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Merely tied on #

Are you, then, free, says someone?—By the gods I wish to be, and pray to be, but I am not yet able to look into the face of my masters, I still honour my paltry body, I take great pains to keep it sound, although it is not sound in any case.   But I can show you a free man, so that you will never again have to look for an example.   Diogenes was free.   How did that come?   It was not because he was born of free parents, for he was not, but because he himself was free, because he had cast off all the handles of slavery, and there was no way in which a person could get close and lay hold of him to enslave him.   Everything he had was easily loosed, everything was merely tied on.   If you had laid hold of his property, he would have let it go rather than followed you for its sake ; if you had laid hold of his leg, he would have let his leg go ; if of his whole paltry body, his whole paltry body ; and so also his kindred, friends, and country.   He knew the source from which he had received them, and from whom, and upon what conditions.   His true ancestors, indeed, the gods, and his real Country he would never have abandoned, nor would he have suffered another to yield them more obedience and submission, nor could any other man have died more cheerfully for his Country.   For it was never his wont to seek to appear to do anything in behalf of the Universe, but he bore in mind that everything which has come into being has its source there, and is done on behalf of that Country, and is entrusted to us by Him who governs it.
From Chapter 1, Of freedom, in Book IV of Epictetus' Discourses

/misc | Dec 15, 2013


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