The question.— Two ways of answering it.— The beginning of the crisis: philosophy.— Socrates in a concentration camp.— The wise man as a type.—Philosophy as science and philosophy as life.— The philosopher and other men.— The anonymous power, or historical phenomena as geological phenomena.— Answers to the question.
The problems to be raised in this book are manifold, but all of them will be found to revolve around one question: Is it possible to integrate our steadily enlarging societies—and ultimately the whole of human society—in forms of higher material and spiritual life?
This question we shall answer in the affirmative. Against those who delight in painting a gloomy future, we maintain that the future looks comparatively bright. But the author, though fundamentally an optimist, is under no illusion: he knows that, today more than ever, mankind is at a crossroads, and that the road to reconstruction runs close beside the road to ruin. Hence he has not yielded to the temptation to substitute dreams for facts, or to ignore the ambivalent character of all great human phenomena.
Now, before we come to discuss the present human situation, a long history must be unfolded. In Part II of this book, then, we shall treat of the modern period and of the various crises that it underwent before reaching the great — and, in our view, fruitful — crisis of contemporary society. Why, then, must we yet precede this treatment by an historical analysis of the problems that rose to confront ancient man in the "West," particularly during the period when his world was beginning to break up?
We must do so because, in the same sense in which we cannot understand past forms of life without relating them to contemporary problems, so it is equally impossible to understand our own problems fully without the perspective provided by the examination of a comparatively distant past. Needless to say, this cannot be merely any past; it must be one in which we find situations similar to our own. But this condition is fulfilled precisely by the ancient world, and especially by that world in its final phase. To be sure, not even the final phase of the ancient world is altogether comparable to the development of the modern world. The differences between them are in many respects irreconcilable. But some striking similarities between them justify our subjecting both to detailed examination. Hence it may be seen that there is inevitably a close relationship between the two parts of this book. As we describe the ancient world, we shall constantly have the contemporary world in mind. As we examine the present, we shall try to illumine it by the knowledge we have gained of the more remote past. The resulting historical study will be complex; perhaps it will as well be illuminating,
Such, then, is our question. It is time to see how it was answered.
It should be noted that the question did not present itself in ancient times in the same way that it does now; what men asked themselves was whether, and how, they could react to a phenomenon that emerged as a terrifying fact, more geological than historical: the formation of a "Universal State."
The question became more and more disturbing, and especially during the phase in which the Hellenistic-Roman world perished and the Occidental-Christian world was born. For a number of centuries, man was in danger of remaining helpless before an historical process that no one seemed to be setting in motion, that seemed to belong to everyone and to no one, in which everyone was embraced and no one included, a process of nature rather than of history, an immense and anonymous State. It can be understood to mean various things: a great empire or a huge political organization; a type of society that pretends to usurp all of man's functions; perhaps nothing other than the feeling—justified or not—that the historical horizon is blocked and that there is no way of escape.
It is not easy to determine when this process started. Unlike a physical phenomenon, an historical process does not begin at a particular point in time. Yet, even at the risk of incurring the objection that our description embraces too long a period, we shall make the beginning of a consciousness that a crisis was approaching coincide with the beginnings of philosophy. The process in question began when certain individuals felt themselves exiled from their native society, and sought for something to fill the consequent void in their minds. Thus Greek philosophy, which technically was an objective investigation of reality, could, from the human point of view, be considered as a form of life which was instigated by solitude. To say this is not to relativize thought. Human thought has two aspects: on the one hand, it denotes or connotes—or both at once—a reality; on the other, it expresses a human attitude. These two aspects of thought are, indeed, inseparable. But we shall be concerned primarily with thought as a human activity and, therefore, as a "subjective belief" in certain supposedly immutable principles.
I have often asked myself what Socrates would have done today in the horror of a concentration camp. True to himself, be would not have rebelled. Rebellion is a reaction of the man who still believes in the efficacy of society. Nor would he have asked for help. He would have descended into himself, slowly and serenely; he would have sought in reason—in his own reason—strength enough to resist the horrors by which he was surrounded. In so doing, he would have distinguished himself from the rest of men; he would have gained a tragic greatness. He would have become, as in fact he became, an example of the human type that was known in Greece as the sóphos, the "sage" or "wiseman." Socrates was not the first exemplification of this species in the history of the West, but he was the first who exemplified it with incomparable maturity. He was, indeed, the wiseman who is not wise simply because he knows many things, but because he knows only one important thing: that reason is one and permeates the whole of reality.
If the Greek sage discovered reason, however, it was because be needed it. It has been said that philosophy arose as an attempt to replace a world of beliefs that had evaporated. Such an attempt can be made only when man feels himself existentially alone. This is why anxiety and philosophy can be associated. For by the term "anxiety" we do not mean a vague feeling of concern. We mean, rather, an extremely concrete fact—the fact that, during certain moments, a man feels that he is segregated from society, unable to fit into it, yet at the same time believing neither that he is above it, as a model for all existence, nor that he is below it, as a passive and resigned portion of nature.
Philosophy can be, then, understood in two ways. From one viewpoint, it is a science elaborated by professional philosophers, a result of a reflective activity that, in principle, could be exercised by any rational being. From another viewpoint, it is a mode of being of human existence. Now if, in order to determine what a philosophy says we must abide by the first conception, in order to know what a philosophy means, we shall do well to keep the second in mind. It is the conception that we shall emphasize throughout this book. "Philosophy" will primarily be understood as "philosophic life," a life that usually emerges between the moment in which man feels himself still alone and the moment in which he has already renewed himself.
The emergence of such a life does not happen at any random instant. A certain combination of circumstances is presupposed. In the ancient world it was the "schism in the body social"—to use Toynbee's vocabulary—that precipitated the process that we plan to describe: the "schism in the soul." It was a long process. From the fourth century B.C. to the "banishment" of the "last philosopher" by Justinian in 529 A.D., a historical development took place in a crescendo so well harmonized that it resembles not only a symphony, but even a classical symphony. Two melodies are perceptible in this symphony: one is the termination of the ancient Greek world; the other, the termination of the Imperial Roman world. Since, however, a common theme underlies these two melodies, it is necessary to delineate it. Tentatively, we may say that our task consists in determining to what degree the anxiety originally felt by some philosophers disseminated through a considerable mass of men. Thus we have accorded to philosophers an attention seemingly out of proportion to the role that they played in history. But the importance of a man's role in history is not measured solely by the changes that be introduces in society; it can also be measured by his capacity to mirror such changes. Marx has said that philosophers have confined themselves to explaining the world, but that what is needed is to change it. He did not sufficiently take into account the fact that philosophical contemplation is not only a passive activity. It would be unjust, then, to be too critical of the philosophers because of their inability to govern society or to build pyramids—especially since some of them have provided the intellectual instruments that are prerequisites for performing these operations.
A certain number of men—and the philosophers more clearly than anyone else—formulated the question that everyone was trying to solve. During a period of several centuries, very different groups were in essentially the same situation. Many of them had one primary aim: to resist. Many others relied on action or on hope. But all of them found themselves placed in a frightening world, over which they could exercise no power. In the world of Antiquity, a moment arrived when man could not even exercise the power of confidently asking the augurs what his destiny was. Destiny was still consulted, but the answer vouchsafed was believed only because it was adverse. "All auguries for these forty days have been inauspicious; and that proves that we may place trust in them." For by now destiny was in the hands neither of men nor of gods. It was in the hands of an anonymous, vague, and featureless force. The arena of history saw the appearance of a "Universal State," created by men, but as imposing and ineluctable as a phenomenon of nature. In the last analysis, it did not even need to assume the figure of a State; and, perhaps for that reason, the word "society" would be more apt than "Universal State." Our basic theme is, then, that at certain moments great historical phenomena are like great geological cataclysms; nobody and nothing can stop them. At such times man feels that he is lost; his personal life hardly counts in the face of such elemental impulses of "History-Nature." And even those who have succeeded in imposing themselves, in "directing" events, the "Caesars," are no more than the crest of the great wave. Man has lost his old freedom without having gained any new kind of freedom. His choice has been reduced to its minimum; like the Word to which Faust referred, it is nothing but noise and smoke clouding the dome of heaven.
What can man do at such times? It has been said that man thinks and acts to the full only when the sword is at his throat. This is not at all certain if we take into account the many occasions on which, in such situations, men have perished by the sword. But taking the notion cum grano salis, we can agree that it is in such moments that the incomparable faculty of human invention reveals itself with singular force. For the time at which there appears to be no alternative to despair is the time in which most deeply men dig the pit from which the roots of hope will draw nourishment. In any case, man can do whatever he pleases except remain paralyzed. A number of the things he has done will be related in the following pages. As we shall see, some men tried to resist, in the various ways in which resistance is possible: through scorn, indifference, renunciation, or flight. These were the philosophers. Others lived in a world quivering with innumerable visions, some consecrated by tradition, some blown on the winds of prophecy. They were the futurists. Others tried to ride the wave of the time. These were the powerful, the imitators (or the servants) of Caesar. Others set out to destroy society, without having any new society in view. These were the "barbarians." Still others dimly foresaw a new kingdom, which, though not of this world in its beginning, ended by changing the world. These were the Christians. It was these voices, apparently discordant, but in fact profoundly akin, which, for a period of several centuries, composed the melody of "universal history."
In this and other chapters we have touched upon difficult problems in the sociology of knowledge. In fact, one of the basic questions discussed—whether certain philosophic doctrines can be interpreted as "human reactions to a historical situation" —depends upon the results of such a sociology. To admit this does not imply adherence to a radical historicism. In his The Open Society and Its Enemies, London, Vol. II (1945), 205 ff., K. R. Popper has sharply criticized the so-called historicism of the sociology of knowledge (especially that implied in the works of Karl Mannheim and Max Scheler) by showing that the defenders of such a "science' pay no attention to the "objectivity of scientific method." We think, however, that the "Objectivity of scientific method" demands that all the characteristics of reality be considered. One of these characteristics is the "human aspect" of knowledge.
It has often been asked whether philosophy appeared as a novelty characteristic of Western life, or as a reaction against all novelties, as a manifestation of nostalgia. Probably, at its birth, philosophy followed a twofold path. On the one hand, it was a thinking response to a new historical situation; on the other hand, it was a wish to reconstruct a mythical and legendary past. In the former case philosophy was conceived as a rational system; in the latter case philosophy was considered as a new form of mythical thinking. It is difficult to disentangle what belongs to each one of the above concepts of philosophy in the systems of the Presocratics. It is quite probable that each system of Presocratic philosophy contains logos as much as it contains mythos. In some respects, for instance, Heraclitus was a traditionalist; the rise of the masses did more than preoccupy him — it disgusted him. But at the same time we can find in his ideas some violent attacks on what Gilbert Murray and E. R. Dodds have called "the Inherited Conglomerate." The sophists belonged to the Greek "age of Enlightenment." But the Anonymus Iamblichi contains injunctions of a clearly "regressive" character. The poets followed the same twofold path as the philosophers. There is, in fact, an inextricable mixture of reason and tradition in the works of Pindar, or Sophocles or Aristophanes. We can conclude that rational thinking and mythical thinking are equally alive in classic Greek philosophy and even in the whole of classic Greek civilization. It is a well-known fact that Plato tried to blend these two apparently contradictory ingredients. Plato's aim in this respect, however, was not only philosophical, but also political. He thought that a delicate balance between reason and myth was needed in order to succeed in reforming—or rather "counterreforming"—society (see on this point, E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational, Berkeley and Los Angeles , chapters VI and VII).
The expression "end of the ancient world," which is frequently used in Part I of this book, does not necessarily imply our having taken any definite position in regard to the flexible dividing line between the ancient world and the medieval world or the Western Christian world. Until recently, Christianity was commonly regarded as representing the chief dividing line. This thesis was seriously shaken when it was realized that Christianity had also been an important factor in the development of the ancient world. Then too, as it was discovered to what an extent the "barbarian invasions" had failed to alter many important elements of Antiquity, a more precise boundary was sought. In his posthumous book Mahomet et Charlemagne (Paris ; English translation, Mohammed and Charlemagne, New York ), Henri Pirenne pointed out that what we call the "ancient world" is defined by the Mediterranean littoral (Pirenne's thesis goes back to 1922, in an article under the above title published in the Revue belge de Philologie et d'Histoire, I , 77-86). Hence the end of ancient civilization coincides with the rupture of Mediterranean unity. This rupture took place when the ancient world was split by the Islamic invasion. Pirenne's views have been developed by Ernst Kornemann in his Weltgeschichte des Mittelmeer-Raumes von Philipp von Makedonien bis Muhammed, München, 2 vols. (1948). To be sure, Kornemann devotes considerably less attention than did Pirenne to the littoral aspect of this civilization, and includes in it, with convincing arguments, the Near Eastern and Middle Eastern worlds. If we adhere to Toynbee's postulate that a "civilization" deserves this name only when it can be self-sufficient, "Iranism" must, then be incorporated with "Hellenism" and "Romanism"; all three were aspects of a single culture and influenced one another reciprocally. This doctrine is now gaining deserved favor among historians. Now, since our analysis does not belong to historiography, we are not obliged to involve ourselves in these questions except in so far as we need certain concrete references to explain the expression "end of the ancient world." We believe that the expression is equally admissible if we take the epoch of Constantine as the dividing line or if we regard the year 711 as the point of rupture.
To José Ortega y Gasset I owe the suggestion that philosophy may have arisen to fill the void left by beliefs. See his essay "Notes on Thinking—Its Creation of the World and Its Creation of God" in Concord and Liberty, New York (1946), 49-82, a translation of "Apuntes sobre el pensamiento. Su teurgia y su demiurgia," first published in Logos, Buenos Aires, Vol. I, No. 1 (1944) and included in the latest edition of his Obras completas, 6 vols., 1946-47 (hereafter cited as O.C.), Madrid, Vol. V (1947), pp. 517-546.—The expressions "Universal State," "schism in the body social," and "schism in the soul" occur in Toynbee, A Study of History., V and VI ( 1939), as well as in the abridgment of the Study by D. C. Somervell, New York (1947), 371-530.—The quotation concerning the inauspicious auguries is from Ibsen, Emperor and Galilean, 11, 5 (translated by William Archer in The Collected Works of Henrik Ibsen, Vol. V, New York ). Cf. in this connection Calderon's verses: "¡Qué pocas veces el bado / que dice desdichas miente . . . !" ("Ah! few the times when Fate, / telling disaster, lies") (La vida es sueño, II, xi).—The pressure of what we have called "History-Nature" was clearly perceived by certain ancient writers; it seems, for example, that Seneca had in mind the situation we have attempted to describe when he said (De clementia, III, xxiv, 5) that to kill great multitudes and indiscriminately is a power proper to fire and disaster—multos quidem occidere et indiscretos incendi ac ruinae potentia est. When cruelty reaches excessive proportions, it seems incredible that it is the work of men.
2. Cynics and Stoics
Lucidity. — Cynicism as a way of life. — The Cynic school. — Cynic extremism. — Suppression of action: Cynic immobility and Christian immobility.— Contempt for conventions.— The Cynic as "bastard. "— Cynicism and nihilism.
Resistance.— The Stoic school.— Physics, Logic, Ethics.— The Stoic as mediator.— Knowledge and cure.— Stoic ethics.— The problem of happiness: the two kinds of happiness.— Increase and diminution of life.— The inner dwelling.— Freedom for resistance.— Indifference to "things." — Impassibility: life without anger and without hate, Compassion and apathy.— The problem of self-sufficiency. — Life in retreat.— The refuge of the "self" and the "exit" into nature. — Aspiration and quietism.— The Stoic illusion.— Disinterestedness without compassion.— The failure of Stoicism.
One of the recourses that man discovers in order to live, without falling into complete despair, in the "concentration camp" that society from time to time becomes, is lucidity. Such, in any case, was the surmise of three types of sages who stood out in the struggle between the schools—Cynics, Stoics, and Platonists. All three transformed a way of thinking into an ideal of life. The same tendency was followed by some other philosophers: the Epicureans and the Sceptics. We dismiss them from our account, however, because some of the dominant characteristics that we shall encounter in the first three are merely repeated, though less markedly, in the others.
Let us begin with the Cynic. He is not only a man who holds a particular philosophic doctrine. In his account of the opinions of Antisthenes, Diogenes Laertius speaks of an enstasis biou, of a way of life. It is not an ordinary way of life, but one pursued in a spirit of constant dedication. To be sure, Socrates had already considered philosophy as an enstasis biou. In discerning the possibility that society might strangle itself, either through overorganization or through anarchy, Socrates made a major discovery: that, under society, there is always man—man as an individual entity and at the same time as a representative of all human beings. Thenceforth man became, for many philosophers, the being who not only has problems, but who is a problem. Such a discovery was not trivial. Moreover, it could only be made by someone who had felt in his life a "void" that was not automatically filled by the society around him. Hence, from the time of Socrates, man was often defined as what remains after all adjustments between the individual and society have been unsuccessfully attempted. A human being, so many thought, cannot be reduced to a "social animal." Socrates himself did not express these thoughts clearly, but he lived, and died, in strict accordance with them. The Cynics, on the other hand, made no mystery of their philosophy of human existence. Preceded by a series of economic upheavals, by the formation of a socially uprooted proletarian mass, the Cynics built, on the basis of Socrates' discoveries, an outspokenly antisocial ideology. So there is nothing extraordinary in the fact that it is more befitting to regard Cynicism as a human reaction to a historical situation than as a phase in an abstract history of ideas.
This explains its "atmospheric" character. It is difficult to measure Cynicism by the usual pattern of philosophic systems. What, actually, did the Cynic do—from Antisthenes or Diogenes down to the last Cynic of Antiquity, the philosopher Sallust? Something very simple: he theorized a particular attitude toward life and turned the resulting doctrine into philosophico-literary productions whose most constant form of expression, especially from the second century B.C., was the "diatribe." The diatribe performed the same office as the proverbial shepherd's-crook and wallet. It allowed the Cynic to stand out from the rest of mankind and at the same time to offer himself as a model to mankind. This is why the Cynics, despite their ferocious individualism, formed a school. In a period in which, as today, groups, sects, and circles flourished and proliferated, there was in fact nothing else to do but to adopt the social form which would be most effective for all those who, without pretending to power, sought to represent something for society—a ferment, perhaps a seed. Thus our description applies equally to the Cynic type and to the Cynic school.
The school flourished at two periods. The first was the time of Diogenes. The atmosphere was charged to the point where a deluge seemed to threaten. It is the period of confusion described by Dio Chrysostom in his eighth Discourse. The second was four centuries later. It is the period described by Lucian of Samosata. Between the two periods, a decisive event took place: for a time, the Roman power seemed to be strong enough to stabilize society once and for all. The difference between the two periods marked the difference between two forms of Cynicisms. In Greece, Cynicism was still an intellectual attitude; it addressed itself to minorities, to those capable of going into raptures over philosophical ideas. In Rome, it was already a historical event; though not always—as is sometimes said—the philosophy of the dispossessed classes, it greatly appealed to them. The classes in power had other, more "dignified" means of facing the historical situation. In short: in Greece, Cynicism was still a theory; in Rome, it became a rule of action—a very paradoxical rule of action, for it invited men to refuse to act.
What, then, was Cynicism? If we reduce all its variants to a common denominator, we can define it as "a way of facing a crisis." As a matter of fact, it faced the crisis by pushing it to an extreme. It was the philosophy of total insecurity. The world in which Cynicism arose was a world full of threats. The themes of the ancient Cynic diatribe—exile, slavery, loss of freedom—were no mere rhetorical commonplaces; they designated impending dangers. There are certain periods in which men discover that they can even cease to be men. The first and most urgent thing to do then is "to stand out." But "to stand out" does not here mean simply to preserve one's social positions. On the contrary, it means to abandon them and concentrate on an imperative most difficult to follow: to be a man. In order to comply with this imperative the Cynic even renounced action. Confronted with a society in which, as he thought, all action is futile, the Cynic decided "to suspend movement." It would, however, be mistaken to equate this decision with one that was characteristic of certain primitive Christian groups. The Cynic "suspension of movement" did not consist in remaining in the state in which one had happened to be when "one was called." The primitive Christian abstained from action out of hope, whereas the Cynic aspired to immobility out of pure desperation. This is probably the meaning which , according to Diogenes Laertius, was contained in certain counsels of Diogenes. For Diogenes praised those who were about to marry and renounced doing so, those who intended to take a journey and did not set out, those who thought of devoting themselves to political life and did not enter it. Christian immobility was only apparent; to suspend movement was to act as if one did not act. Only thus could the inner movement, the infinite tension, of hope shine through. Cynic immobility, on the other hand, was real; to the Cynic, all inner tension appeared to be an illusion that should be unmasked. But since it is impossible to do absolutely nothing, all his capacity for action was concentrated in one simple, insolent, naked act: contempt.
Of society, there now seemed to be nothing left— or, at most, its mask, the conventions. Even these were not living conventions, manifestations of an intense faith; they were dead conventions, vestiges of remote golden ages. What was to be done about them? They could, for example, be accepted. This was in fact what most people did. Society thus found the solution for its problem in a way of life that had once flourished but that was now almost desiccated— "correctness." The Cynic could do nothing of the sort. His first battle cry was "Down with the conventions!" For the Cynic did not yet believe that, between this moribund society and the solitary individual, there could be anything else; he did not admit that, between complete self-consciousness and complete self-alienation there could be a middle term: charity. Outside oneself there was, in his view, only a terrifying void. Nothing could fill it; hence he must not hesitate to abolish it. Conventions were a bond which no longer bound anything. Why, then, should he make an effort to preserve them? Why hypocritically keep up appearances? Better to throw everything overboard, refuse to live falsely, face the crisis without squeamishness. Here we have the essence of Cynicism. The Cynic could be ascetic or moderately hedonistic. It made no difference; all that he sought to do was to survive in the universal shipwreck. To the rest of mankind, he said—he screamed—"You really believe in nothing; and it is in vain that you try to hide it. Why struggle to preserve your empty conventions? Act as you feel, as you are; perhaps by so doing you will achieve the one thing for which, at bottom, you hope—to save yourselves."
The Cynic's entire life, tense by force of relaxation, had but one purpose—to resist through contempt, to destroy the dusty carapace of a dead society. Thus the Cynic, as one of those who knew him best has said, became a "bastard," an "outsider." But we must not forget that incompatibility with the present sometimes conceals a certain affinity with the future. And in fact the Cynic attitude seemed to foreshadow some of the attitudes—monasticism, for example—which were characteristic of nascent Christianity. Unlike the Christian, however, the Cynic found no inner peace; his consciousness was always a "divided, unhappy consciousness." But since the "divided consciousness" was both an individual and a social phenomenon, there came a time when it was extremely difficult to distinguish between two attitudes so different as the cynicism of the spirit and the cynicism of power. The confusion arose from the fact that they appeared to be two nuances of the same will to contempt. In any case, Cynicism operated as a refuge—a refuge against society, against man himself. The two were equally tyrannical. Now, the Cynic avoided all tyranny. Coercion—outward or inward—was the great enemy of what in the last analysis he sought: peace, quiet, rest.
These were difficult to attain—and all the more so within such narrow margins. Deceived by his own self-confidence the Cynic thought that he could easily find under the ruins of a stagnant society the necessary strength to confront the historical situation. By dint of seeking a radical solution, the Cynic, however, ended with nothing. He had to throw off practically everything: knowledge, civil life, the possibility of mutual aid and even of communication. Hence Cynicism, which began as a way of life that scorned learning, had to end as a caricature of learning. Like all radicalism, Cynicism gnawed its own tail. Some men, it is true, could still be Cynics; but not all men., or even a substantial number of them. And so another more popular solution had to be found.
Did Stoicism provide it?
Carried by the immense tidal wave of the time, man could not always swim entirely against the stream. But there is another way of meeting the violence of a current: to resist it. This way was the Stoic solution. "Resistance" is the key term of Stoic philosophy. All the other terms abundantly used by the Stoics— "tension," "spirit," "universal reason,"' "nature"—can be given a meaning on the basis of "resistance."
Like most philosophers of the period we are describing, the Stoics organized themselves in a school. Was it, as is often said, a school of knowledge? We doubt it, if by "knowledge" we mean only "disinterested speculation." All the members of the Stoic school were in agreement on this point. To be sure, historians of philosophy insist upon the fact that the Stoic school can be split into a certain number of stages. They point out, besides, that these stages differed not only by the respective preponderance of their Greek or Roman elements but also by the increasing significance attributed to ethical motives. In our opinion, however, such differences are negligible. The Stoics devoted a great deal of attention to physics and logic and they even made some noteworthy contributions to logical theory. But Zeller long since pointed out that, in however great detail the Stoics treated the different parts of philosophy, "the true core of their system" was ethics. Physics itself, "that most divine part of philosophy," was only a preparation for ethics. This attitude, we may add, was the usual one in all the Hellenistic systems; as Émile Bréhier has written, we understand them better when we see that their primary preoccupation is educational, not speculative. Here too, then, as in Cynicism, we find a form of life. But the fact that the Stoics were also concerned, and on a considerable scale, with the theoretical parts of philosophy proves that there was a striking difference between them and the Cynics. Unlike the Cynics, the Stoics did not scoff at all knowledge; they even undertook to save" it.
For the Cynic, in short, knowledge was justified only if it directly and immediately sustained human life. He thought, then, that to know is only to know how to behave. Of what use, then, are logic and physics? The Stoic, on the other hand, although he likewise understood knowledge in terms of human life, rejected the despotic rule of either. Was not all despotism to be avoided? And the despotism of life was not one of the least oppressing. It is true that the Cynic, too, rejected the domination of life. But as he lost, or broke, the thread that connected living with knowing, nature with convention, he finally succumbed to the tyranny of the very life he had so forcefully denounced.
The Stoic never went so far; he never admitted either a radical break or a complete identification between human life and knowledge. The Stoic was always a mediator, an eclectic, a master in the art of salving wounds and building bridges. Hence he could not fall into what was the perpetual pitfall of the Cynic—into vice transformed into virtue by self-contempt; into license transformed into a rule of action. For Cynicism, carried to its ultimate consequences, could do anything whatever with a life that had previously been cut off from all relationships. Just as, for certain Gnostics of Antiquity, or for certain modern "illuminati," what man does can become a matter of indifference to what he is; so an entirely relaxed morality could automatically supersede the asceticism and rigid morality of Cynicism. This did not actually happen among the Cynics of Antiquity, still less among those who are mentioned in histories of philosophy. But it could have happened without their in the least ceasing to be Cynics.
This, then, is one of the reasons why the Stoic could not scoff at knowledge. Knowledge was not only an instrument, it was also a medicine. For the Stoics, to know was, in the last analysis, to cure.
We must not be deceived by the fact that the work of certain Stoics—Chrysippus and Posidonius, for example—was truly encyclopaedic. This fact does not in the least modify our position in regard to the role that all knowledge played for them. Let us take physics. Is it a physics, properly speaking? It looks more like a labyrinth. The fire of Heraclitus, "rational seeds," the world as a great living being, Destiny as ruler of the universe and sometimes identified with it— what do we not find when we set out to enumerate the component elements of this imago mundi in which common sense alternated with fantasy? The only thread that can guide us through such a labyrinth is the one we have so often mentioned before— man. In principle, the world and its description should be matters of indifference. In fact, the omnipresence of man makes them inescapable. Like the Platonist, the Stoic pretended to "save phenomena." But never at the price of his own existence. For the sake of individualism? It is doubtful. Does not the Stoic preach the dissolution of each in the whole, the final restitution of our being to Nature? But the radical "objectivism" of the Stoics can only be explained by the fact that it was nourished by an ethical, human attitude. Should the Universe be emptied of humanity, Stoic physics would immediately lose its meaning. Hence, unlike the "physiology" of the Ionians, or Aristotelian "physics," Stoic physics was not a principle but a consequence. The classic Greek philosophers could, as Empedocles or Democritus had done, derive their conduct from their conception of the Universe. The Stoics sought, and found, a conception of the Universe which would harmonize with their conduct. Physical knowledge, then, did not disappear, but became subordinate. The "saving"' of phenomena continued, but only as a consequence of the will to save human life.
The Stoics were not, then, solely concerned with ethics. But whatever they did, they did as if they pretended to solve ethical problems. Their ideas about the hierarchy of philosophic disciplines fulfilled this basic condition. Let us consider the doctrine of Epictetus. The first step in philosophy, Epictetus says, is to abide by such injunctions as: "Do not lie." Next comes the demonstration of why we should not lie. And finally, the discussion of why such a demonstration really constitutes a proof. The third step is necessary because of the second, and the second because of the first. But only the first step is absolutely necessary. Hence Stoic ethics cannot be called a purely descriptive ethics. How could the term "descriptive" be applied to an ethics that based human conduct on a materially categorical imperative?
But let us leave this subject, which would take us too far, and let us resume our investigation.
Primarily, then, the Stoics cultivated ethics. But there are many types of ethics. To engage in ethical pursuits can mean seeking the norms through which certain realities are considered good, and clearing the path in order to attain such realities. Or it can mean discovering what is the Good in itself, and trying to live in accordance with it. Being mediators, the Stoics sought not to exclude from their pursuits anything that they considered morally significant. As in physics, so in ethics they devoted themselves to combining elements , to mingling materials. But at bottom they only relied upon an inflexible and unchanging injunction: "Save yourself by a continual return to yourself." As in all the ethical systems of Antiquity, in the Stoic ethical system the concept of eudaimonía, of happiness, played an important role. But the meaning of the term "eudaimonía" in the Stoic system of ethics was not the same as in most other ethical systems of Antiquity.
The word "eudaimonía" has two meanings. On the one hand, it can mean the feeling of euphoria that invades us from time to time and that causes us to stretch out our arms to all men and all things. When this kind of happiness prevails, life does not only reach fullness, it overflows our being and seems to flood the rest of the universe. On the other hand, "eudaimonía" can mean the feeling of security that permeates our being when we reduce our wishes to a minimum. The former meaning is common in culminating periods, when there is, or there seems to be, abundance of vital projects. The latter meaning is frequent in critical periods, when the only project that seems worth considering is the project of survival. It is this second meaning of "eudaimonía" that the Stoics emphasized. They made happiness revolve around the "self," the only place where true peace, in their opinion, was to be found. Only from oneself was it possible—or reasonable—to set out toward the world. For only once this inner dwelling-place had been explored, only once its solidity bad been tested, man would be able to live in an impregnable refuge. Such a refuge might even, as Marcus Aurelius wrote, become the basis for the perpetual and almost miraculous re-generation of the human person, "the fountain of good," always ready to flow. Thus the Stoic sought happiness in the "self," in the "things that are within us." Life was the great enemy: it produced disquiet, affliction, anxiety. It was better, then, to withdraw from life, and to contemplate the world with indifference and resignation. Thanks to this retreat the Stoic even allowed himself a luxury quite uncommon in his time: freedom. It was, of course, a purely individual freedom, not a political freedom. Using a well-known phrase of Guizot's, we could even say that it was a "freedom to resist." But while according to Guizot this freedom to resist was born in a dialectical process that incessantly oscillated from anarchy to power and from power to anarchy, according to the Stoic no process and, for that matter, no movement was necessary for the production of freedom. Freedom had always its point of rest, its place of retirement; and only from there could the stultifying weight of power and the dissolving activity of anarchy be exorcised. Hence the Stoic had no need to be concerned with temporal power. And hence, in confronting it—at least during the period of the so-called "New Stoicism"—he adopted an attitude similar to that of the Gospels. To render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars is, in the last analysis, the consequence of having previously regarded these things as external goods. Caesar could exercise his power over everything except one thing—the individual judgment.
Thus, for the Stoic freedom had no connection with "things." Freedom was not holding a consulship or ruling a province; it was knowledge of how the wiseman must live in order to resist. And since being wise was incompatible with being a rhetorician, a tax-gatherer, or an imperial procurator, there was nothing to do but to perform these functions—when circumstances demanded—as if one were not performing them. In this "as if" the Stoic found the supreme artifice of his life. Incapable of throwing everything overboard, as the Cynic did, he found himself compelled to assume a mask. He did not bear in mind that the mask frequently supersedes the face. And perhaps, if Stoicism did not achieve its final aim of becoming the ultima religio of the still assimilable masses of the Roman Empire, it was because it put too much confidence in the virtues of masquerade. The Stoic sought always to live in the margin. It is not surprising that he became at the end a supporter of the very society at which he had first directed his most violent invectives. The unfortunate thing was that such a society did not accept his injunctions. In fact, it accepted the injunctions of no philosophers. As happens in all periods of serious crisis, many persons then decided to philosophize on the theme, "We are against philosophies."
But the Stoic was not much affected by this indifference of the world around him. He took great care to keep out of harm's way. You can be invincible, Epictetus wrote, if you never enter a struggle in which you cannot gain the victory. This platitude was one of the pillars of Stoic existence. By virtue of it, the Stoic could present to other men the appearance of a suave forbearance polished by the rigor which he had used toward himself. At the bottom of this forbearance, however, there was impassibility. The Stoic was forever saying that anger, violence were to be avoided; we must not, he insisted, become irritated with others even when we punish them, even when we separate them from society by exile or death; though we must eliminate them, let it be without hatred. This appears to be goodness. But it is only indifference. The Stoic, in fact, advised treating men as if they were things. And this advice was one of the great paradoxes of Stoicism. For, to the Stoic, man was always "the other man"—the one who threatened to coerce the inner and irreducible freedom of the individual judgment. In the last analysis, then, the Stoics could enjoy the bliss of a quiet conscience after having eliminated their fellow mortals—sine odio, sine ira, of course. However, it would be unjust to arraign them too harshly; to ask of them that, after they had renounced so many things, they should still retain the one thing that could have tempered their indifference—compassion.
We may conclude that Stoicism was full of contradictions. Yet the contradictions inherent in the Stoic philosophy were basically the result of one heroic attempt. The Stoic tried to achieve love without compassion and, as might be expected, he had to renounce both. His attempt in its turn was the consequence of an illusion without which he could not have maintained his impassibility, his indifference. The Stoic believed that the rest of mankind could, if they would, become Stoics; if they did not, it was because an obstacle prevented them from advancing and entering the class of the "progressives." This obstacle could not be the will; it must, then, be stupidity—the stupidity which failed to understand that only a withdrawing from the outer world could bring inner peace, that only breaking one's ties with the world could bestow tranquil rest in the bosom of Nature.
With this, we encounter a difficulty. The Stoic, although in a different way from the Cynic, appeared to be a "radical." Yet we have said that he was a mediator, an eclectic. The Stoic pbilosophy has even been called the "philosophy of compromise." How are the above two attitudes to be reconciled? Quite simply—by showing that the radicalism with which the Stoic withdrew into himself was more a manifestation of lack of vigor than proof of a pure will to renunciation. Certainly, the Stoic did not wish to lose himself in the gratifications of an eclectic forbearance. But, basically, this was because be feared these gratifications; he thought that he might find "life" once again looming through them. In that case, he would have to stand up and face it. But the Stoic did not want to stand up and face anything; he wanted to make sure of a place behind everything. Never, for example, did he stand up to events; at most, he hoped to submit to them without too much distress. Epictetus put it in so many words: "Do not seek to have everything that happens happen as you wish, but wish for everything to happen as it actually does happen." In support of this doctrine the Stoics employed all kinds of arguments. Man, they said, is only an actor in a drama. He cannot even introduce so much as an "ad lib." between scene and scene. All that he can do is to play his role skillfully and calmly. Nothing else matters. It matters so little that man must disregard everything that troubles him on his road toward impassibility. He must turn a deaf ear to all outer voices. What is within us is enough. Or, as Seneca wrote, in an impeccable phrase: "What suffices you is within your reach." Ad manum est, quod sat est.
"Life in withdrawal"—there is no better formula for the definition of Stoicism. But to withdraw is not the same as to flee. To flee means to escape from the place where one lives in order to settle in a more pleasant or more propitious place. The Stoic did not flee. Or, if there is any reason to preserve the verb, let us say that he "fled toward himself." Avoiding the multitude ("se ipso esse contentum"), retreating on all fronts—these were various ways of practicing an "interiorization" which did not exclude continuing to live in society (and even governing it), but which emphasized the doctrine that social life must be practiced—once again—as if it were not necessary. But here a problem arose. Was the "self" indeed the final refuge? If we recollect certain Stoic texts, it seems doubtful. Let us consider a theme that is by no means merely rhetorical: voluntary departure from life, suicide. It is explained by a typical Stoic conception: the notion that life is "neutral," that it is "indifferent." The suppression of life is even recommended to man when he is suffering from intolerable pain or an incurable disease. What, then, in the last analysis, does the "self" mean? The Stoics were not chary of declarations on this point: It is not so much one's own life as the possibility of subduing it, of doing as one will with it—forcing it to mingle in society without contamination, hardening it by strictness, ending it. Hence the problem was to know "who" or "what" could master one's own life. And since the Stoics had no idea of a reality that did not follow the pattern of "things," they put forward the famous doctrine: Man's true being, his final refuge, is Nature. To live according to Nature was the cornerstone of Stoic existence. This explains why the Stoic found it comparatively easy to attain impassibility, imperturbability, apathy. How could he fail to be imperturbable who, according to Epictetus, always kept "the door open"? The Stoic had removed the final obstacle—the idea that the "self" was to be identified with his own existence. It could, then, be said of him that he was heroic—always provided that we define "'heroism" as the ability to shut one's eyes in the face of "danger," of the endless perturbations introduced by life. Only when one had succeeded in lowering this heavy curtain, which completely hid the troubles of the stage, could one be said to be on the right path. The most irrefutable sign that an "aspirant" is in a state of "progress" is, according to Epictetus, the fact that be has reached a situation where he need censure no one, praise no one, not even himself. When someone heaps compliments upon him, he only smiles; when someone assails him with reproaches, he does not try to answer. Thus the Stoic passed through life like an invalid (literally:katháper oí árrostoi); his sole preoccupation was to cause no trouble, either to others or to himself.
But what of the trouble that knowledge brings with it? To begin with, the knowledge whose functions are not strictly delimited by ethical utility can be abandoned with no regret. As for what knowledge remains after this elimination, it too must be exercised impassively. We should not, then, venture to maintain that the most adequate formula for the Stoic life is Spinoza's "Neither bewail nor rejoice, but understand." We are not too sure that the Stoic really wanted to understand. What he wanted was to remain quiet, safe, and, of course, impassible. The Stoic was the very opposite of Don Juan or Faust. Don Juan aspired to shed his humanity over the world, after having identified "humanity" with the "'pleasure of being human." Faust aspired to bear all the brunt of experience, which, unlike the Stoic, he would do nothing to limit. But the Stoic, like a character in a desolate contemporary novel, based his security "on the power to limit experience arbitrarily." The broadcasting of one's own humanity, the non-limitation of experience, would, for the Stoic, have been the manifestation of troubled depths—ex turbido, as Seneca phrased it. Searching for new experiences would not even have been sin, but pure folly. Those who fail to understand this, the Stoics would have said, do not take into account the insignificance of our lives; they do not consider that we must measure our lives not only by the standard of universal history but also by that of the cosmic process. The Stoics believed that they thus could attain a more embracing vision of their own existence; as a matter of fact, they were suffering from an incomprehension of reality. For it may be that this little mischance which is happening to me now is minute and even ridiculous in the face of universal history. But this mischance is happening to me whereas universal history happens to "'others," to the undifferentiated mass. Is this egotism? It is more nearly the acceptance of an active participation with the lives of our fellow men. The Stoics forgot, therefore, the fact that renunciation is not always an evidence of firmness; it can even be a manifestation of cowardice. Horace's Carpe diem, Ausonius' Collige, virgo, rosas, Ronsard's Cueillez dés aujourd'hui les roses de la vie, Garcilaso's Coged de vuestra alegre primavera el dulce fruto, Herrick's Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and other similar counsels, can be products of softness. But very often, to follow them, one must have the courage to affirm one's own will and not to let oneself be overwhelmed by anxiety. It is not always comfortable to live in the disquiet of the present. It seems better to entrust oneself to the security of the past or the imagination of the future. This is what the Stoic did; hence be was incapable of saying, like Octavio to Don Diego in Tirso's El Burlador de Sevilla: "There's no help in 'I was'; only 'I am' avails."
But we have not undertaken to enumerate the flaws of Stoic philosophy. Rather , we are seeking to determine to what extent the Stoic succeeded in solving the historical situation that he had confronted. In this respect, there is no doubt that the Stoic found a more effective solution than did the Cynic. The Cynic was man in crisis—and hardly anything else. The Stoic both sought something more and glimpsed something more. For example, he caught a glimpse of "universality." Beyond all rhetoric on the subject of the neutrality of life and the insignificance of the individual self in comparison with the phenomena of the universe, the Stoic perceived that there was something sound in his proposal—especially reiterated during the period of the New Stoicism—to be a "citizen of the world." This universal citizenship was in part the consequence of an old "universality" that, according to Reinhardt, had already been fostered by Posidonius. It was also the recognition of a fact: the final dissolution of the ancient ideal of the City-State. But in the end the idea of universal citizenship assumed a more concrete character. To be a citizen of the world meant to be able to move without regret from one place to another, from one society to another. For the purpose, finally, of remaining alone with oneself or of entering into intimate communion with Nature? Yes—but also in order to associate oneself with other men capable of such "withdrawals." Thus the Stoic constantly tended to congregate with other Stoics. Even more—he hoped that a day would come when the whole of humanity could become Stoic. His "retreat to himself," then, had limits. One was Nature. Another was certain fellow men with whom he imagined he could live not only according to social conventions, but also in intimate companionship.
Hence we must not be deceived by the Stoic formulas. To withdraw appears to be a proof of asceticism. Or a manifestation of pride. As if it were a certainty, requiring no proof, that man's inner self is transparent, like crystal, and not, more likely, hazy and clouded! As if the depths of the human being were a refuge and not, rather, a nest of vipers! As if the window that gives on the inner world did not most frequently show us a turbulent landscape! We must not believe that the Stoic, who knew human nature so well, was always the victim of such illusions. But here, too, the tendency to retreat gained the day over all others. Instead of boldly facing the historical situation and throwing everything overboard, like the Cynic; instead of plunging, as so many others were later to do, into the dark human heart and making it transparent, the Stoic preferred to find, in the depths of the self, not the particular misery of each individual, but the undifferentiated reality of Nature and the feeling of community with those who shared his belief. Thus belief in Nature as the great principle to which everything returns was not only a thesis in physics, it was also a postulate of ethics. Everything was concentrated in ethics—that is, in consolation.
It was a twofold consolation. First, that of the companionship of men like himself. Second, that of the constant support of Nature. The former was not very apparent. But the latter was everpresent. "Nature," Seneca wrote, "did not give you your brother as your own possession; as she did with other brothers, she only lent him to you. When it seemed good to her, she took him back, nor in this was she guided by your having had enough of him, but followed her own law. . . . Nature gave your brother life; to you, too, she gave it; she is not to be blamed for reclaiming her loan, since her terms were well known." Or, as Epictetus put it: Never say of anything, "I have lost it," but only, "I have given it back." Has your brother died? He has been given back. Has your wife died? She has been given back. And if someone takes away my house, that, too, has been given back, for, when all is said and done, he who gives all is the supreme "Giver," ó doús, and it is not just that he be asked for what he gives, as if it belonged to us alone. Thus life is not a possession; it is an inn. We must pass through it like travelers.
"A great and sublime movement of renunciation," we might say. But once again it turns out to be only a subterfuge. On it, the Stoic laid the foundations of his particular solution, his "creed." For, unlike the Cynic, the Stoic had a belief. Unfortunately for his historical success, the realities in which the Stoic believed (universal reason, Nature) were not sufficiently attractive to kindle the hearts of many people. To be sure, Stoic philosophy was not meant only for minorities. But neither was it meant for the great majority of people, did it seek to become a "popular" movement. Like many other men, the Stoic faced the historical situation as well as he could. Convinced of the uselessness of contempt, unconsciously seduced by the magnificence of a political power that appeared to have no limits, horrified by the energy and the simple-mindedness of the "ignorant who would storm heaven," the Stoic sought compromise everywhere, and, when he could not find it, withdrew to his refuge, to impassibility, both in order to protect himself and to show the rest of mankind—the unconscious, the fanatical, the blind—the "right way."
We have said that the foundation of the Stoic attitude was a withdrawal, a lessening of life. From this it would be only a step to say that Stoicism was a manifestation of sheer cowardice. It is a step that we should not take. In its way, Stoicism was a form of heroism. And the attraction that it has often exerted derives from that flame of heroism, which burned uninterruptedly for almost six centuries and which was rekindled by modern Neo-Stoicism. But even this type of heroism could not provide an adequate solution. For there are moments in which the salvation of life consists in a readiness to sacrifice it, to lose it in anything rather than preserving it, than protecting it, even through the supreme act in which the individual does away with himself—suicide. There could, in the long run, be a number of Stoics, indeed many Stoics —at any rate, far more Stoics than Cynics. But not all men, or even the majority of men could become Stoics. Obviously, some other "solution"' was needed.
The following is the passage from the Eighth Discourse ("Diogenes, or on Virtue") of Dio Chrysostom, to which we referred in the text:
"That was the time, too, when one could hear crowds of wretched sophists around Poseidon's temple shouting and reviling one another, and their disciples, as they were called, fighting with one another, many writers reading about their stupid works, many poets reciting their poems while others applauded them, many jugglers showing their tricks, many fortune-tellers interpreting fortunes, lawyers innumerable perverting judgment, and peddlers not a few peddling whatever they happened to have." From Dio Chrysostom, Discourses. With an English translation by J. M. Cohoon, Vol. 1, p. 381. London: William Heinemann Ltd. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons (1932). The Loeb Classical Library.
The Stoics' eagerness to "save knowledge" is shown in many ways. One is their insistence on "dialectic" (cf. Diogenes Laetius, VII, 47; VII, 83; cf. also the defence of logic in various passages of the Diatribes or Discourses [hereafter cited as Dis.] of Epictetus, for example, I, vii, viii, xvii, and especially II, xx, against the arguments of the Sceptics). To be sure, according to Epictetus, the Stoic considered it unnecessary to concern himself with the problem of the structure of the world; but this is to be understood in the light of the traditional "mixing"' of the different parts of philosophy, which were not to be taught as different disciplines (Diog. Laërt., VII, 40), but as forming a walled city ruled by reason" (loc. cit.). In order to know "the things that are within us," we must first inquire about the things that are not within us.
There is a passage in Seneca which clearly shows the Cynic's alienation from his own life. It occurs in the De brevitate vitae, and reads as follows: "We may argue with Socrates, doubt with Carneades, repose with Epicurus, conquer human nature with the Stoics, and transcend (excedere) it with the Cynics." The wiseman may do any of these things, and hence the Cynic is also a wiseman. But, as Epictetus said, to overcome human nature is a superhuman task. In any case, man can perform this task only if he returns to the source from which be proceeds and recognizes that God is within himself, that a sacred spirit (sacra spiritus) resides within him (Seneca, Epistolae [hereafter cited as Ep.], XLI; also Ep. XLVIII, 1 and 2); thus the good man and God differ only in the duration of their respective lives (De Providentia, 5). But this comparison of man with God, and this acceptance (with the reservations mentioned) of the transcendence of human nature, need not mislead us. For, in the last analysis, the divine source of man is, in turn, the whole of nature.
In emphasizing the sine ira, sine odio which the Stoic enjoins as the way to treat one"s fellow man, we have not forgotten that, for Marcus Aurelius (IV, 3; also VIII, 59), rational beings "were made for one another" (cf. in addition the numerous passages in which Marcus Aurelius refers to the "community" of men; for example: II, 1; IV, 4; V, 16; VI, 7, 23, 39; VII, 13, 22, 55; IX, 23, 31, 42; XII, 20). On this point he seems to have differed markedly from Seneca. For the latter, the sage "does not compassionate, but succors." When, especially in the Epistles to Lucilius (for example, VII, 3 ff. and XIII, 4), Seneca preaches gentleness and mildness, he does so more from principle than from active forbearance. According to Seneca, he who cannot become a Stoic suffers all the consequences of lack of control over his own life in a world in which all manner of rebellion and violence are rife (Ep. IV, 8). The wiseman aspires to live for himself (De brevitae vitae IV, 2); he desires to separate himself (excerpere) from the vulgar throng and withdraw (recedere) (ibid., XVIII, 1). Hence we must not take too literally expressions such as those that occur in the De clementia (XXIII, 1), where Seneca's intention is rather to incite another to forgiveness than to make any effort to experience the feeling of clemency on his own part. Though Stoicism has a highroad, it has its byways, too, which were explored individually by members of the school. In the expression of his thought Marcus Aurelius was undoubtedly less stern than Seneca or Epictetus. The differences between them also appear in another important point—their "cosmopolitanism." Seneca's was more strict and, at the same time, more "abstract" than Marcus Aurelius'. This is shown when he says (Ep. XXVIII, 4) that he seeks to live according to the belief that "I was not born in a corner, the wide world is my country." With this, exile becomes a mere change of place, loci commutatio (Ad Helviam de consolatione, VI, 1; cf. also De otio, IV, 1). Here there is no vision, such as we find in Marcus Aurelius, of the " world" as a possible extension to all mankind of the ways of life increasingly prevailing in the Roman Empire.
For Stoic reason as mediation, see especially María Zambrano, El pensamiento vivo de Séneca, Buenos Aires (1943). Compromise was so fundamental in Stoic philosophy that it even affected the relation of the Stoic to society. The Stoic philosopher could ultimately adopt all the conventions of society (Seneca, Ep. V, 2), precisely because he had freed himself from the externality that still dominated the Cynic when the latter insisted upon the need for an ostentatious shabbiness that should distinguish the philosopher from other men. To avoid "luxuriousness," said Seneca, it is not necessary to fall into "madness." Or, put in another way: one must withdraw into oneself, being careful, however, to mingle solitudo with frequentia (De tranquilitate animi, XVIL 3).
For an example of the conception of one's own life as an insignificant event, see Seneca, Ad Marciam. de consolatione, XXX, 1. The theme of the "littleness of the earth" compared with the "immensity of the world" in Antiquity has been analyzed by Festugière in an article, "Les thèmes du Songe de Scipion," Eranos, XLIV (1946), 372 ff. We must add here that the "cosmic perspective" frequently engenders indifference and can even lead to egotism. This has been emphasized by Maurice Blondel, who points out (L'Action, 1893, Part 1, ch. ii.) that, seen "from the viewpoint of Sirius," everything appears small and petty and nothing is left greater than love of oneself.
We shall not enter into the thorny problem of the religious character of Stoicism, at least during the Imperial period. Its religiousness has been affirmed, with reservations, by Bonhöffer in his classic Epiktet und das Neue Testament, Giessen (1911), 342 ff. Even if Bonhöffer's view is admitted, however, it is clear that such a religiousness is of an "immanent" character, being far more concerned with ethical problems than with religious questions. If it is true that "the whole of Stoic ethics has religious implications" (Bonhöffer, 345), this is not because of the Stoic belief in the existence of God, but because of his assumption that he had discovered a human order that was seen afterwards to coincide with the order of Providence. The distinctions established by Bonhöffer—after emphasizing the points of agreement —between Epictetus and the New Testament could be better understood in the light of the above "coincidence." Bonhöffer himself seems to adhere to this view when he brings out the "this-worldliness" of Stoicism and its insistence upon self-sufficiency. This, he says (p. 355), constitutes "the strictest possible opposition" between Stoicism and Christianity.
Since the Stoic could also be defined as the "outsider," there arises the problem of the difference between him and his congeners in the East, especially in India. This difference cannot be denied. As Betty Heimann shows in her article "The Outsider in Society," The Hibbert Journal, XLIX (1950), 73-77, the Hellenic and, in general, the Western conception of the man who sets himself apart from society—the idiotes—is never as radical as the Hindu conception of the Kevalin. Even among the Platonists, and still more among the Stoics, the man who isolates himself does so in terms of the community in which he lives and, whether deliberately or not, has the aim of influencing it. In the Hindu conception, on the other hand, the separation between the Kevalin and human society is almost absolute. When the Platonists talked of ecstatically contemplating the One, they did not mean such an absorption into the Universal Whole as is one of the characteristics of Hindu thought and life. In general, it may be said that the various types of the ancient sage, even those who were most insistent upon separation from society and the world, are incomparably more "mundane" and "social" than the sages of the classic East.
For the expression "way of life," Diogenes Laertius, VI, 103. —Information on the discussions of philologists and historians concerning the "founder" of the Cynic school will be found in the article "Cínicos" of the author's Diccionario de Filosofía, 4th. edition, Buenos Aires (1957).—On the diatribe, J. Geffcken, Kynika und Verwandtes, Heidelberg (1909), 6. Also R. Bultmann, Der Stil der paulinischen Predigt und die kynisch-stoische Diatribe, Marburg (1910), passim.—On the proliferation of "sects" and "circles" in our epoch, Max Scheler, Die Formen des Wissens und die Bildung, Bonn (1925), later included in Philosophische Weltanschauung, Bonn (1929).—For Lucian's description, the still classic book by Jacob Bernays, Lucian und die Kyniker, Berlin (1879).—The themes of the Cynic diatribe are also found among the Stoics, at least in the "New Stoicism": death and exile—thánatos kaí phygé—must always be contemplated face to face, as if they were ever on the point of knocking at the door (see Epictetus, Encheiridion [we shall hereafter cite the Encheiridion or Manual as Ench.], chap. 21. —The Cynic Diogenes' praise of those who renounced doing anything, in Diogenes Laërtius, VI, 29. —On the Cynic as bastard, Karl Joël, "Die Auffassung der kynischen Sokratik," II, Archiv für Geschichte der philosophie, XX, Neue Folge, XIII (1907), 170.—On the Cynic's "divided consciousness," Helm, in Pauly-Wissowa, art. "'Kynism" XII, 1, col. 22. —I found the expressions "cynicism of the spirit" and "cynicism of power" in an article by Eugen Kogon, "Die Aussicbten Europas," Die Neue Rundschau, Heft XIII (1949), 3. To the representatives of these cynicisms, the author adds, as men typical of our period, the "preachers" and the "illusionists of the past and the future."—For the Cynic's "negations," Helm, art. cit.
Stoic resistance is frequently reduced to the formula "resist and renounce" (sustine et abstine, anékhou kaí apékhou). The one is not possible without the other.—The reference to Zeller, in his Geschichte, III, 13, 206; also ibid., 15 and 16. The important logical discoveries of the Stoics have been chiefly investigated by J. Lukasiewicz, I. M. Bochenski, and Benson Mates.—The reference to Bréhier, in Chrysippe, Paris (1910), 275. There is a new edition, with a few changes, under the title Chrysippe et l'Ancien Stoïcisme, Paris (1951).—For independence in the face of any despotism, Seneca, Ep. XXXIII, 4: non sumus sub rege; sibi quisque se vindicat.—On knowledge as medicine, Von Arnim III, 120 (we cite by the section numbers of Von Arnim's publication, Stoicorum veterum fragmenta, 3 vols, Lipsiae [1903-51).—For the Stoic imago mundi, see Von Arnim, 1, 97 ff.; 11, 633-645. However, the Stoic "system of the world" was not entirely an arbitrary mixture of elements. Tension—tónos—constituted a principle capable of binding the disparate together. This concept is of the utmost importance for an understanding of Stoicism; in this connection see R. H. Hack, "La sintesi stoica. I. Tonos," Ricerche religiose (1925), 505-513. Chrysippus regarded tonos as a special form of motion; Zeno, as a force capable of connecting the parts of the whole; Cleanthes, as the propulsive force of fire (cf. M. Pohlenz, Die Stoa, Göttingen, I , 75-76, and II , 43; also Von Arnim, II, 439-462). For the "hierarchy of the parts of philosophy," see Epictetus, Ench. chap. 52—For Stoic ethics as "descriptive ethics," Guido Mancini, L'Etica stoica da Zenone a Crisippo, Padova (1940), vii. Almost all writers on Stoicism (Paul Barth, G. Rodier, Max Pohlenz) discuss the subject.—For the "self" as refuge and source of good, Marcus Aurelius, IV, 3.—Guizot set forth his concept of "freedom for resistance" in several of his books; I have commented on it in my edition and translation of his De la peine de mort en matière politique and Des conspirations et de la justice politique, Santiago de Chile (1943). —On Caesar's impotence before the judgment of the individual, Epictetus, Dis. I, xxix, 9.—Concept of freedom, ibid., IV, i, 62 ff.—For Epictetus' platitude, Ench. chap. 19.—On punishing and eliminating one's fellow man without anger or hate, Seneca, De ira, I, xv, 1; also Epictetus, Dis. III, xxii, 13, and I, xviii, 15.—On "progress" and "Progressives," Guido Mancini, op. cit., especially p. 99 (the passage from Chrysippus on the "degrees of progress," in Stob. Flor., ed. Meineke, IV, p. 5, n. 22).—On submitting to events, Epictetus, Ench. chap. 8 (trans. W. A. Oldfather, in Epictetus: The Discourses . . . , Manual, and Fragments [Loeb Classical Library], London: William Heinemann. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons , II, 8), and Dis., III, x, 18.—On the external reports to which we should turn a deaf ear, Epictetus, Dis., III, xviii, 1. Cf. also Seneca, De tranquilitate animi, XII, where auscultatio et publicorum secretorumque inquisitio is reckoned a vice and where it is shown that to relate and hear multarum rerum scientia is dangerous.—On flight, withdrawal, and contentment with oneself, Seneca, Epist., VII, 1; IX, 1 ff.; XIV, 10—Stoic apathy should not be confused with the apathy of the Epicureans and the Sceptics. On this point, Ottmar Dittrich, Die Systeme der Moral. Geschichte der Ethik vom Altertum bis zur Gegenwart, Leipzig ( 1923), Vol. II, 17 ff.—On the necessity for remaining unmoved by praise and blame, Epictetus, Ench. chap. 48—The character in the contemporary novel who based his power on the limitation of experience figures in Nathanial West's somber story, Miss Lonelyhearts (chapter: "Miss Lonelyhearts and the Fat Thumb").—On "troubled depths," Seneca, De clementia, II, vi, 1.—The type of Don Juan, in the sense in which we have used it to compare it with the Stoic, is expressed not only in Tirso's El Burlador de Sevilla and Zorrilla's Don Juan Tenorio, but also in Molière's Don Juan (especially Act I, scene ii). Octavio's lines, in El Burlador de Sevilla, Act III, 76-79, ed. A. Castro, Madrid (1937), 281. —The locus classicus for the formula of cosmopolitanism, in Marcus Aurelius, VI, 44 (cf. also II, 16; III, II; IV, 4, 29; X, 15; XII, 36).—For Posidonius' "universalism," Karl Reinhardt, Posseidonios, München (1921), 5 and 11.—The passage from Seneca on return to Nature, in Ad Polybium de consolatione, X, 4 and 5. Similar ideas in Ad Marciam de Consolatione, X, 4.—On the concept that all things belong to the supreme "Giver," Epictetus, Ench. chap. 11.
The preceding enumeration has omitted some references which appeared in earlier notes to this chapter: Dio Chrysostom's discourse, treatment of men as "things," Stoic reason as mediation, "cosmic perspective," etc.