Epictetus on Transience


Epictetus stated he would embrace death before...

Regarding  whatever objects that give you delight, that you find are useful, or are deeply loved, remember to tell yourself that they are not permanent but transitory.

If, for example,you are fond of a specific ceramic cup, remind yourself that it is only a ceramic cup, part of the family of ceramic cups  in general of which you are fond. Then, if it breaks, you will not be disturbed, because there are others that can replace it.

If you kiss your child, or your wife, say that you only kiss things which are human and material, and so you accept their mortality should they die, knowing that in the greater goodness of God, they are still to be found.

from The Enchiridion by Epictetus

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