CHAPTER 25: More on Struggle
If these things are true, and if we are not silly, and are not acting hypocritically when we say that the good of man is in the will, and the evil too, and that everything else does not concern us, why are we still disturbed, why are we still afraid? The things about which we have been busied are in no man's power. And the things which are in the power of others, we do not care for. What kind of trouble have we still?
Epictetus defines the Stoic road to happiness: disregard that which we cannot control, that which is external. Control of the self is all that counts. This seems a selfish philosophy on first blush, but there is something inherently communal in the idea that we should not interfere in the freedom of others. Also, as we shall see, it parallels the Christian idea that we should disregard the material world for the sake of the spiritual.
Although we may be afflicted by the evil of others, it is a fact that the only evil that can truly destroy us is the evil we allow within ourselves. Thus, all is dependent upon our own will. For that is how God ultimately weighs our worthiness for salvation.
Stoicism and Christianity Index
- More on Struggle
- Faculty of Understanding (25a)
- God Gave Us a Brain (25b)
- The Saturnalia (25c)
- Conjecture and Life (25d)
- Examples of Application (25e)
- Where to Sit in the Amphitheater (25f)
- Give Up the Material (25g)