Re: A flashcard representation of Stolic practice
- Here is a carefully selected "meditation", taken from the text of the Inner_Citadel, for each of the Three disciplines.
Discipline of Desire - a truly virtuous person only desires goodness, virtue and actions motivated by virtue.
"Humans are unhappy because they desire things which they consider good, but which they may either fail to obtain or else lose; and because they try to avoid things which they consider evils, but which are often inevitable. The reason is that apparent goods and evils -- wealth and health, for example, or on the contrary, poverty and sickness -- do not depend on us. Thus, the exercise of the discipline of desire will consist in gradually renouncing these desires and aversions, so that we may finally desire only that which does depend on us -- in other words moral good -- and may avoid only that which depends on us -- in other words moral evil. That which does not depend on us is to be considered indifferent, which means that we are not to introduce any preferential order among such things, but accept them as willed by the will of Universal Nature..." (Hadot, trans. M. Chase, pg. 87).
Discipline of Action - our actions should be motivated by virtue.
"Action thus risks introducing worry and care into the Stoic's life, to the same extent to which he does good, and where he intends to do good. By means of a remarkable reversal, however, it is precisely by becoming aware of the transcendent value of doing good that the Stoic can regain peace of mind and serenity, which will enable him to act effectively. There is nothing surprising about this, for it is precisely within the moral good -- that is to say, the intention of doing good -- that the good is situated for the Stoics" (pg. 193).
Discipline of Assent - evaluate a situation before reacting to it.
"`What troubles people is not things, but their judgments about things' (_Manual_ 5).
"Things cannot trouble us, because they do not touch the guiding principle within us. They remain on the threshold, outside of our liberty. When Marcus and Epictetus add that "what troubles us is our judgments about things," they are clearly alluding to the discourse which it is within our power to pronounce within ourselves, in order to define for ourselves the meaning of a given event. It is this latter judgment which may trouble us, but this is where the fundamental dogma of Stoicism comes in: there is no good but moral good, and there is no evil but moral evil. that which is not moral -- that is to say -- that which does not depend on our choice, our liberty, or our judgment -- is indifferent, and ought not to bother us. If our judgment about things is troubling us, the reason is that we have forgotten this fundamental dogma. The discipline of assent is thus intimately linked to the doctrine of good, bad , and indifferent things" (pp. 107-108)
--- In email@example.com, "Dave" <ptypes@...> wrote:
> from flashcardmachine.com
> What are the three topoi of Epictetus?
> Discipline of Desire - a truly virtuous person only desires goodness, virtue and actions motivated by virtue.
> Discipline of Action - our actions should be motivated by virtue.
> Discipline of Assent - evaluate a situation before reacting to it.
> Best wishes,
« I choose a rational path to the restaurant, but when we get there we find it closed. I am not in the least upset, because all along I was _not_ aiming to produce the outcome of eating at that restaurant, but
rather aiming at the outcome of eating at that restaurant _is possible_. Now I recognize that it was not possible-- the gods did not will it.»
Which leads to my very first point.
How would be deemed a "failure when the restaurant being closed is out of cour control? Only the final result "failed", but all steps on the way were appropriate. That was my very first quibble. Only instead of "appropriate" I used the terms "excellent / arete" which were technically incorrect.
But I believe the saleint point is still correct that one still find solace in taking "appropriate" steps, as opposed to being negligent. And that I was inappropriate or imprecise by using incorrect terminology.
'I know you won't believe me,
but the highest form of
Human Excellence is
to question oneself and others.'