In today's relaxing Guided Meditation, we will be reflecting on The Four Cardinal Virtues: Wisdom (Greek phronêsis), Justice (Greek dikaiosunê), Courage (Greek andreia), Temperance (Greek sôphrosunê).
Historians can’t agree on where this classification originated. It appears to go back as far as Plato or Socrates, although some argue that they can be traced back to about the 12th-8th centuries B.C., to Homer’s epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Let's see them in more detail:
This is the common sense ability to know good from bad. We apply wisdom to judge what is to be done and what is not to be done and to know what is under our control and what is not. Includes good calculation, quick-wittedness, cunning, discretion, and resourcefulness.
To be fair and just in our treatment of others. To be moral, honest, and conduct ourselves with the dignity, equity, and fairness, we demand of others.
To resist fear; to be courageous without being reckless. To have confidence and self-restraint about what is truly fearful and terrible; to be bold wisely; intrepid in the face of hardship and death. Includes discipline, confidence, and self-control.
Moderation concerning desires and pleasures; harmony and good discipline. It has to do with personal independence, and self -discipline; rational acceptance of what is admirable and contemptible. Includes endurance, modesty, high-mindedness, cheerfulness, and industriousness.
These virtues derive initially from Plato's Republic Book IV, 426–435. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius discusses them in Book V:12 of Meditations and views them as the "goods" that a person should identify in one's own mind, as opposed to "wealth or things which conduce to luxury or prestige." These cardinal virtues are listed in the Bible, as they were adopted by early Christians, who added on the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.
The cardinal virtues are considered the ‘antidote’ to the capital vices of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. If you build your life and ambitions around these vices, you will probably be disappointed, because the pleasure they offer is ephemeral. It doesn’t mean that we don’t seek and enjoy pleasurable things like acclaim and monetary success. It means that we don’t “require” them to be happy and fulfilled; to “flourish” in a state of Eudaimonia.
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