EPICTETUS :THE DISCOURSES AND MANUAL, TOGETHER WITH FRAGMENTS OF HIS WRITINGS

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“Stoicism was an attempt to simplify the problems of existence and of conduct by a bold assertion of the unity of the world on the one hand, and of the unity of man’s soul on the other. The universe is an ordered whole, in constant movement, but moving in a rational order; it is material,…

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“Stoicism was an attempt to simplify the problems of existence and of conduct by a bold assertion of the unity of the world on the one hand, and of the unity of man’s soul on the other. The universe is an ordered whole, in constant movement, but moving in a rational order; it is material, but there are gradations in the elements of which it is composed; the whole may be regarded at once as governed by God, and identical with God. God is, on the one hand, the purest form of matter fire or spirit on the other, the highest expression of reason. Similarly man’s being is one: he must not be regarded as a composite creature with a rational part distinct from an irrational; he is a rational creature, his Governing Principle is reason, a fragment of the divine. The Universe, the source of things, is in periodic process, and at the end of each period is consumed in a conflagration, from which the process of things recommences. Fire once more passes into vapor and moisture, and out of these are generated the earth, air, and water, out of which the world is built up, the air and fire being the active elements or force, and earth and water the passive or matter.”

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