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Epictetus Quotes & Yoga Philosophy

I was watching again the movie "Serendipity" (yes, I have a weakness for romantic comedies, as well as the habit of watching a movie I like over and over), and one of the characters mentioned a quote by Epictetus. I looked it up on line and discovered many other quotes that refer to things that I have been studying (and trying to practice) for years, mainly from the Patanjali Yoga Sutra and the Bhagavad Gita.

If you are familiar with yoga philosophy, you may see some familiar concepts here. I hope that you'll enjoy the quotes, and that they can give you something to think about today.

"Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily"

"When something happens, the only thing in your power is your attitude toward it. It is not the things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance. Things and people are not what we wish them to be nor are they what they seem to be. They are what they are."

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he already knows."

"Any person capable of angering you becomes your master."

"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it what matters."

"Suffering happens from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power."

"Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours."

"He who is not happy with little will not be happy with much."

"You become what you give your attention to...If you yourself don't choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will, and their motives may not be the highest."

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."

"Try not to react merely in the moment. Pull back from the situation. Take a wider view. Compose yourself."

"Wisdom means understanding without any doubt that circumstances do not rise to meet your expectations. Events happen as they may. People behave as they will."

"Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it."

"Don't be concerned with other people's impressions of you. They are dazzled and deluded by appearances. Stick with your purpose. This alone will strengthen your will and give your life coherence."

And finally the one mentioned in the movie:

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid with regard to external things."

What appears to be the full quotation continues like this:

"Don't wish to be thought to know anything; and even if you appear to be somebody important to others, distrust yourself. For, it is difficult to both keep your faculty of choice in a state conformable to nature, and at the same time acquire external things. But while you are careful about the one, you must of necessity neglect the other”

My resources were:

"Take a wider view" - Epictetus

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