withdraw from it, but rather to teach you how to deal with it. By controlling how you react to information or events, you can calmly sort through the things that affect you and the things that do not, and you will quickly find yourself with a greater peace of mind and a more constructive outlook.
I highly recommend this book, but be aware that is anything but easy to read.
Probably what I like most about Epictetus' teachings is that he has not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. His background only supports his stoic teachings experiences even further by showing that even a near-disabled slave forced to work for most of his early life, with no safety net to fall back on, can be free and happy. I can't think of a stronger test of a way of life than that one.
The basic stoic philosophy is that our fate is already decided for us and we are powerless to control it, and though we apply both negative and positive connotations towards events that occur within our fate, ultimately fate (or as he refers to it as "the gods' will") is beyond our understanding and is neutral, so we are the only ones left that are punishing ourselves in times of seeming crisis. The true secret to happiness is learning to accept that we can't control outside forces, but we have total control and power over our own opinions and actions. Through this method of thought, the stoic philosopher can endure the harshest, most crippling events, and come out unscathed or possibly even stronger, knowing that any negativity coming from any events is his own product of his ego lashing out to protect itself.
With the lessons of Epictetus, you can learn to not run or hide from entropy and by doing so live your life in fear and senseless anger, but rather embrace it. And in your embracing of chaos you begin to realize that the universe is not in fact the recklessness you imagined, but ironically an almost entirely organized system of random acts. If you or someone you know are going through a hard time in life, there is almost no better reading than this book.
We are human beings, conditioned by evolution to live and feel in certain ways. To strive to control ourselves by an indomitable reason to the extent that we are not sad even at the passing of those we love is not a higher state of being but a perversion of what it means to be human.
Despite the renewed attention given to the Stoics in the twenty first century, I, for one, cannot follow Epictetus this far. A classic work of philosophy but not one I would recommend in practice.
If you're reading this for the first time then I would probably look for a version for a better translation. If you've already read this and want a light, thin, and concise version of "Enchiridion," then this could be a good purchase for you.