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The Asgardians came to be worshiped by the Norsemen, and the Olympians , the successors of the Titans, were worshiped in Greece.

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Other gods appeared before each of the great civilizations, looking for followers. In a few places, like Greece, the Eternals were mistaken for the Olympian gods, a situation that the Olympians tolerated most of the time, knowing that the Celestials were watching from afar. The Gods of Earth have met a few times since AD, requiring the creation of the Council of Godheads , a group comprised of the godheads of each pantheon on Earth, although this was not always preclusive. Athena has recently appeared to the group in the absence of Zeus.

Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Contents [ show ]. Aboriginal Gods. Ahau Mayan Gods. Akua Oceanic Gods. Amatsu-Kami Japanese Gods. Annunaki Mesopotamian Gods. Apu Incan Gods. Asgardians Norse Gods. Daevas Hindu Gods. Dievas Russian Gods. Jesus grew up in Galilee and much of his ministry took place there. The New Testament describes Jesus wearing tzitzit - the tassels on a tallit - in Matthew [60] and Luke The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows. Jesus seemed to have two basic concerns with reference to people and the material: 1 that they be freed from the tyranny of things and 2 that they be actively concerned for the needs of others. In the canonical gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Judea , near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem , following the Last Supper. Jesus' early Galilean ministry begins when after his baptism, he goes back to Galilee from his time in the Judean desert. In the later Judean ministry Jesus starts his final journey to Jerusalem through Judea.

The final ministry in Jerusalem is sometimes called the Passion Week and begins with the Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father who dwells in me does his works. In the New Testament the teachings of Jesus are presented in terms of his "words and works". The works include the miracles and other acts performed during his ministry. Although the Canonical Gospels are the major source of the teachings of Jesus, the Pauline epistles, which were likely written decades before the gospels, provide some of the earliest written accounts of the teachings of Jesus.

The New Testament does not present the teachings of Jesus as merely his own teachings, but equates the words of Jesus with divine revelation, with John the Baptist stating in John : "For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. It comes from the one who sent me". The gospels include several discourses by Jesus on specific occasions, such as the Farewell discourse delivered after the Last Supper , the night before his crucifixion.

The Gospel of Matthew has a structured set of sermons, often grouped as the Five Discourses of Matthew which present many of the key teachings of Jesus. The parables of Jesus represent a major component of his teachings in the gospels, the approximately thirty parables forming about one third of his recorded teachings. In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn stated that in the parables of Jesus, "the image borrowed from the visible world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible spiritual world" and that the parables of Jesus are not "mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world".

He suggests that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an "inward affinity between the natural and the spiritual order. Believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. In Christian teachings, the miracles of Jesus were as much a vehicle for his message as were his words. Many of the miracles emphasize the importance of faith, for instance in cleansing ten lepers , [Lk ] Jesus did not say: "My power has saved you" but says "Rise and go; your faith has saved you.

One characteristic shared among all miracles of Jesus in the Gospel accounts is that he delivered benefits freely and never requested or accepted any form of payment for his healing miracles, unlike some high priests of his time who charged those who were healed. Christians in general believe that Jesus' miracles were actual historical events and that his miraculous works were an important part of his life, attesting to his divinity and the Hypostatic union , i.

Christian authors also view the miracles of Jesus not merely as acts of power and omnipotence, but as works of love and mercy: they were performed to show compassion for sinful and suffering humanity. Since according to the Gospel of John [] it was impossible to narrate all the miracles performed by Jesus, the Catholic Encyclopedia states that the miracles presented in the Gospels were selected for a twofold reason: first for the manifestation of God's glory, and then for their evidential value. Jesus referred to his "works" as evidences of his mission and his divinity, and in John he declared that his miracles have greater evidential value than the testimony of John the Baptist.

Jesus identifies himself as a Jew to the Samaritan woman at the well, [] as evidenced by the plural we and the saying "salvation is from the Jews"—a saying that is in accordance with the Jewish concept of salvation , and is a possible reference to Isaiah In the Synoptics Jesus and his disciples do not wash their hands before eating a meal, contrary to handwashing in Judaism. The accounts of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus provide a rich background for Christological analysis, from the canonical gospels to the Pauline epistles.

Johannine "agency christology" combines the concept that Jesus is the Son of his Father with the idea that he has come into the world as his Father's agent, commissioned and sent by the Father to represent the Father and to accomplish his Father's work. Implied in each Synoptic portrayal of Jesus is the doctrine that the salvation Jesus gives is inseparable from Jesus himself and his divine identity.

Sonship and agency come together in the Synoptic gospels only in the Parable of the Vineyard Matthew ; Mark ; Luke A central element in the Christology presented in the Acts of the Apostles is the affirmation of the belief that the death of Jesus by crucifixion happened "with the foreknowledge of God, according to a definite plan". Paul's Christology has a specific focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus is directly related to his resurrection and the term "the cross of Christ" used in Galatians may be viewed as his abbreviation of the message of the gospels.

John Calvin supported the "agent of God" Christology and argued that in his trial in Pilate's Court Jesus could have successfully argued for his innocence, but instead submitted to crucifixion in obedience to the Father. In the Eastern Church Sergei Bulgakov argued that the crucifixion of Jesus was " pre-eternally " determined by the Father before the creation of the world, to redeem humanity from the disgrace caused by the fall of Adam. Mormons believe that the crucifixion was the culmination of Christ's atonement, which began in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith. In the teachings of the apostolic Church , the resurrection was seen as heralding a new era. Forming a theology of the resurrection fell to Apostle Paul. It was not enough for Paul to simply repeat elementary teachings, but as Hebrews states, "go beyond the initial teachings about Christ and advance to maturity".

Fundamental to Pauline theology is the connection between Christ's Resurrection and redemption. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. If the cross stands at the center of Paul's theology, so does the Resurrection: unless the one died the death of all , the all would have little to celebrate in the resurrection of the one.

God the Father

Following the conversion of Constantine and the liberating Edict of Milan in , the ecumenical councils of the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, that focused on Christology helped shape the Christian understanding of the redemptive nature of Resurrection, and influenced both the development of its iconography, and its use within Liturgy. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jesus in Christianity. Jesus in Islam. Jesus in history. Perspectives on Jesus. Jesus in culture. Life in art Depiction Jesuism. Main article: Ministry of Jesus. See also: New Testament places associated with Jesus.

Main articles: Parables of Jesus and Miracles of Jesus. See also: Lamb of God. Kyrios Logos Incarnation. The Christology of the New Testament. Westminster John Knox Press. Archived at the Wayback Machine ; c. Sproul, Knowing Scripture pp. What Do Christians Believe? Graduate Christian Fellowship. Walvoord, Roy B. Outlines of dogmatic theology , Volume 2.

Jesus: the Complete Guide , New Testament Theology. Broadman Press, For the only thing that is good is acting virtuously that is, motivated by virtue , and the only thing that is bad is the opposite, acting viciously that is, motivated by vice. It is possible to draw only a basic sketch of Epictetus' life. Resources at our disposal include just a handful of references in the ancient texts, to which we can add the few allusions that Epictetus makes to his own life in the Discourses.

Epictetus was born in about 55 C. As a boy he somehow came to Rome as a slave of Epaphroditus who was a rich and powerful freedman, having himself been a slave of the Emperor Nero he had been an administrative secretary. Whilst still a slave, Epictetus studied with the Stoic teacher Musonius Rufus.


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There is a story told by the author Celsus probably a younger contemporary of Epictetus — quoted by the early Christian Origen c. Enduring the pain with complete composure, Epictetus warned Epaphroditus that his leg would break, and when it did break, he said, 'There, did I not tell you that it would break? The Suda tenth century , however, although confirming that Epictetus was lame, attributes his affliction to rheumatism.

At some point Epictetus was manumitted, and in about 89, along with other philosophers then in Rome, was banished by the Emperor Domitian. He went to Nicopolis in Epirus in north-western Greece where he opened his own school which acquired a good reputation, attracting many upper-class Romans. One such student was Flavius Arrian c. Origen Contra Celsum 6. Aulus Gellius c. Our sources report that Epictetus did not marry, had no children, and lived to an old age. With respect to marriage and children we may note the story from Lucian Demonax 55 about the Cynic philosopher Demonax who had been a pupil of Epictetus.

On hearing Epictetus exhort his students to marry and have children for it was a philosopher's duty to provide a substitute ready for the time when they would die , he sarcastically asked Epictetus whether he could marry one of his daughters. It appears that Epictetus wrote nothing himself. The works we have that present his philosophy were written by his student, Flavius Arrian.

We may conjecture that the Discourses and the Handbook were written some time around the years —, at the time when Arrian born c. Dobbin , though, holds the view that the Discourses and the Handbook were actually written by Epictetus himself; the Suda does say, after all, that Epictetus 'wrote a great deal'. Dobbin is not entirely convinced by Arrian's claim in his dedicatory preface that he wrote down Epictetus' words verbatim ; firstly, stenographic techniques at this time were primitive, and anyway were the preserve of civil servants; secondly, most of the discourses are too polished, and look too much like carefully crafted prose to be the product of impromptu discussions; and thirdly, some of the discourses notably 1.

There is no way to resolve this question with certainty. Whether the texts we have do indeed represent a serious attempt to record Epictetus at work verbatim , whether draft texts were later edited and rewritten as seems wholly likely , possibly by Epictetus, or whether Epictetus did in fact write the texts himself, drawing on his recollections as a lecturer with only occasional attempts at strictly verbatim accuracy, we shall never know.

But what we can be certain of, regardless of who actually wrote the words onto the papyrus to make the first draft of the text as we have it today, is that those words were intended to present Stoic moral philosophy in the terms and the style that Epictetus employed as a teacher intent on bringing his students to philosophic enlightenment as the Stoics had understood this enterprise. Written in Koine Greek, the everyday contemporary form of the language, Epictetus' Discourses appear to record the exchanges between Epictetus and his students after formal teaching had concluded for the day.

Internal textual evidence confirms that the works of the early Stoic philosophers Zeno, Cleanthes and Chrysippus were read and discussed in Epictetus' classes, but this aspect of Epictetus' teaching is not recorded by Arrian. What we have, then, are intimate, though earnest, discussions in which Epictetus aims to make his students consider carefully what the philosophic life — for a Stoic — consists in, and how to live it oneself. He discusses a wide range of topics, from friendship to illness, from fear to poverty, on how to acquire and maintain tranquillity, and why we should not be angry with other people.

Not all of the Discourses appear to have survived, as the ancient Byzantine scholar Photius c. Because the text, chapter by chapter, jumps to different topics and shows no orderly development, it is not readily apparent that anything is missing, and indeed, the reference to eight books may be mistaken though another author, Aulus Gellius, at Attic Nights The range of topics is sufficiently broad for us to be reasonably confident that, even if some of the text has been lost, what we lack by and large repeats and revisits the material that we have in the book as it has come down to us.

To find translations of the Discourses on-line, please visit my 'Translations of Epictetus on the Internet' page at my BT site or my Geocities site. This little book appears to be an abstract of the Discourses , focusing on key themes in Epictetus' teaching of Stoic ethics. Some of the text is taken from the Discourses , and the fact that not all of it can be correlated with passages in the larger work supports the view that some of the Discourses has indeed been lost. To find translations of the Handbook on-line, please visit my 'Translations of Epictetus on the Internet' page at my BT site or my Geocities site.

The writings of the early Stoics, of Zeno — B. The question arises as to what extent Epictetus preserved the original doctrines of the Stoic school, and to what extent, if any, he branched out with new emphases and innovations of his own. It would be inconsistent, if not wholly ridiculous, to laud Chrysippus in such terms and then proceed to depart oneself from the great man's teaching.

Aulus Gellius Attic Nights Oldfather , xxi, n. Our enthusiasm for this division being wholly original to Epictetus should be tempered with a reading of extracts from Seneca's Moral Letters Suffice it so say, what Epictetus teaches by means of his threefold division is wholly in accord with the principles of the early Stoics, but how he does this is uniquely his own method. The programme of study and exercises that Epictetus' students adhered to was in consequence different from the programme that was taught by his predecessors, but the end result, consisting in the special Stoic outlook on oneself and the world at large and the ability to 'live the philosophic life', was the same.

Epictetus, along with all other philosophers of the Hellenistic period, saw moral philosophy as having the practical purpose of guiding people towards leading better lives. No less true of us today than it was for the ancients, few people are content with life let alone wholly content , and what contributes to any contentment that may be enjoyed is almost certainly short-lived and transient. Indeed, Epictetus metaphorically speaks of his school as being a hospital to which students would come seeking treatments for their ills Discourses 3.

Each of us, in consequence merely of being human and living in society, is well aware of what comprise these ills. In the course of daily life we are beset by frustrations and setbacks of every conceivable type. Our cherished enterprises are hindered and thwarted, we have to deal with hostile and offensive people, and we have to cope with the difficulties and anxieties occasioned by the setbacks and illnesses visited upon our friends and relations.

Sometimes we are ill ourselves, and even those who have the good fortune to enjoy sound health have to face the fact of their own mortality. In the midst of all this, only the rare few are blessed with lasting and rewarding relationships, and even these relationships, along with everything that constitutes a human life, are wholly transient.

But what is philosophy? Does it not mean making preparation to meet the things that come upon us? Discourses 3. The ills we suffer, says Epictetus, result from mistaken beliefs about what is truly good. We have invested our hope in the wrong things, or at least invested it in the wrong way. Our capacity to flourish and be happy to attain eudaimonia is entirely dependent upon our own characters, how we dispose ourselves to ourselves, to others, and to events generally. What qualities our characters come to have is completely up to us. Therefore, how well we flourish is also entirely up to us.

The central claim of Stoic ethics is that only the virtues and virtuous activities are good, and that the only evil is vice and actions motivated by vice see Discourses 2. When someone pursues pleasure or wealth, say, believing these things to be good, the Stoics hold that this person has made a mistake with respect to the nature of the things pursued and the nature of their own being, for the Stoics deny that advantages such as pleasure and health wealth and status, and so forth are good , because they do not benefit those who possess them in all circumstances.

Virtue, on the other hand, conceived as the capacity to use such advantages wisely, being the only candidate for that which is always beneficial, is held to be the only good thing see Plato, Euthydemus e—e and Meno 87c—89a.

Epictetus (55–135 C.E.)

To progress towards excellence as a human being, for Epictetus, means understanding the true nature of one's being and keeping one's prohairesis moral character in the right condition. Although things such as material comfort, for instance, will be pursued by the Stoic student who seeks eudaimonia , they will do this in a different way from those not living the 'philosophic life' — for Stoics claim that everything apart from virtue what is good and vice what is bad is indifferent , that is, 'indifferent' with regard to being good or bad.

Indifferent things are either 'preferred' or 'dispreferred'. Preferred are health and wealth, friends and family, and pretty much all those things that most people pursue as desirable for leading a flourishing life. Dispreferred are their opposites: sickness and poverty, social exclusion, and pretty much all those things that people seek to avoid as being detrimental for a flourishing life. Thus, the preferred indifferents have value for a Stoic, but not in terms of their being good : they have an instrumental value with respect to their capacities to contribute to a flourishing life as the objects upon which our virtuous actions are directed see Discourses 1.

The Stoic does not lament their absence, for their presence is not constitutive of eudaimonia. What is good is the virtuous use one makes of such preferred things should they be to hand, but no less good are one's virtuous dispositions in living as well as one may, even when they are lacking. If we do not do this, our prohairesis will remain in a faulty condition, for we will remain convinced that things such as wealth and status are good when they are really indifferent, troubled by frustrations and anxieties, subject to disturbing emotions we do not want and cannot control, all of which make life unpleasant and unrewarding, sometimes overwhelmingly so.

This is why Epictetus remarks: 'This is the proper goal, to practise how to remove from one's life sorrows and laments, and cries of "Alas" and "Poor me", and misfortune and disappointment' Discourses 1. No one is master of another's prohairesis [moral character], and in this alone lies good and evil. No one, therefore, can secure the good for me, or involve me in evil, but I alone have authority over myself in these matters.


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  8. Discourses 4. What is in our power, then, is the 'authority over ourselves' that we have regarding our capacity to judge what is good and what is evil. Outside our power are 'external things', which are 'indifferent' with respect to being good or evil. These indifferents, as we saw in the previous section, number those things that are conventionally deemed to be good and those that are conventionally deemed to be bad.

    Roughly, they are things that 'just happen', and they are not in our power in the sense that we do not have absolute control to make them occur just as we wish, or to make them have exactly the outcomes that we desire. Thus, for example, sickness is not in our power because it is not wholly up to us whether we get sick, and how often, nor whether we will recover quickly or indeed at all. Now, it makes sense to visit a doctor when we feel ill, but the competence of the doctor is not in our power, and neither is the effectiveness of any treatment that we might be offered.

    So generally, it makes sense to manage our affairs carefully and responsibly, but the ultimate outcome of any affair is, actually, not in our power. What is in our power is the capacity to adapt ourselves to all that comes about, to judge anything that is 'dispreferred' not as bad, but as indifferent and not strong enough to overwhelm our strength of character. Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions—in short, whatever is our own doing.

    Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing. Handbook 1. That is, we have power over our own minds. The opinions we hold of things, the intentions we form, what we value and what we are averse to are all wholly up to us. Although we may take precautions, whether our possessions are carried off by a thief is not up us but the intention to steal, that of course is in the power of the thief , and our reputations, in whatever quarter, must be decided by what other people think of us, and what they do think is up to them.

    Remaining calm in the face of adversity and controlling our emotions no matter what the provocation qualities of character that to this day are referred to as 'being stoical' , are accomplished in the full Stoic sense, for Epictetus, by making proper use of impressions. To have an impression is to be aware of something in the world. For example, I may look out of my window and have the impression of an airship floating over the houses in the distance.

    Whether there is really an airship there, half a mile off, or whether there is just a little helium-filled model tied to my garden gate by a bit of string, is a separate question. The Stoic stands in sharp contrast to the non-Stoic, for when the latter faces some disaster, say let us imagine that their briefcase has burst open and their papers are scattered by the wind all along the station platform and onto the track , they will judge this a terrible misfortune and have the appropriate emotional response to match.

    Epictetus would declare that this person has made the wrong use of their impression. In the first place, do not allow yourself to be carried away by [the] intensity [of your impression]: but say, 'Impression, wait for me a little. Let me see what you are, and what you represent. Let me test you.

    But rather, you should introduce some fair and noble impression to replace it, and banish this base and sordid one. Discourses 2. Few non-Stoics, ignorant of Epictetus' teaching, would do other than rush around after their papers, descending deeper and deeper into a panic, imagining their boss at work giving them a dressing down for losing the papers, making them work extra hours to make good the loss, and perhaps even dismissing them from their job.

    Epictetus | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    The Stoic, by contrast, tests their impression to see what the best interpretation should be: losing the papers is a dispreferred indifferent, to be sure, but having an accident of this sort is bound to happen once in a while, and is nothing to be troubled about. They will quietly gather up the papers they can, and instead of panicking with respect to facing their boss, they will rehearse a little speech about having had an accident and what it means to have lost the papers.

    If their boss erupts in a temper, well, that is a concern for the boss. Remember that foul words or blows in themselves are no outrage, but your judgement that they are so. So when any one makes you angry, know that it is your own thought that has angered you. Wherefore make it your endeavour not to let your impressions carry you away.

    For if once you gain time and delay, you will find it easier to control yourself. Handbook 20, trans. There are three areas of study, in which a person who is going to be good and noble must be trained. That concerning desires and aversions, so that he may never fail to get what he desires nor fall into what he would avoid. That concerning the impulse to act and not to act, and, in general, appropriate behaviour; so that he may act in an orderly manner and after due consideration, and not carelessly.

    The third is concerned with freedom from deception and hasty judgement, and, in general, whatever is connected with assent. The first discipline concerns what someone striving for excellence as a rational being should truly believe is worthy of desire, which for the Stoics is that which is truly good, virtue and action motivated by virtue. Of these [three areas of study], the principle, and most urgent, is that which has to do with the passions; for these are produced in no other way than by the disappointment of our desires, and the incurring of our aversions. It is this that introduces disturbances, tumults, misfortunes, and calamities; and causes sorrow, lamentation and envy; and renders us envious and jealous, and thus incapable of listening to reason.

    Epictetus remarks: 'When I see a man anxious, I say, What does this man want? If he did not want some thing which is not in his power, how could he be anxious? Those things that most of us, most of the time, seek after as being desirable, what we consider will make our lives go well, are things that are not in our power, and thus the hope we have for securing these things is placed in the hands of others or in the hands of fate.

    And when we are thwarted in our efforts to gain what we desire we become frustrated or depressed or envious or angry, or all of these things. To be afflicted with such 'passions', says Epictetus, is the only real source of misery for human beings. Instead of trying to relieve ourselves of these unpleasant emotions by pressing all the harder to secure what we desire, we should rather place our hope not in 'external' things that are not in our power, but in our own dispositions and moral character.

    In short, we should limit our desire to virtue and to becoming to the best of our capacities examples of 'excellence'.

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    If we do not do this, the inevitable result is that we will continue to desire what we may fail to obtain or lose once we have it, and in consequence suffer the unhappiness of emotional disquiet or worse. And as is the common experience of all people at some time or other, when we are in the grip of such emotions we run the risk of becoming blind to the best course of action, even when construed in terms of pursuing 'external' things.

    They will still pursue those 'preferred indifferent external' things that are needed for fulfilling those functions and projects that they deem appropriate for them as individuals, and those they have obligations to meet. But they will not be distressed at setbacks or failure, nor at obstructive people, nor at other difficulties illness, for instance , for none of these things is entirely up to them, and they engage in their affairs in full consciousness of this fact.

    The second discipline concerns our 'impulses to act and not to act', that is, our motivations, and answers the question as to what we each should do as an individual in our own unique set of circumstances to successfully fulfil the role of a rational, sociable being who is striving for excellence. The outcome of our actions is not wholly in our power, but our inclination to act one way rather than another, to pursue one set of objectives rather than others, this is in our power.

    The Stoics use the analogy of the archer shooting at a target to explain this notion. The ideal, of course, is to hit the centre of the target, though accomplishing this is not entirely in the archer's power, for she cannot be certain how the wind will deflect the arrow from its path, nor whether her fingers will slip, nor whether for it is within the bounds of possibility the bow will break.

    The excellent archer does all within her power to shoot well, and she recognises that doing her best is the best she can do. The Stoic archer strives to shoot excellently, and will not be disappointed if she shoots well but fails to hit the centre of the target. And so it is in life generally. The non-Stoic views their success in terms of hitting the target, whereas the Stoic views their success in terms of having shot well see Cicero, On Ends 3. The [second area of study] has to do with appropriate action.

    For I should not be unfeeling like a statue, but should preserve my natural and acquired relations as a man who honours the gods, as a son, as a brother, as a father, as a citizen. Appropriate acts are in general measured by the relations they are concerned with. No, only to a father. Handbook 30, trans. The actions we undertake, Epictetus says, should be motivated by the specific obligations that we have in virtue of who we are, our natural relations to others, and what roles we have adopted in our dealings with the wider community see Discourses 2. Put simply, our interest to live well as rational beings obliges us to act virtuously, to be patient, considerate, gentle, just, self-disciplined, even-tempered, dispassionate, unperturbed, and when necessary, courageous.

    We must have these principles ready to hand. Without them we must do nothing. We must set our mind on this object: pursue nothing that is outside us, nothing that is not our own, even as He that is mighty has ordained: pursuing what lies within our will [ prohairetika ], and all else [i. We must consider what is the time for singing, what the time for play, and in whose presence: what will be unsuited to the occasion; whether our companions are to despise us, or we to despise ourselves: when to jest, and whom to mock at: in a word, how one ought to maintain one's character in society.

    Wherever you swerve from any of these principles, you suffer loss at once; not loss from without, but issuing from the very act itself. Failing to 'remember who we are' will result in our failing to pursue those actions appropriate to our individual circumstances and commitments. Epictetus says that this happens because we forget what 'name' we have son, brother, councillor, etc.

    This exercise focuses on 'assenting to impressions', and continues the discussion already introduced in the section above on making proper use of impressions. Thus, when we assent to an impression phantasia we are committing ourselves to it as a correct representation of how things are, and are saying, 'Yes, this is how it is. The third area of study has to do with assent, and what is plausible and attractive. For, just as Socrates used to say that we are not to lead an unexamined life [see Plato, Apology 38a], so neither are we to accept an unexamined impression, but to say, 'Stop, let me see what you are, and where you come from', just as the night-watch say, 'Show me your token.

    Make it your study then to confront every harsh impression with the words, 'You are but an impression, and not at all what you seem to be'.