The Enchiridion - Part 11

The Stoic beleif in God and fate shines through here, but there's still a lot to be taken from it.

Never say about anything, "I have lost it", but say "I have restored it". Is your child dead? It has been restored. Is your wife dead? She has been restored. Has your estate been taken from you? Has not then this also been restored?

This is essentially a mediation on the impermanence of all things. Nothing is truely yours, except for what happens between your ears. It was not yours before it came into your possession, and will not remain yours for long.

"But he who has taken it from me is a bad man". But what is it to you, by whose hands the giver demanded it back?

Fairly self explanatory. It does not matter how something is taken from you. Although here Epictetus is using an appeal to a higher power, this can easily be recast in the form of the dichotomy of control. It does not matter how you have lost something because it is something out of your control.

So long as he may allow you, take care of it as a thing which belongs to another, as travellers do with their inn.

One of the things that I like about Stocism is that it does not denounce caring for people or possessions, or even taking joy from them. In fact, as the last sentance shows, we are encouraged to enjoy and care for them. But, we must keep in mind that all these things are essentially on loan. This is a recurring and important theme going forward.

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