Can You Bear the Torment?

Once Zeno was walking in Palestine; and when he had finished his work, he sat down to eat near a cucumber plant. His thoughts tried to persuade him, saying, “Pick one of those cucumbers for yourself, and eat it. What does it matter?”

He replied to his temptation, “Thieves go down to torment. Test yourself then to see whether you can bear the torment.”

So he stood in the sun for five days, without drinking, and he was dried up by the heat. His thoughts, as it were, spoke to him saying, “We can’t bear such torment.”

So he said to himself, “If you can’t bear torment, do not steal in order to eat.”


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