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Arrian Exercise

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By psok2
Words 9965
Pages 40

[E] = quote from Epictetus
[S]= quote from Seneca
[MA] =quote from Marcus Aurelius

1. Introduction –God, Oneself and the Three Topoi

Know this, prokoptôn: God is the Soul, Creator and Sustainer of the Cosmos. Indeed one‘s mind (logos) is a fragment of God’s mind (the Divine Logos). One must go whither God wishes, whether or not one wants to. This is the Divine law of nature. However, to willingly go where God wills one is virtuous. A virtuous life is a life that accords with the nature of God and with one’s own nature. A truly happy life is a virtuous life. To live well, in all its myriad forms, and to secure eudaimonia ('happiness' or 'a flourishing life') is to be virtuous. Only through mastering one’s opinions, judgements, intentions and desires, can one be fully virtuous. The Three Topoi are three areas of study that help one in training to become good and noble, befitting all human beings, namely:

“That concerning desires and aversions, so that he may never fail to get what he desires nor fall into what he would avoid (this corresponds with Stoic physics).” [E]

“That concerning the impulse to act and not to act, and, in general, appropriate behaviour; so that he may act in an orderly manner and after due consideration, and not carelessly (this corresponds with Stoic ethics).” [E]

“The third is concerned with freedom from deception and hasty judgement, and, in general, whatever is connected with assent (this corresponds with Stoic logic).” [E]

Moreover, know this, prokoptôn: The application of oneself to the Three Topoi is an unceasing occupation. Even when you rest, think upon such precepts and when you are awake, be mindful to put into practice such precepts. Be vigilant always but not unduly stressed. The path of the Divine Nature is one of contentment, knowledge and understanding, so that in all things, one is prepared and ready to do what is right and what is good.

Finally, for now, know also this, prokoptôn: If all seems lost, especially if all seems lost, do not lose heart. Trust God always. Live honourably at all times.

2. Deliberation – The Whole, The All and Physics (The First Topos)

a. Concerning desires - That we should never fail to get what we desire

“Where is improvement, then? If any of you, withdrawing himself from externals, turns to his own faculty of choice, to exercise, and finish, and render it conformable to nature; elevated, free, unrestrained, unhindered, faithful, decent: if he hath learnt too, that whoever desired, or is averse to, things out of his own power, can neither be faithful nor free, but must necessarily be changed and tossed up and down with them; must necessarily too be subject to others, to such as can procure or prevent what he desires or is averse to: if, rising in the morning, he observes and keeps to these rules; bathes and eats as a man of fidelity and honour; and thus, on every subject of action, exercises himself in his principal duty; as a racer, in the business of racing; as a public speaker, in the business of exercising his voice: this is he who truly improves; this is he who hath not travelled in vain. But if he is wholly intent on reading books, and hath laboured that point only, and travelled for that: I bid him go home immediately, and not neglect his domestic affairs; for what he travelled for is nothing. The only real thing is, studying how to rid his life of lamentation, and complaint, and "Alas!" and "I am undone," and misfortune, and disappointment; and to learn what death, what exile, what prison, what poison is: that he may be able to say in a prison, like Socrates, "My dear Crito, if it thus pleases the gods, thus let it be"; and not -- "Wretched old man, have I kept my grey hairs for this!".” [E]

So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is that I need to focus on how to make my nature more tranquil and gracious, along with being more faithful and honourable.

“Virtue is that perfect good, which is the complement of a happy life; the only immortal thing that belongs to mortality; it is the knowledge both of others and itself; it is an invincible greatness of mind, not to be elevated nor dejected with good or ill fortune. It is sociable and gentle, free, steady, and fearless; content within itself; full of inexhaustible delights; and it is valued for itself.” [S]

So, Seneca what you are telling me is that virtue reigns supreme over all possessions, and I should desire to be virtuous above all else. It seems to me, for all practical purposes, that fully mastering one’s fears and somehow overcoming one’s innate weaknesses will prove to be too much of a challenge for oneself. No is perfect, after all, not even one, after all. But to keep on perfecting oneself, even though the fullest form of perfection remains out of reach, is a noble task and one to which I fully commit myself. For me, substantial and self-sustaining progress is in itself a source of great joy, belonging, and achievement. Small steps perhaps, yes; nonetheless, a most welcome evolution and maturation of one’s spirit.

“Since it is possible that thou mayest depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly. But to go away from among men, if there are gods, is not a thing to be afraid of, for the gods will not involve thee in evil; but if indeed they do not exist, or if they have no concern about human affairs, what is it to me to live in a universe devoid of gods or devoid of providence? But in truth they do exist, and they do care for human things, and they have put all the means in man's power to enable him not to fall into real evils.” [MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is that not only should I make the most of every moment, but that I should moreover be mindful of my thoughts as well as my actions, additionally being aware of the hold that Providence, indeed God, has on my life for my good.

Also, whether we live in a providential universe or whether we do not, we still must act in accordance with nature, and act to avoid evil and seek the good.

“Though thou shouldest be going to live three thousand years, and as many times ten thousand years, still remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives, nor lives any other than this which he now loses. These two things then thou must bear in mind; the one, that all things from eternity are of like forms and come round in a circle, and that it makes no difference whether a man shall see the same things during a hundred years or two hundred, or an infinite time. And the second, that the longest liver and he who will die soonest lose just the same. For the present is the only thing of which a man can be deprived, if this is the only thing which he has, and that a man cannot lose a thing if he has it not.” [MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is to be rooted in the present, and to not be fearful of not living for a very long time. Indeed, what matters is the quality of my living. In the context of infinite time, a human being’s life will always amount to an infinitesimally small amount. But human life is a valuable one, nonetheless, if one makes the most of the opportunity they have for living well and maturing spiritually. I will therefore continue to set my face to the future with as much wisdom and understanding as I can muster, whatever it may be or mean for me, steadfastly developing oneself in the present and regularly reflecting on one’s progress.

b. Concerning aversions - That we should never fall into what we would avoid.

“And that you may not think that I show you the example of a man clear of encumbrances, without a wife or children, or country or friends, or relations to bend and draw him aside; take Socrates, and consider him, who had a wife and children, but not as his own; a country, friends, relations, but only as long as it was proper, and in the manner that was proper; and all these he submitted to the law and to the obedience due to it. Hence, when it was proper to fight he was the first to go out, and exposed himself to danger without the least reserve. But when he was sent by the thirty tyrants to apprehend Leo, because he esteemed it a base action he did not deliberate about it, though he knew that, perhaps, he might die for it. But what did that signify to him?
For it was something else that he wanted to preserve, not his paltry flesh; but his fidelity, his honour, free from attack or subjection. And afterwards, when he was to make a defence for his life, doth he behave like one who had children? Or a wife? No; but like a single man. And how doth he behave when he was to drink the poison? When he might have escaped, and Crito persuaded him to get out of prison for the sake of his children, what doth he say? Doth he esteem it a fortunate opportunity? How should he? But he considers what is becoming, and neither sees nor regards anything else. "For I am not desirous," says he, "to preserve this pitiful body, but that [part of me] which is improved and preserved by justice, and impaired and destroyed by injustice." Socrates is not to be basely preserved. He who refused to vote for what the Athenians commanded, he who condemned the thirty tyrants, he who held such discourses on virtue and moral beauty: such a man is not to be preserved by a base action; but is preserved by dying, not by running away. For even a good actor is preserved by leaving off when he ought, not by going on to act beyond his time. "What, then, will become of your children?" - "If I had gone away to Thessaly you would have taken care of them; and will there be no one to take care of them when I am departed to Hades?" You see how he ridicules and plays with death. But, if it had been you or I, we should presently have proved, by philosophical arguments, that those who act unjustly are to be repaid in their own way; and should have added, "If I escape, I shall be of use to many; if I die, to none." Nay, if it had been necessary, we should have crept through a mouse-hole to get away. But how should we have been of use to any? For where must they have dwelt? If we were useful alive, should we not be of still more use to mankind by dying when we ought, and as we ought? And now the remembrance of the death of Socrates is not less, but even more useful to the world than that of the things which he did and said when alive.”[E]

So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is that I am no less suited to the great and challenging task of becoming virtuous, being encumbered or unencumbered. Indeed, you suggest that one’s encumbrances are actually what help them to become more virtuous, in one case through triumphing over adversity, in another case through failing yet nobly, and so on. Even if one’s circumstances should overwhelm them, one can be overwhelmed with honour, and therefore retain their honour, both privately and publicly.
I hope that, in the greatest challenges I face over the remainder of my life, I continue to walk the noble path, even if I suffer loss. In this sense, I will be essentially fearless.

“The true felicity of life is to be free from perturbations; to understand our duties toward God and man; to enjoy the present without any anxious dependence upon the future. Not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient; for he that is so wants nothing. The great blessings of mankind are within us, and within our reach; but we shut our eyes and, like people in the dark, we fall foul upon the very thing we search for without finding it.” [S]

So, Seneca, what you are telling me is to seek freedom in its truest sense, freedom from being buffeted by the vicissitudes of life, and one’s own passions; one can also be free from the passions of others through not passively responding to them like a marionette, but nobly judging the situation and acting with both humility and grace. Yes, there are many great blessings within me. Sometimes, in the business of my waking hours, I sense and know this to be true. At other times, also during my waking and energetic hours, especially during periods of stillness and silence, I sense and know that I am blessed and am being continually blessed. To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve the blessings. But that is the point. I have not received the blessings because I have done something to prove that I am worthy of them. I have received the blessings simply because God loves me. Moreover, God blesses both the righteous and the wicked. This is, and always has been, abundantly clear in the workings of the world. Yet God blesses those who steadily progress in works of virtue, for they become ever more diligent and accomplished co-workers with him in the unceasing work of creation, the constant outpouring of the Divine Nature which subsumes the unfathomable Allness, also filling and sustaining the wholeness of the Universe.

As usual, Seneca, you sum up in a few words very profound ideas. “to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient; for he that is so wants nothing”. Your comments are very similar to Lao Tzu, who said “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

“Body, soul, intelligence; to the body belong sensations, to the soul appetites, to the intelligence principles. To receive the impressions of forms by means of appearances belongs even to animals; to be pulled by the strings of desire belongs both to wild beasts and to men who have made themselves into women, and to a Palmaris and a Nero; and to have the intelligence that guides to the things which appear suitable belongs also to those who do not believe in the gods, and who betray their country, and do their impure deeds when they have shut the doors. If then everything else is common to all that I have mentioned, there remains that which is peculiar to the good man, to be pleased and content with what happens, and with the thread which is spun for him; and not to defile the divinity which is planted in his breast, nor disturb it by a crowd of images, but to preserve it tranquil, following it obediently as a god, neither
Saying anything contrary to the truth, nor doing anything contrary to justice. And if all men refuse to believe that he lives a simple, modest, and contented life, he is neither angry with any of them, nor does he deviate from the way which leads to the end of life, to which a man ought to come pure, tranquil, ready to depart, and without any compulsion perfectly reconciled to his lot.”[MA]
So, Marcus, what you are telling me can be summed up as to be aware of the divinity within oneself all the way through one’s life. The pureness and tranquillity that you talk of, with regard to the state of a virtuous and therefore righteous person at the end of their days can surely be known for much of the same person’s life; the sense of being reconciled to one’s nature and therefore to the Divine Nature is one that I should like to know more and more over the remainder of my life. I therefore find your words to be good and wholesome; I assent to them and would that they become dwell more fully in my spirit each and every day, ever more strongly informing my thoughts and actions. I am a follower of God and God alone, yet I will always heed a wise person’s words, for this person walks with God as well, and can therefore help me to continue being able to perceive in a godly way and live in a godly way.

c. Concerning the order of nature – The Whole and The All

“True instruction is this: learning to will that things should happen as they do. And how do they happen? As the appointer of them hath appointed. Heath appointed that there should be summer and winter, plenty and dearth, virtue and vice, and all such contrarieties, for the harmony of the whole. Each of us he hath given a body and its parts, and our several properties and companions. Mindful of this appointment, we should enter upon a course of education and instruction not to change the constitution of things, which is neither put within our reach nor for our good; but that, being as they are, and as their nature is with regard to us, we may have our mind accommodated to what exists.” [E]

So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is to be gracious regarding one’s circumstances, and to indeed will them on, even if they are clearly adverse. Yes, I know well the distinction between my ‘preferred indifferents’ and dispreferred indifferents’. But, in the end, what matters most is that I am not wedded to either. This path leads to Truth and therefore the fullness of Reality. I welcome experiencing ever more deeply the fullness of what exists. I welcome the fullness of God residing in me more and more abundantly, even as I more and more fully open my mind to God.

Indeed, you say elsewhere that “if we wish things to happen as they do, we will go on well”

“The workings of the universe give man infinite reasons to praise Providence. We are able to see the unity of the whole and be grateful. Since nothing comes from nothing and nothing happens without reason, we assign as best as best we can a cause to every event. How else can we explain where things of wonder spring from?
God needed animals to make use of external impressions and me to understand them. While animals are content to exist, man must understand as well as exist to attain his ends, each individual in his own way. In nature, each creature has its own purpose; one provides meat, milk, wool and so on without having any need to understand their destiny. Man’s purpose is to witness the work of God.
We must understand that everything that happens is a reason for praising Providence. Even the hardships that serve to prove our worth have a divine purpose and deserve praise. God has given us faculties free from restraint, compulsion or hindrance to bear everything that happens to us without being degraded or crushed. Is it not right to praise a fine craftsman? You have received resources and endowments for a noble and courageous spirit; what endowments do you have for complaint and reproach?”[E]
So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is I should praise God for the many and great works of the Divine Nature. Yes, I praise God’s handiwork, not with theatrics and loud shouts that are not befitting one who seeks decorum at all time, but rather with the quality of my thoughts and actions. Above all, through my spirit remaining ready and willing to go on doing what is right and proper, I show my reverence of God. And when God bids my spirit to rest for a while, I calmly rest, knowing I am being watched over by my eternal Father and Mother and Brother and Sister, all in one, one in all, each heavenly and pure and brilliant.

“Nothing is heavy if one accepts it with a light heart. Nothing need provoke one’s anger if one does not add to one’s piles of troubles by getting angry. To have whatsoever he wishes is within no man’s power; it is in his power not to wish for what he has not and cheerfully to employ what comes to him. A great step towards independence is a good-humored stomach that is willing to endure rough treatment. The surest proofs of strength of mind and patience are those which a man shows in viewing his troubles not fairly but calmly. Not flying into fits of temper or wordy wrangling, supplying one’s need without craving something that was due and reflecting that our habits may be unsatisfied but never our real needs. We ignore how many things are superfluous until they become wanting; we used them not because we needed them but because we had them. How much do we acquire simply because our neighbors have it? Many of our troubles may be explained from the fact that we live according to a pattern and instead of arranging our lives according to reason we are led astray by convention. There are things that if done by a few we would find foolish yet if done by man we are ready to imitate, as if a thing became more honorable by being more frequent. Wrong views, when they have become prevalent, reach in our eyes the standard of convention.” [S]
So, Seneca, what you are telling me is that I should not live according to a pattern, certainly not one set by others, but rather live according to the Divine Nature; the Divine Nature is supremely wise and honourable in itself, also manifesting its wisdom and honour through the rightness and agreeability of its actions. This is not to say that what is right is always welcomed, for sometimes justice may be opposed or even trampled upon. No matter, I will continue to set my heart and mind to doing what is right. Simply following convention for convention’s sake must and will never motivate my thinking.

“Think continually how many physicians are dead after often contracting their eyebrows over the sick; and how many astrologers after predicting with great pretensions the deaths of others; and how many philosophers after endless discourses on death or immortality; how many heroes after killing thousands; and how many tyrants who have used their power over men's lives with terrible insolence as if they were immortal; and how many cities are entirely dead, so to speak, Helices and Pompeii and Herculaneum, and others innumerable. Add to the reckoning all whom thou hast known, one after another. One man after burying another has been laid out dead, and another buries him; and all this is in a short time. To conclude, always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what yesterday a little mucus was,
To-morrow will be a mummy or ashes. Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature, and end thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off
When it is ripe, blessing nature that produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew.” [MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is essentially a restatement of what you last told me - to be aware of the divinity within oneself all the way through one’s life. I welcome your reminder much in the way that I would welcome an olive falling off the tree that nurtured it if I needed the olive. I need all the wise words I can get to both continually strengthen and inform my sometimes frail spirit, and to admonish my spirit, should it ever become powerful yet intimidating. Thank you for your wise words.

There are some similarities between your words and those of Shelley in “Ozymandias”

“Every nature is contented with itself when it goes on its way well; and a rational nature goes on its way well, when in its thoughts it assents to nothing false or uncertain, and when it directs its movements to social acts only, and when it confines
Its desires and aversions to the things which are in its power, and when it is satisfied with everything that is assigned to it by the common nature. For of this common nature every particular nature is a part, as the nature of the leaf is a part of the nature of the plant; except that in the plant the nature of the leaf is part of a nature which has not perception of reason, and is subject to be impeded; but the nature of man is part of a nature which is not subject to impediments, and is intelligent and just.”[MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is to remain aware of what makes one truly virtuous – to be intelligent and just, and a lover of the Divine Nature, therefore also being unencumbered by impediments; surely vices are life’s greatest impediments, for they represent the negation of virtue, individually and severally).

3. Hesitation – Impulses, Actions and Ethics (The Second Topes)

a. Socially - Towards the people we come into contact with

“You are a distinct portion of the essence of God, and contain a certain part in yourself. Why, then, are you so ignorant of your noble birth? Why do not you consider whence you came? Why do not you remember, when you are eating, who you are wheat, and whom you feed? When you are in the company of women, when you are conversing, when you are exercising, when you are disputing, do not you know? That it is a god you feed, a god you exercise? You carry a god about with you, wretch, and know nothing of it. Do you suppose I mean some god without you, of gold or silver? It is within yourself you carry God, and profane God, without being sensible of it, by impure thoughts and unclean actions. If even the image of God were present, you would not dare to acts you do; and when God is within you, and hears and sees all, are not you ashamed to think and act thus, insensible of your own nature and hateful to God?”[E]

So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is to continually honour the fragment of God I carry within myself and that indeed sustains my spirit. Your reminder is well-put, and indeed my soul is ashamed even now, as I recall some recent impure thought and action, let alone those far back in one’s past. But God is indeed in me, and I will keep on trying to be a better person. I am like a son who knows he is immature yet knows his father and mother love him and want him to grow up well. I am also like a daughter who knows she is immature yet knows her father and mother love her and want her to grow up well. For virtuous works have nothing to do with gender or indeed any other qualification or label; they are complete in themselves. Virtuous works are above all spiritual works, and the fullness of their goodness is received at a spiritual level, not at a material and therefore ephemeral level (since one recalls and recognises in one’s heart that at this level, things are either ‘preferred indifferents’ or ‘dispreferred’ indifferents). “One part of virtue consists in discipline, the other in exercise; for we must first
Learn and then practice. The sooner we begin to apply ourselves too, and the more haste we make, the longer shall we enjoy the comforts of a rectified mind; nay, we have the fruition of it in the very act of forming it: but is another sort of delight, I must confess, that arises from the contemplation of a soul which is advanced into the possession of wisdom and virtue. If it were so great a comfort to pass from the subjection of our childhood into a state of liberty, how much greater will it be when we come to cast off the boyish levity of our minds, and range ourselves among the philosophers? We are past our minority, it’s true, but not our indiscretions; and which is yet worse, we have the authority of seniors, and the weaknesses of children (I might have said of infants, for every little thing frights the one, and every trivial fancy the other). Whoever studies this point well will find that many things are the less to be feared the more terrible they appear.” [S]
So, Seneca what you are telling me is to regularly and unceasingly discipline oneself and exercise oneself in spiritual training. Ha, you put it well regarding how important it is to not be ruled and informed simply by the appearance of things! That type of living is for children, and I am no longer a child. Yet the work goes on – one’s vicissitudes are often hard to distinguish from mere verisimilitude, especially in the heat and pressure of certain moments. One must therefore continually both steel and soften one’s heart and mind all the more to be calm and tranquil to face down one’s immediate challenges with serenity of intention and action.

“All those things at which thou wish to arrive by a circuitous road, thou canst have now, if thou dost not refuse them to thyself. And this means, if thou wilt take no notice of all the past, and trust the future to Providence, and direct the present only conformably to piety and justice. Conformably to piety, that thou mayest be content with the lot which is assigned to thee, for nature designed it for thee and thee for it. Conformably to justice, that thou mayest always speak the truth freely and without disguise, and do the things which are agreeable to law and according to the worth of each. And let neither another man's wickedness hinder thee, nor opinion, nor voice, nor yet the sensations of the poor flesh which has grown about thee; for the passive part will look to this. If then, whatever the time may be when thou shalt be near to thy departure, neglecting everything else thou shalt respect only thy ruling faculty and the divinity within thee, and if thou shalt be afraid not because thou must some time cease to live, but if thou shalt fear never to have begun to live according to nature, then thou wilt be a man worthy of the universe which has produced thee, and thou wilt cease to be a stranger in thy native land, and to wonder at things which happen daily as if they were something unexpected, and to be dependent on things that are not in thy power.”[MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me and reminding me to do is to trust in God and not employ complex tactics and strategems for seeking to achieve my cherished long-term goals. To be pious and just, which to my mind is also the same as being noble and honourable, is enough. Providence will do the rest. Indeed, Providence is doing the rest.

b. Religiously - Towards what we believe to be transcendent “When a man has found his proper station in life, he no longer gapes with envy at things beyond it. Do you wish to be surrounded by sycophants exclaiming “O, the great philosopher?”. Think, what are these people you wish to be admired by, are they not the uneducated that we call insane? Do you seek the admiration of mad men? Your station is to be content when you are in accord with nature in what you will to get and will to avoid, and to follow nature in your impulses to act or not act, by purpose, design and assent.”[E]
So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is to be happy with my lot in life. And I think I have now found my proper station in life. Or, more accurately, God has found it for me. The truth be told, I have never been envious of the material possessions of others.
Rather, I have wished in the not too distant past to be a more intellectually accomplished person than I am. A polymath and genius of the like of Newton and Einstein, rather than a hardworking person with a modicum of talent and intelligence. But I see very clearly now that such things are not in my nature, and certainly never have been. I have learnt over time, sometimes painfully, to be reconciled to my nature. Indeed, the work goes on. Above all, I do not seek the praise of others. I just want to be a better person. I know that this is what God wants for me.

Yes – we must live in accordance with our individual nature, recognizing our limitations and situation, but still striving to do the right thing for the right reason. It is foolish to seek the approval of people who may not know right from wrong and the valuable from the worthless.

“Nay, so powerful is virtue, and so gracious is Providence, that every man has a light set up within him for a guide; which we do all of us see and acknowledge, though we do not pursue it. This is it that makes the prisoner upon the torture rack happier than the executioner, and sickness better than health, if we bear it without yielding or repining: this is it that overcomes ill fortune, and moderates good; for it marches betwixt the one and the other with unequal contempt of both. It turns like fire all things into itself; our actions and our friendships are tinctured with it, and whatever it touches becomes amiable.” [S]

So, Seneca, what you are telling me is to trust the Light within me, surely no ordinary light. The Light is my very best friend, indeed God, my God. And what a powerful and transformative Light my God is!

“Who is there that, upon sober thoughts, would not be an honest man, even for the reputation of it. Virtue you shall find in the temple, in the field, or upon walls, covered with dust and blood, in the defence of the public. Pleasures you shall find sneaking in the stews, sweating-houses, powdered and painted, etc. Not those pleasures are wholly to be disclaimed, but to be used with moderation, and to be made subservient to virtue. Good manners always please us; but wickedness is restless, and perpetually changing; not for the better, but for variety. [Such persons are]… torn to pieces betwixt hopes and fears; by which means Providence (which is the greatest blessing of
Heaven) is turned into a mischief. Wild beasts, when they see their dangers, fly from them: and when they have escaped them they are quiet: but wretched man is equally tormented, both with things past and to come; for the memory brings back the anxiety of our past fears, and our foresight anticipates the future; whereas the present makes no man miserable. If we fear all things that are possible, we live without any bounds to our miseries.” [S]
So, Seneca, what you are telling me is to be wary of vice in all its forms, for vice turns blessings into curses, so turning such workings of Providence into trouble (if all people followed the Divine Nature, such a phenomenon would never come about, of course). I know that it is only through becoming more virtuous that I will be able to control my fears, even if I cannot entirely eliminate them, through ever greater discernment and understanding. Of course, one should always distinguish between caution and fear, caution being a virtuous attribute.

Certainly, people who are without self restraint destroy their hope for a happy life

“Take care that thou art not made into a Caesar, that thou art not dyed with this dye; for such things happen. Keep thyself then simple, good, pure, serious, and free from affectation, a friend of justice, worshipper of gods, kind, affectionate, strenuous in
All proper acts. Strive to continue to be such as philosophy wished to make thee. Reverence the gods, and help men. Short is life. There is only one fruit of this terrene life, a pious disposition and social acts. Do everything as a disciple of Antonius. Remember his constancy in every act which was conformable to reason, and his evenness in all things, and his piety, and the serenity of his countenance, and his sweetness, and his disregard of empty fame, and his efforts to understand things; and how he would never let anything pass without having first most carefully examined it and clearly understood it; and how he bore with those who blamed him unjustly without blaming them in return; how he did nothing in a hurry; and how he listened not to calumnies, and how exact an examiner of manners and actions he was; and not given to reproach people, nor timid, nor suspicious, nor sophist; and with how little he was satisfied, such as lodging, bed, dress, food, servants; and how laborious and patient; and how he was able on account of his sparing diet to hold out to the evening, not ever requiring to relieve himself by any evacuations except at the usual hour; and his firmness and uniformity in his friendships; and how he tolerated freedom of speech in those who opposed his opinions; and the pleasure that he had when any man showed him anything better; and how religious he was without superstition. Imitate all this that thou mayest have as good [a] conscience, when thy last hour comes, as he had.” [MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is to be like Antonius, clearly a good man. For me, Antonius is a sign pointing towards the Divine Nature. He is a good example of how to live a virtuous life. Nonetheless, Antonius is a mere mortal and I follow God. Still, your point is both practical and well-made, and its essential import is gratefully received.

Perhaps, Marcus, you have in mind Julius Caesar, Caligula, Nero and perhaps others that preceded yourself and certainly did not exercise self restraint.

c. Personally - Towards ourselves “Our habits and faculties are confirmed and strengthened with use, the faculty of dancing improves with dancing, that of thinking by thinking. If you wish to improve your reading, read, to improve your writing, write. When you have not written for thirty days, you lose some of your writing ability.
If you wish to acquire a habit for anything, do it, and if you do not wish to acquire a habit, do not do it. The same holds true for things of the mind. When you get angry, remember that you have not only acted badly, but that you have strengthened a bad habit. Habits and faculties are bound up with their corresponding actions, they become implanted if they did not exist before or strengthened and intensified if they were there already. This is why philosophers say that morbid habits spring from the mind.
Should you conceive a craving for money, use your reason and you will realise that your craving is evil and your Governing Power will overcome it and set you back on the right path? Whenever you do not consult reason and give in to a craving, it will be stimulated and grow. At one time I was angry every day, and then every other day, then once a week, now never, for a habit is first weakened and then wholly destroyed. Make up your mind to please your better self, to be of noble character and set your desires on becoming true to your better self and to Zeus.”[E]
So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is quite simply to both do what is right and not do what is wrong. Such comments are, of course, obvious. But it is also obvious that just because something is obvious, this does not necessarily make it easy to do.
You are completely right also in stressing the importance the intentionality and resolve in terms of bettering oneself through following the Divine Nature ever more closely and determinedly, thereby becoming ever more virtuous. Thank you, Epictetus. I want what you want for me. Above all, I do indeed want to be true to my better self and what God wants for me.

“The Stoics hold all virtues to be equal; but yet there is great variety in the matter they have to work upon, according as it is larger or narrower, illustrious or less noble, of more or less extent. As all good men are equal, that is to say, as they are good, but yet one may be young, another old; one may be rich, another poor; one eminent and powerful, another unknown and obscure. There are many things which have little or no grace in themselves, and are yet glorious and remarkable by virtue. Nothing came good which gives neither greatness nor security to the mind; but, on the contrary, infects it with insolence, arrogance, and tumor. Nor does virtue dwell upon the tip of the tongue, but in the temple of a purified heart. He that depends upon any other good becomes covetous of life and what belongs to it; which exposes a man to appetites that are vast, unlimited, and intolerable.”[S]

So, Seneca what you are telling me is to discern more carefully the nature of virtue. As you indicate, if a person lacks virtue, they also lack self-control.

“Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it. Unhappy am I, because this has happened to me? - Not so, but happy am I, though this has happened to me, because I continue free from pain, neither crushed by the present nor fearing the future. For such a thing as might have happened to everyman; but every man would not have
Continued free from pain on such an occasion. Why, then, is that rather a misfortune than this a good fortune? Will then this which has happened prevent thee
From being just, magnanimous, temperate, prudent, secure against inconsiderate opinions and falsehood; will it prevent thee from having modesty, freedom, and everything else, by the presence of which man's nature obtains all that is its own?

Remember, too, on every occasion which leads thee to vexation to apply this principle; not that this is a misfortune, but that to bear it nobly is good fortune.”[MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is, amongst other things, to be strong in the face of adversity and to seek the divinity within oneself with which to honourably bear the adversity. Fear must not be my master. A noble man is not mastered by fear. Rather, a noble man masters fear. While I am conscious that, for all practical purposes, I will never perfectly master my fears, I can and will substantively control them. This is within my power. This is what I must do in order to live a good life. This is what I will do, and keep on doing, because it is right and honouring of God.

“If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgment now. But if anything in thy own disposition gives the pain, which hinders thee from correcting
Thy opinion? And even if thou art pained because thou art not doing some particular thing which seems to thee to be right, why dost thou not rather act than complain? But some insuperable obstacle is in the way? Do not be grieved then, for the cause of its not being done depends not on thee. But it is not worthwhile to live, if this cannot be done. Take thy departure then from life contentedly, just as he dies who is in full activity and well pleased too with the things which are obstacles.”[MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is think the right thoughts and to make right judgements, correcting errors of judgement (faulty assent) as soon as possible. Yes, such things are indeed in my power. As for things that are not in my power, it is right that I am content and well pleased, accepting that this is another example of the outworking of the Divine Nature for one’s good and indeed for the good of all creation.

4. Reservation –Impressions, Judgments and Logic (The Third Topes)

a. The Event and The Value - Seeing only that which has happened and adding only true value to the event, when necessary “Preconceptions are common to all men and one preconception need not contradict another; for example, all men assume that the good is desirable and that righteousness is becoming. Conflicts arise between preconceptions when we apply primary conceptions to particular facts and opinions collide. Jews and Romans don’t argue over sanctity, but over the propriety of eating swine.
Education teaches us how to apply our natural primary conceptions to particular occasions in accord with nature, and further, to distinguish between things in our power and things not in our power.
In our power are the will and its operations; beyond our power, possessions, parents, relatives, countrymen, in a word those whose society we share. Where shall we place the good, to what class of things shall we apply it? To benefit from the good you must place and apply it where it is in your power. My nature inclines me to look to my best interest and I find it in things in my power; if I seek things outside my power, such as a certain field, it becomes my interest to take it from my neighbour. Desire for things outside our power leads to discord and conflict.”[E]
So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is to recognise more clearly the various boundaries between people. Violating boundaries naturally leads to conflict for it is in some way a violation of the personhood of others. Of course, material goods may be directly at stake, but you are really talking about wisdom and the cultivation of virtue, a spiritual good.

“Wisdom is a right understanding, a faculty of discerning good from evil; what is to be chosen and what rejected; a judgment grounded upon the value of things, and not the common opinion of them; inequality of force, and a strength of resolution. It sets a watch over our words and deeds, it takes us up with the contemplation of the works of nature, and makes us invincible by either good or evil fortune. It is large and spacious, and requires a great deal of room to work in; it ransacks heaven and earth; it has for its object things past and to come, transitory and eternal. It examines all the circumstances of time, what it is, when it began, and how long it will continue: and so for the mind; whence it came; what it is; when it begins; how long it lasts; whether or not it passes from one form to another, observes only one, and wanders when it leaves us; whether it abides in a state of separation, and what the action of it; what use it makes of its liberty; whether or not it retains the memory of things past, and comes to the knowledge of itself.” [S]

So, Seneca what you are telling me is that true wisdom is virtuous, godly, and of God – indeed, the whole of the Universe is a testament to God’s wisdom. I seek to cultivate such wisdom, for such wisdom will make my life better, and therefore the lives of all the people I know and will know. Indeed, if I become a better person, the Universe will become a better Universe, for all things are connected, whether directly or indirectly – this is one of the many wonders and mysteries of the Universe.

“Some hold that pleasure is the ideal and that good resides in the senses; we Stoics hold that it resides in the intellect, which is the domain of the mind. If our senses were the criteria for the good, there is no pleasure we should reject nor is there any pain we would not avoid since pain always offends the senses. We do in fact disapprove of persons addicted to appetite or lust and scorn those whose fear of pain deters them from manly virtue; they have assigned to the senses the decisions as to what a man is to aim for and what he is to avoid.” [S]
So, Seneca what you are telling me is to not be a lover of pleasure for its own sake; rather, one should be a lover of virtue for its own sake. As a follower of God and the Divine Nature, I humbly yet resolutely accept your implicit challenge.

“These are the properties of the rational soul: it sees itself, analyzes itself, and makes itself such asset chooses; the fruit which it bears itself enjoys - for the fruits of plants and that in animals which corresponds to fruits others enjoy - it obtains its own end, wherever the limit of life may be fixed. Notes in a dance and in a play and in such like things, where the whole action is incomplete, if anything cuts it short; but in every part and wherever it may be stopped, it makes what has been set before it full and complete, so that it can say, I have what is my own. And further it traverses the whole universe, and the surrounding vacuum, and surveys its form, and it extends itself into the infinity of time, and embraces and comprehends the periodical renovation of all things, and it comprehends that those who come after us will see nothing new, nor have those before us seen anything more; but in a manner he who is forty years old, if he has any understanding at all, has seen by virtue of the uniformity that prevails all things which have been and all that will be. This, too, is property of the rational soul; love of one's neighbor, and truth and modesty, and to value nothing more than itself, which is also the property of law. Thus, then, right reason differs not at all from the reason of justice.”[MA]

So, Marcus, what you are telling me is that, considering the unfathomability of the All, and the vastness of the subsumed Universe, it is clear that what is right in all its forms (such as whether concerning reason or justice) is an expression of one and the same underlying essence. I am clear that this is the fundamental nature of the Divine Logos, and therefore God. God is therefore Truth. The Divine Nature, as an expression of God, is also Truth. The fully rational soul is therefore a lover of truth, and is always receptive to and informed by truth, and is therefore abundantly virtuous.

b. The Philosopher’s Way – The ignorant, the one who is making progress, and the philosopher “Remember that it is not only the desire for office or wealth that makes a man dependent and subservient to others, but also the desire for a quiet life of peace and leisure and travel and learning. Desire for any external thing will make you subservient to another. Books, like honours and office, belong to the external world which is beyond our control. If you deny it, tell me why you want to read if not to gain external ends. If reading does not win for you peace of mind, what good is it?
Even if we agree that it does bring you peace of mind, explain the characteristics of this peace and you will see that it can be hindered by another, or by the loss of the book, and is therefore external and beyond your control.
Formerly, I made the same mistake as others, but no longer. Do you imagine that I am worse off today for not having read a thousand lines and written as many again?
Don’t say: Today I read so many lines and wrote so many more, but rather: Today I governed my impulses by the precepts of philosophers, I did not entertain desire, I avoided things within the compass of my will, I was not overawed by this man, or over persuaded by that man, but trained my faculties for patience, abstinence and co-operation.”[E]
So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is to remember that the virtuous life is above all about not grasping, not just for the things that are far out of reach, but even for the things that are well within reach and indeed in one’s comfort zone. Every day, I understand the truth of your words more clearly. I enjoy studying, but I can see that it represents a form of bondage, and a constraining of one’s spirit in some senses. However, I also believe that it is good for me to be better educated, not because I seek a quiet life, but rather because I want to have a better understanding of my world and because I want to fulfil my destiny. I believe that this is what Gods wants for me. I hope and trust that I am right. And if I am, then my further studies will not be in vain. If God wishes for me to have a quiet life, then I accept it. Not my will, but God’s will – that is the noble path I seek to walk every day.

So, dear Epictetus, we can be proud of any progress we make towards virtue. When we see others behaving badly we can be thankful that we are no longer like that (or, if we still are, at least we recognise it and can resolve to improve).

“Remember that such is, and was, and will be, the nature of the world; nor is it possible that things should be otherwise than they now are, and that not only men and other animals upon earth partake of this change and transformation, but the Divine Nature also. For, indeed, even the four elements are transformed and changed up and down; and earth becomes water, and water air, and this again is transformed into other things. And the same manner of transformation happens from things above to those below. Whoever endeavours to turn his mind towards these points, and persuade himself to receive with willingness what cannot be avoided; he will pass his life with moderation and harmony.”[E]

So, Epictetus, what you are telling me is to be ever more accepting of the reality of my situation and circumstances, which are of course always changing. As always, I welcome your wisdom. Moderation and harmony are the outworking of a life lived nobly.

“We are more industrious and we are better men if we anticipate the day and welcome the dawn; but we are base churls if we lie dozing when the sun is high in the heavens. Do you think you know how to live if you don’t know when to live? To one who is active no day is long. What man ever had eyes for seeing in the dark? All vices rebel against Nature; they abandon the appointed order. It is the motto of luxury to enjoy what is unusual. When men have begun to crave things in opposition to the ways of Nature, they end by abandoning the ways of Nature. When one craves or scorns things in proportion to what they have cost, illumination which is free becomes contemptuous.

If you win a reputation among the dissipaters, you must make your programmes not only luxurious but notorious for in such company wickedness does not notice the ordinary sort of scandal. The method of obtaining righteousness is simple; the method of maintaining wickedness is complicated and so it is with character. Such persons mark themselves off from others by their elaborate dress, meals, possessions or the manner in which they divide up the day. Notoriety is what men seek who are living backward. “[S]
So, Seneca, what you are telling me is to do what is right, according to the Divine Nature, according to the Logos, both within and without oneself, expressed so wonderfully and intricately in so many, many, ways and forms. I can see that as I mature and progress in my spiritual training, my character becomes simpler, simpler to oneself and simpler to others, all for the good. May it always be so that I seek not this world’s pleasures, but the pleasures of the Divine nature, the pleasures of Heaven, the pleasures of my God, within and without me. Yes, no matter, what indifferents I have to work with or contend with, may this attitude always be true, being both deeply assented to and self-evident, not that I seek praise from other human beings. But I certainly seek, and go on seeking, to honour God more and more each and every day. May I also do so, and if the Light of the Divine Nature within me ever grows weak, may it be rekindled by God because God loves me.

5. Epilogue – Essential Precepts, Maxims and Exhortations

So, in closing, prokoptôn, constantly bring to mind the following key points, for they will always be trusty lights to guide your path through this mysterious yet beautiful life:
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” [MA]
“Our actions may be impeded, but there can no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle in our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” [MA]
“Love in its essence is spiritual fire” [S]
“Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which (are with) respect yourself. He (or she) may be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgement.” [S]
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do” [E]
“It is not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters” [E]
Above all, live life well in all its myriad forms, including whether as a festival, a game, weaving, wrestling, an athletic contest, military service, as art, or just simply as life. Go on living out your life honourably, at all times, day in and day out. Perpetually give honour to God with your noble and dignified living, daily blessing the universe just as God does.

Hazlitt, F. (1984). The Wisdom of the Stoics: Selections from Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. H. Hazlitt (Ed.). University Press of America.
Epictetus, & Stoneman, R. (1995). The discourses of Epictetus. C. Gill (Ed.). JM Dent.
Campbell, R. (1969). Seneca: letters from a Stoic. Penguin.
Gill, C. (2013). Marcus Aurelius: Meditations. Oxford University Press.…...

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...Day 1: Cardio 60 mins. Anything you like. Day 2: 10 mins Cardio warm up (jog, please) Then do weight training 1. 30-45 mins cardio Day 3: Cardio 45-90 mins, anything you like. Pick 2 TIU pyramids. Day 4: Cardio warm up 15-20 mins. Then HIIT 1. 5 min cool down. Day 5: Active Rest: stretch and do any light exercise such as yoga or walking Day 6: 15-20 min cardio warm up (jog, please) Then do weight training 2. Abs. Then 20 mins Cardio. Day 7: 30-60 mins cross training Cardio. (do something you don’t usually do) Day 8: Cardio 60 mins. Anything you like. Day 9: 10 mins warm up (jog, please). Abs workout. 30-60 mins elliptical on cross country setting or interval setting Day 10: Cardio warm up 15-20 mins. Then HIIT 2. 5 min cool down. Day 11: Active Rest/Day off: stretch and relax. Day 12: 10 mins Cardio warm up (stairs, please) Then do weight training 1. 30-45 mins Cardio. Day 13: 45-90 mins Cardio. Anything you like. Day 14: 15-20 mins cardio warm up (anything you like). Weight Training 2. Then 30-40 mins cardio Weight Training 1: 3x 20 reps bicep curls 3x 20 tricep pushups 3x 20 calf raises 3x 15 Lateral pulls 3x 15 Leg Raises (lie on your back, raise and lower your outstretched legs) Weight Training 2: 3x 20 Push ups 3x 25 Chest press 3x 15 Lunges 3x 20 Squats 3x 25 leg lifts (per leg. Lie on your side and lift a leg and slowly lower)   Abs: 3x 15 Leg raises. 3x 25 medicine ball twists (balance on your tailbone, with your legs and back......

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...EXERCISE 5 KNIGHT ENGINES / EXCALIBUR ENGINE PARTS Objectives 1. To practice distributive bargaining skills. 2. To help students identify situations where integrative opportunities exist in what first appears to be a purely distributive situation. 3. To explore the effects of variations in bargaining mix on the process and outcome of negotiations. 4. To explore the effects of different information and assumptions on negotiation process and outcome. Changes from 4th Edition No changes other than updating recommended reading assignments given below to match new editions of readings book and text. Operational Needs Group Size: The class is divided into match ups of two (one-on-one negotiation). If there is an odd number of students, some students could work as a pair or observers could be assigned. Time Required: 60-90 minutes Special Materials: Copy and distribute roles from this manual. Special Physical Requirements: None. Recommended Reading Assignments to Accompany This Exercise: Readings: 1.4 (Sebenius), 1.7 (Craver), 1.8 (Dawson), 2.8 (Reitz, Wall and Love), 2.9 (Shell), 6.5 (Leritz) Text: Chapters 1, 2, 9 What to Expect This exercise allows a broad range of distributive tactics to be practiced. There is a large enough settlement range that many different negotiation outcomes can be reached. One critical difference in information between the two roles is that the pistons that Knight Engines want......

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...Evaluate the importance of regular exercise in maintaining a healthy body and mind; to what extent should the state play a role in ensuring that its citizens exercise regularly? Refer to at least two countries in your answer. Abstract Recent years have witnessed a dramatic increase in physical activity and fitness around the world. This essay will focus on the benefits of exercise for both physical and mental health. It is obvious that exercise helps people prevent a variety of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular, depression and Parkinson’s. This also raises an argument on whether government should play an important role in promoting physical activity. This essay will clarify that it is reasonable for the state to take responsibilities in order to make sure that social health would be improved in the following years. 1/ Introduction A healthy lifestyle and longer lives are always the target that everyone wants to achieve, specifically; it is obvious that one of the most effective ways to do this is through exercise. Exercise generally means physical activity that makes your body strong and healthy. In addition, exercise also benefits mental health, especially in stressful work conditions which can affect individuals who lead busy lives. Therefore, in my opinion, it will be reasonable for the government (the state) to be responsible for ensuring regular exercise of all citizens. This essay consists of three main parts which will discuss the reasons why......

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...Exercises 1. Synergy Valuation a. Cost and revenue synergies Managers of an acquiring company anticipate cost savings pretax of $50 million in the first year of the deal and $100 million the next and that thereafter the savings would grow @ inflation, 2%. Marginal tax rate is 30%. The firm must invest $1 billion to achieve these savings and starting in the third year must spend 5% of the pre-tax savings to sustain the rate of savings. As part of rationalization of operations, some assets will be sold generating a positive cash flow of $20 million net of tax in years 1 and 2 and $10 million in year 3. The analyst judges that these costs savings are rather certain, reflecting a degree of risk consistent with the variability in the firm’s EBIT. Accordingly, the analyst decides to discount the cash flow at the firm’s cost of debt of 6%. The merger will expand revenues through cross-selling of products, efficient exploitation of brands and geographic and product line extensions. They forecast revenue growth of $100 million in the first year and $200 million in year 2 and thereafter. The COGS underlying these new revenues is 45% of the revenue. This forecast s in constant dollar terms and needs to reflect expected inflation of 2% p.a. To achieve these synergies will require an investment of $400 million initially and 5% of the added revenue each year to fund working capital growth. The target’s cost of equity is 15% b. Financial Synergies Managers believe that a combination...

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...EXSC 101: CAREER OUTLOOK 2 Abstract The overall job of a personal trainer is to teach others how to exercise in a proper and effective manner. However, there is much more to personal trainers than just teaching people how to exercise properly. A personal trainer will not only be a trainer but a friend, coach, and motivator as well. The job outlook for fitness trainers is excellent. This occupation is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2020 (McKay, 2014). Personal trainers earned a median annual salary of $31,030 and median hourly wages of $14.92 in 2011 (McKay, 2014). The salary and hourly wage of a personal trainer varies greatly based on experience, their employer, location, what type of contract they are on, etc. I would like to be a self-employed personal trainer who rents space at a fitness center or gym. Therefore, my total income will depend on the success of my own business. The working conditions of a personal trainer can be busy and demanding. Personal trainers usually work in shifts: varying from very early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Depending on what type of physical trainer the individual is they will either work in gyms, recreation centers, or even their own home. Opportunities are expected to be good for fitness workers because of rapid growth in the fitness industry. Many job openings will also stem from the need to replace the large numbers of workers who leave these occupations each year (Delta,......

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...Exercise When a person is asked about the physical aspects of his body or even his health, one statement that person will never say is that he is perfect. No matter who is asked or what their situation everyone has something about their body that they would like to improve on, and without a doubt people with health problems would like to improve on their overall health. Individuals who are involved with regular physical activity are proven to have better fitness and better overall health when compared to those who are not involved in physical activity. There are many aspects of a persons life that can be improved. Whether it be better health or better fitness, regular exercise can dramatically change a persons life. In many studies, for a variety of different reasons, it has been proven that overall wellness and happiness begins with the brain. The way a person feels and the confidence they have can affect a persons way of life and over time the persons health. When comparing individuals who involve themselves in regular exercise to individuals who do not, people who exercise regularly are proven to be more happy. Regular exercise increases the production of serotonin produced by the brain. This causes a person to be in a better mood and to have more confidence in their daily life. Without regular exercise a person will have lower levels of serotonin causing bad moods and less self confidence. Low levels of self confidence can be very dangerous and can lead to......

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...Types of exercise Physical exercises are generally grouped into three types,[7] depending on the overall effect they have on the human body: Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, improve the range of motion of muscles and joints.[8] Aerobic exercises, such as cycling, swimming, walking, skipping rope, rowing, running, hiking or playing tennis, focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance.[9] Anaerobic exercises, such as weight training, functional training, eccentric training or sprinting and high-intensity interval training, increase short-term muscle strength.[10] Categories of physical exercise Strength training Agility training Eccentric training Resistance training Interval training Continuous training Sometimes the terms 'dynamic' and 'static' are used. 'Dynamic' exercises such as steady running, tend to produce a lowering of the diastolic blood pressure during exercise, due to the improved blood flow. Conversely, static exercise (such as weight-lifting) can cause the systolic pressure to rise significantly (during the exercise). Categories Physical exercise is used to improve physical skills. Physical skills fall into the following general categories: Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy.[11] Metabolic equivalent of task The Compendium of Physical Activities was developed for use in epidemiologic studies to standardize the......

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