Sunday, February 18, 2024

native freedom...............

   [24]   Consider how we apply the idea of freedom to animals. [25] There are tame lions that people cage, raise, feed and take with them wherever they go.  Yet who will call such a lion free?  The easier its life, the more slavish it is.  No lion endowed with reason and discretion would choose to be one of these pet specimens.

   [26]  The birds above us, when they are caught and raised in a cage, will try anything for the sake of escape.  Some starve to death rather than endure their condition. [27] Those that survive - barely, grudgingly, wasting away - fly off in an instant when they find the least little opening to squeeze through, so great is their need for their native freedom, so strong the desire to be independent and unconfined. [28] 'Well, what's wrong with you here in your cage?' 'You can ask? I was born to fly wherever I like, to live in the open air, to sing whenever I want.  You take all this away from me and then say, "What's wrong with you?"

-Epictetus, The Discourses, Book IV

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