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Date: c. 300 B.C.

"The sage's heart-mind in stillness is the mirror of Heaven and earth, the glass of the ten thousand things."

— Zhuangzi (4th century BC)

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Date: c. 300 B.C.

"Perfect persons use their heart-minds like mirrors—going after nothing, welcoming nothing, responding but not storing."

— Zhuangzi (4th century BC)

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Date: w. c. 238

"Hence, the human heart-mind may be compared to a pan of water. If you place the pan upright and do not stir the water up, the mud will sink to the bottom, and the water on top will be clear and pure [qing ming] enough to see your beard and eyebrows and to examine the lines on your face."

— Xunzi (died after 238 BC)

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Date: w. c. 238

"But if a slight wind passes over its surface, the submerged mud will be stirred up from the bottom, and the clarity and purity of the water at the top will be disturbed so that it is impossible to obtain the correct impression of even the general outline of the face. Now, the heart-mind is just ...

— Xunzi (died after 238 BC)

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Date: 45 B.C.

"sed tamen nullum theatrum virtuti conscientia maius est" [But yet there is no greater theatre for virtue than one's own consciousness.]

— Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C. - 43 B.C.)

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The soul is to the body as a scent is to the flower.

— Epicurus (341-270 B.C.)

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Date: w. 55-135

"Lay down for yourself, at the outset, a certain stamp and type of character for yourself, which you are to maintain whether you are by yourself or are meeting people"

— Epictetus (c. 55-c.135)

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Date: w. 56-64

"It is a mistake to imagine that slavery pervades a man's whole being; the better part of him is exempt from it: the body indeed is subjected and in the power of a master, but the mind is independent, and indeed is so free and wild, that it cannot be restrained even by this prison of the body, wh...

— Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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Date: w. 56-64

"It is, therefore, only the body which misfortune hands over to a master, and which he buys and sells; this inward part cannot be transferred as a chattel."

— Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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Date: 58

"See, on the other hand, how evil and guilty a slavery the man is forced to serve who is dominated in turn by pleasures and pains, those most untrustworthy and passionate of masters."

— Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c. 4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.