The Daily Stoic for December 16th, “Everlasting Good Health”.
“I tell you, you only have to learn to live like the healthy person does . . . living with complete confidence. What confidence? The only one worth holding, in what is trustworthy, unhindered, and can’t be taken away—your own reasoned choice.”—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.26.23b–24
The point of today’s stoic meditation is that our reasoned choice is the only thing that is always in our control.
“But your own reasoned choice? Well, for now that is in your control. Therefore it is one of the few things you can have confidence in. […] It’s the only one that remains pristine and never wears down—it’s only the user who quits it; never will it quit the user.”
Everlasting Good Health?
I have to say I’m not quite sure about that. It’s probably disappointing that I have objections on such basic concepts at the very end of the daily stoic race, but yeah, what’s our reasoned choice?
In spite of what the stoics would have liked, our mind, our reasoned choice, whatever we are inside, it’s contained in a vessel. And this vessel certainly affects our reasoned choice.
Yesterday I was talking to a friend whose father has Alzheimer. Yes, this may be a illness, but it’s not affecting only the body. It’s definitely affecting what makes this person who he is. His memory, his ability to recognize his own children, his ability to think clearly, or be the person he used to be.
So while I agree with the general “spirit” behind what the stoics wanted to convey here, they weren’t right on this one. We are very complex organisms, not a dichotomy of mind and body. We can’t deny our bodies, as they form part of who we are. Our mind, not even our reasoned choice, is as infallible as we think it is. And that’s ok. It serves to remind us to enjoy and be grateful for every day we spend here. 🙂
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Everlasting Good Health”, discusses again reasoned choice. I still disagree with the S