Enchiridion XXXIX


The body is to everyone the proper measure of its possessions, as the foot is of the shoe. If, therefore, you stop at this, you will keep the measure; but if you move beyond it, you must necessarily be carried forward, as down a precipice; as in the case of a shoe, if you go beyond its fitness to the foot, it comes first to be gilded, then purple, and then studded with jewels. For to that which once exceeds the fit measure there is no bound.


J Melcher said...

To paraphrase: Minimize the amount of manure in your life, such that when you get all your manure together, you're able to lift and carry it.

Grim said...

It’s an interesting standard. I could load a fair bit on my motorcycle, but not my books: and Epictetus might reasonably think them the most valuable things I own.

douglas said...

This one is curious to me. I think it is right that you should know deep down that all possessions not your body could be taken away at any time- by natural disaster, or man made. On the other hand- we extend our bodies in many ways- The motorcycle is a good example- it's made to the measure of a body, literally, and in most cases goes no further than it needs to provide rapid transport on demand for that body. It's controlled entirely by that body. I could make such arguments for many things, perhaps even buildings (as an architect the body's occupation of space is something we talk about and think about quite a bit). How far could one reasonably carry this argument?