What Is Fitting (1a)

It is fitting that God has placed in our power that which is best of all and supreme over all - the right use of appearances. Nothing else is within our power. Was it because he did not choose to give us more? I, indeed, think that if he had been able, he would have put these other things also in our power, but he certainly could not. For as we exist on the earth, and are bound to such a body and to such companions, how was it possible for us not to be hindered as to these things by externals?

In other words we can see objects, but we cannot affect with our eyes how they look. The laws of nature restrict us, we cannot disobey these laws. We can truly only control one thing and that is ourselves and how we understand.

Chapter 1:

  1. Of the Things Which Are and Are Not in Our Power
  2. What Is Fitting (1a)
  3. Mind Control (1b)
  4. Don't Worry, Be Happy (1c)
  5. Lateranus the Stoic (1d)
  6. Free Will and Zeus (1e)
  7. Thrasea the Roman Senator (1f)
  8. The Reaction of Aggripinus (1g)
Stoicism and Christianity Index

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This is a translation and explanation of the first book of the Discourses of Epictetus. His words are in regular text, comments are in bold.

Biographical Information on Epictetus

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