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The Giver Completed
Or A Man Named Property on Navigating Debt and Hysteria
14,672 words over 124 pages
Dust Cover
In the summer of the Pandemic/ Riot Year of 2020, in a land of masked fear, the author found the Enchiridion [handbook] of Epictetus [Acquired-property], the ancient stoic philosopher born a slave in an empire built on the enslavement of his race. By the 5th of 51passages, it became obvious that the ancient cripple, his leg broken by a cruel master or born lame [the sources disagree] knew more of 21st Century America than anyone currently living in it. The Giver is a postmodern resident alien’s impressions of the Stoicism of Epictetus as an ancient mirror on Modern Man’s troubled plight.
Presentation
Epictetus’, guiding principles for navigating the lies, hysteria, cruelty and bondage of civilization, are not here quoted in full as they were by his student Arrian. The language is too oblique for the normalized modern mind. I learned to appreciate ancient thought largely reading the Loeb collection at the Peabody Conservatory from 1998 thru 2000. The books featured the Greek or Latin on the left hand page and the English translation on the facing right hand page.
For this exercise the most crucial and clearly worded portion of Epictetus’s advice for navigating the madness of life will be quoted on the left page, here, as the Presentation, from George Long’s 1991 Prometheus Books translation.
Footnotes, if any, shall be confined to this page.
Reflection
How might Epictetus’ insights from so long ago illuminate our current plight, stuck as we are in a world where we are compelled to stare into the falsehoods and lies of a cruel gaslight?
I will use my limited understanding of his perspective gleaned from reading the literature of his age and awkwardly dreaming race and language—and those of the practically brutal race that oppressed His—and my alienated perception of our own troubled times to render an impression of each of his deeply rambling insights. For this exercise, such correlations and impressions will be recorded here, on the facing right hand page, as the Reflection.
Thanks to my Land Lady for the loan of this book and for playing the piano as I write, even as the promised comforts of day turn to the anguish of howling night.
Contents
Presentation 5
Reflection 6
1-A: Things 11
1-B: Appearances 13
2: Hope and Desire 15
4: Action 19
5: Terror and Grief 21
6: Elation and Excellence 23
7: Life as a Voyage 25
9: Body and Soul 29
10: On Suffering Accidents 31
11: Loss and Restoration 33
12: Abundance and Disturbance 35
13: Externals 37
14: Power over Things 39
15: With the Gods 41
16: Sorrow and Lament 43
17: Dutiful Action 45
18: Signs 47
19: Power 49
20: Insults and Injuries 51
21: Death and Desire 53
22: Ridicule 55
23: Being a Philosopher 57
24-A: Honor 59
24-B: Money 61
25: Obtaining 63
26: Woe 65
27: Evil 67
28: Power 69
29-A: Acts 71
29-B: Faculty 73
30: Wrong 75
31: Piety 77
32: Divination 79
33: Character 81
34: Pleasure 83
35: Fear of Doing 85
36: Entertainment 87
37: Assumption of Character 89
38: Care 91
39: Property 93
40: Women 95
41: The Mind 97
42: The Person Deceived 99
43: Brotherhood 101
44: Possession and Speech 103
45: Comprehension 105
46: Among the Uninstructed 107
47: The Poor 109
48: The Uninstructed Person 111
49: Interpretation 113
50: Rules 115
51: Truth and Lie 119
52: Into Eternity 121
A Perspective 123
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Add Comment
Don QuotaysJuly 12, 2020 9:11 PM UTC

My reading list keeps growing.

Thanks, sorta.