Epictetus on the ruling center, reflections, and reality

For Epictetus, just as a doctor works on the human body and the farmer works on the land, the good person works on her “ruling center.” Some other ways to think of this ruling center: the rational, enlightened mind, the capacity we have for examining our knee-jerk reactions and determining whether they are based on…

Stoicism for crises

It has been an eventful, challenging past few months. I have been wondering for a while how Stoicism would help me deal with an actual crisis--but to be honest, I fell short of wishing for a crisis to come so that I could be tested. I’m soft, and it’s the holiday season. Needless to say,…

Epictetus’ Handbook: Do’s and don’ts for a good life

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I recently organized the entries of the Handbook of Epictetus into three categories: ones that encourage the reader to readjust her thinking, ones that advise the reader what to do for a happy and virtuous life, and ones that describe thoughts and actions to avoid. I’ll focus on the…