Happiness and freedom…

Some things are under our control, while others are not under our control. Under our control are conception, choice, desire, aversion, and, in a word, everything that is our own doing; not under our control are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, everything that is not our own doing. Furthermore, the things under our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unimpeded; while the things not under our control are weak, servile, subject to hindrance, and not our own. Remember, therefore, that if what is naturally slavish you think to be free, and what is not your own to be your own, you will be hampered, will grieve, will be in turmoil, and will blame both gods and men; while if you think only what is your own to be your own, and what is not your own to be, as it really is, not your own, then no one will ever be able to exert compulsion upon you, no one will hinder you, you will blame no one, will find fault with no one, will do absolutely nothing against your will, you will have no personal enemy, no one will harm you, for neither is there any harm that can touch you.

                                                                                                 Epictetus, Encheiridion, 1

 

Τῶν ὄντων τὰ μέν ἐστιν ἐφ᾿ ἡμῖν, τὰ δὲ οὐκ ἐφ᾿ ἡμῖν. ἐφ᾿ ἡμῖν μὲν ὑπόληψις, ὁρμή, ὄρεξις, ἔκκλισις καὶ ἑνὶ λόγῳ ὅσα ἡμέτερα ἔργα· οὐκ ἐφ᾿ ἡμῖν δὲ τὸ σῶμα, ἡ κτῆσις, δόξαι, ἀρχαὶ καὶ ἑνὶ λόγῳ ὅσα οὐχ ἡμέτερα ἔργα. καὶ τὰ μὲν ἐφ᾿ ἡμῖν ἐστὶ φύσει ἐλεύθερα, ἀκώλυτα, ἀπαραπόδιστα, τὰ δὲ οὐκ ἐφ᾿ ἡμῖν ἀσθενῆ, δοῦλα, κωλυτά, ἀλλότρια. μέμνησο οὖν, ὅτι, ἐὰν τὰ φύσει δοῦλα ἐλεύθερα οἰηθῇς καὶ τὰ ἀλλότρια ἴδια, ἐμποδισθήσῃ, πενθήσεις, ταραχθήσῃ, μέμψῃ καὶ θεοὺς καὶ ἀνθρώπους, ἐὰν δὲ τὸ σὸν μόνον οἰηθῇς σὸν εἶναι, τὸ δὲ ἀλλότριον, ὥσπερ ἐστίν, ἀλλότριον, οὐδείς σε ἀναγκάσει οὐδέποτε, οὐδείς σε κωλύσει, οὐ μέμψῃ οὐδένα, οὐκ ἐγκαλέσεις τινί, ἄκων πράξεις οὐδὲ ἕν, ἐχθρὸν οὐχ ἕξεις, οὐδείς σε βλάψει, οὐδὲ γὰρ βλαβερόν τι πείσῃ.

                                                                                             ΕΠΙΚΤΗΤΟΥ ΕΓΧΕΙΡΙΔΙΟΝ 

 

The Serenity Prayer used by Alcohol Anonymous was actually written by Epictetus:

 

O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed,

The courage to change what can be changed,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Because AA uses his ideology, does it make it less attractable?

 

I think this saying molded into a prayer for people who may seem to themselves helpless could be used by anyone, not just the misdirected.

 

Aren’t we all misdirected at some point?

 

_Epictetus

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