On Property_2

From Epictetus (Moral Discourses, 2.18)

“Every habit and faculty is maintained and increased by the corresponding actions: the habit of walking by walking, the habit of running by running. If you would be a good reader, read; if a writer, write. But when you shall not have read for thirty days in succession, but have done something else, you will know the consequence.

Sot it is with respect to the affections of the soul: when you have been angry, you must know that not only has this evil befallen you, bbut that you have also increased the habit, and in a manner thrown fuel upon fire. When you have been overcome in sexual intercourse with a person, do not reckon this single defeat only, but reckon that you have also nurtured, increased your incontinence. For it is impossible for habits and faculties, some of them not to be produced, when they did not exist before, and others not be increased and strengthened by corresponding acts.”


First, each action is a contribution to being.

Second, the property of the soul is habit, power for, tendency to.

Third, when I grow dissatisfied with my state of being, my immediate resolution to change is only a single choice. But an estimate should be made of the number of choices that have contributed to the stable being that I dislike so as to forecast well what kind of repeated choice in the other direction will be needed for a new stable state of being.

Be a good trader. Make the right investments. Store up choice for good. Do not waste it on bad. Choose well, repeat. Pursue good. Avoid bad.

In principle all is clear. But being both changer and changed, being both doctor and patient, being both the old state of being fading away and the new state of being coming to be, this is not easy. To add to the difficulty, being temporally old unwanted actually and new wanted potentially means that the presence felt will be much more the trouble to the old unwanted than to the new wanted being. The voice of the old, is waling, his manipulative whispers, his strategic maneuvering, is felt. The new wanted potential will appear like a ghostly vapor of a pipe dream.

Published by Purilib

Anonymously interested in grasping the good life.

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