Perception Vs Reality: Epictetus

In this dialogue, Epictetus is talking to his shadow about life when he realizes it does not matter if he is free from chains that have rusted through or lives in another reality where he is afraid. His job is to live the good life, whether or not he perceives the fear, his own reaction or response or any other behaviour that keeps him from living his own truth.

Epictetus: hear me friends, these rusty old shackles won’t hold you here against your will.

Shadow: You can’t see the truth in this dark cave, the dust on your chain is from being unclean. Why do you deserve freedom?

E: I never lived my truth by telling others how or why they need to do the same. For all I know, we are all supermen and can pull apart these chains as easy as pulling out some tall grass.

S: Ah, you believe in yourself, you believe in being proper and doing the right thing.

E: my truth, may not be ‘the proper use of impressions ‘, like many in the dark cave, I have had no light to distinguish between dust and rust.

S: But you claim to know yourself and stumbled upon the truth of this dark cave. You know what is perceived in the dark and claim anyone can find the way out into the real world and be free. But there are no real truths, they are simple perception based on aspects of reality.

E: The proper use of impressions gives us a practice to live the good life and progress from a seedling to a strong tree, if the health of the seedling does not fail through malnutrition or some other accident of nature, he will grow. I have grown and now walk away from this rusted chain as can all of you. It will be my lot to discover my next rusted chain in my sunlight outside this cave.

S: You are sick Epictetus. There will always be a chain on your mind.

E: Yes shadow, it is true, I am talking to myself in this dialogue about my many fears. Don’t act on desire, start with aversion and do no harm. This is my only advice to myself. And I give it freely and only hope you will accept and use it freely. Be my friend, because outside you will still be with me in whatever shape my mind perceives you. I must live the good life to progress with such grave doubt at the seat of my consciousness. Come with me.

As Epictetus walks away thinking about his many fears and poor actions, he begins a new relationship with himself or that part he calls his shadow. Yes, it is true we all see our shadow in the sunlight. Some see the shadow in our psyche and some let the good grow by learning from their mistakes and using their own truth, the truth to guide them to better ways through working the principles of the proper use of impressions.

Work Vs. Play

Stay ignorant or learn to get along,

Accept your work or give it up,

Remember your thoughts on the subject, your rights and privileges, the moral values and the ability to go with the flow.

Act on this knowledge as each circumstance becomes clear to you.

As a student, you must learn when and how to play, without harm to yourself or others.

So be a slave, but become aware of it, study your captivity.  And learn to get out of your prison.

Remember what happened to you and what it is like now that you are aware of all the details, and how important it is to change.

Do what is right for you, practice the proper use of impressions, or doing it right-do no harm to yourself or others.

And lastly, know the source of your life and problems and play it by ear, go with the flow, allow things to be, especially when they are out of your control.  And you will learn to be content.

Who knows, you may earn your freedom.  Perhaps, freedom from your situation lies within being content with what is out of your control.

Checking Out a Philosophy App

Stoic philosophy is more about doing than knowing or learning how to, but practice is all about doing to learn good habits.

The stoically inclined can benefit from meditation, journaling and getting to know and stretch yourself by doing a good practice.

The goal is to change by picking up good habits and letting go of bad habits through hard work in your practice. Do no harm to yourself or others will always be foremost in your mind.

Most of the things you choose to practice will start by eliminating desires you want and focus on doing your practice and things you will do because the hard work you do will produce the outcome: inner peace, better focus, a good habit and more compassion for yourself and others.

In a sense, it prepares you to become content and in a better state of mind.

You will gain a good life with out feeling the need to say or do anything that will add to your suffering or others.

It just may prevent any poverty you may have in you life today.

You may enjoy your practice and encourage others to do the same.


What is health?

the state of being free from illness or injury.
“he was restored to health” ·

good physical condition · healthiness · fitness · physical fitness · well-being · haleness · good trim · good shape · fine fettle · good kilter · robustness · strength · vigor ·

  • a person’s mental or physical condition.
    “bad health forced him to retire” ·

    state of health · physical state · physical health · physical shape · condition · constitution · form
  • used to express friendly feelings toward one’s companions before drinking.
    here’s to you · good health · your health · here’s health · skol · good luck · slainte · prost · prosit · salut · salud · bottoms up · down the hatch ·

    I prefer the last one, about expressing friendly feelings…
  • but what about “heal”
  • to heal implies curing or repairing our body, mind and spirit while we are being ill.
  • living with ourselves regardless of the outcomes.
  • I suggest being what we believe.
  • being willing to improve our health or to heal.
  • being aware and accepting ourselves is part of that package deal.
  • in this sense, it is best to heal for ourselves, without hoping for unrealistic outcomes.
  • sort of like being you, with no strings attached.
  • but along with illness there is pain and suffering, which is not so easy to accept.
  • it is worth learning to live day to day or second to second with pain.
  • pain management is a skill we can all learn.
  • best wishes with your health.

Journal Entry

Monday, June 10,2019. 10=J=Juliet

Living the Good Life.

To keep doing all the good habits,

Some belief systems will break up the whole into steps and

habits that regulate the body, mind, heart and soul. This is a purpose and brings meaning into my life right this second till the day I die.

To learn from all the mistakes, challenges, changes and up and downs are a tall order.

And to accept it all and move on is easier said than doing it.

But it is quite a thrill ride!

“We are all homeless, on the road, going home.”

Along the way, the mistakes we make, may make us all a little different.

I got sick a few times on the road: middle ear virus knocked me down for 6 months, other problems with people upset me and skin tag turned out to be melanoma, but I have been cancer free for a month.

There are lots of smaller mistakes that set people further along home.

Weather I get home from big or small mistakes, I believe I will do my best.

Passing on home, when it is really my place to go, will take me to a better place.

I plan to do my best to learn from my mistakes, celebrate differences and give back while I still have the opportunity.

It is great to have a chance to live life regardless of any mistake.

I love my culture and need to embrace it fully to live this good life.