Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Be gone with you!

Philosophy unlocked from life is only show. Interpreting Chrysippus is never an end in itself, something toward which we should strive for its own sake. Philosophy is working on yourself! It is more like rough training for the Olympics than reading a book (Ench. 29), more like the contest of the event itself than lifting weights and flexing your bronzed muscles (Disc. 1.4.13)! Do not say, “See how I have mastered the treatise On Choice” (Disc. 1.4.14). It is “not that I’m looking for, you slave, but how you act in your choices and refusals, your desires and aversions, how you go at things, and apply yourself to them, and prepare yourself, and whether you are acting in harmony with nature therein, or not. For if you are acting in harmony with nature, show me that, and I will tell you that you are making progress; but if out of harmony, be gone with you!" (Disc. 1.4.14—15).—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 53

<idle musing>
Quite a bit different from a college class in philosophy or ethics, isn't it? It sounds more like Paul's "boxing against the air" metaphor. Or James, "show me your faith by your works."

Frankly, we could use more of that in the church. I think they used to call it discipleship back in the day. But, we can't have that, can we? No dying to self for us! No sirree! Live your best life now!

Only problem with that attitude is that the best life is one that is united with Christ—and his sufferings, his emptying himself.

Kenosis. Cruciformity. Theosis.

Good words, all of them. And necessary. May we learn to live them!
</idle musing>

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