Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Do Not Become A Puppet On A String

No longer allow this thing that I am be pulled about by an unsocial impulse like a puppet on a string.
                                           Meditations 2:2

     In this age that so highly prizes individuality and independence, it is unusual to consider an "unsocial" or "selfish impulse" to be the cause of one's becoming like "a puppet on a string." Whatever other evils such an impulse might bring about, certainly a loss of personal freedom could not be one of them, could it?
     The Stoic, like other classical virtue ethicists, understood that Man is a social creature, a civic animal; and that such an "unsocial impulse," then, is not a natural impulse. Whatever is against Nature is enslaving, not liberating.