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From Vol. 3, Issue 9, September 2021

Stoic thoughts for every day of the month

Stoic Everyday || Editor

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1 What makes people afraid is things. Whenever someone has the power to give or take away things from you, you become fearful. [Epictetus D4.1]

2 When you have taken up your stand, [it] is where you should stand and face the danger. Don’t worry about danger or about anything else before duty. [Marcus Aurelius, M7.45]

3 If anyone steals a wise person’s wealth, he will still be left with all that is truly his. He lives happily in the present and is not bothered by what may happen in the future. [Seneca, H26]

4 I say yes even to death and torture. Who can stop me now? Who can force on me what I do not want? I’m as completely free from hindrance and compulsion as God himself. [Epictetus D4.1]

5 Instead of clinging to life at all costs, shouldn’t a true human being dismiss the thought of death and longevity from their mind? [Marcus Aurelius, M7.46]

6 I will not let what you think change the course of my life. [Seneca, H26]

7 You have received everything – including your life – from your benefactor. Yet, you are angry with the giver for taking things back? [Epictetus D4.1]

8 Turn [your] attention to the next problem: how best to live the life given to [you]. [Marcus Aurelius, M7.46]

9 Pile on my head all the usual criticisms. I won’t think that you are abusing me but that you are crying like a miserable little baby. [Seneca, H26]

10 Why not enjoy the feast and pageant while you are able? [Epictetus D4.1]

11 Look at the circling stars, as if they revolved around you. Often think of the dance of the elements changing and changing again. Thoughts like these will wash off the dirt of life on earth. [Marcus Aurelius, M7.47]

12 Do you look at other people’s pimples when covered with so many open sores? [Seneca, H27]

13 They whine, find fault with God, their fortune, and their fellow human beings. They don’t appreciate their own powers and resources given to them for the opposite purpose – to be generous, high-minded, courageous, and free – exactly what we are talking about now. [Epictetus D4.1]

14 Noisy courtrooms, and deserted places. Foreign people of every kind feasting, bargaining and mourning. Observe this diverse crowd. See the harmonious order in this diversity. [Marcus Aurelius, M7.48]

15 Why don’t you look at your own faults that attack you from every side – some from outside and others from inside? [Seneca, H27]

16 Look around you in every direction. Mentally get rid of everything. Keep your judgments pure. See that you are attached to nothing that doesn’t belong to you and can be painful if taken away from you. [Epictetus D4.1]

17 To observe the lives of people for forty years is the same as observing them for forty thousand years. What more will you see? [Marcus Aurelius, M7.49]

18 What more can I say? Although you don’t realize it, are not your minds even now whirled round and spun about by some hurricane? [Seneca, H25]

19 While you are training yourself every day, don’t be pretentious and say that you are “pursuing philosophy.” Rather say that you are preparing for your liberation. [Epictetus D4.1]

20 All that is born of earth should return to earth, all that is born of heaven should return to heaven. The atoms are pulled apart. The elements – which really don’t care – disperse. [Marcus Aurelius, M7.50]

21 Anger is all action. It explodes the impulse of grief with an inhuman desire for weapons, blood, and torture. It doesn’t care as long as it hurts another. It is greedy for revenge even when it drags down the avenger along with it. [Seneca, A1]

22 What then is human nature? Biting, kicking, throwing someone in prison or killing him? No, but being kind, cooperative, and having good will toward others. [Epictetus D4.1]

23 Better wrestler, yes. But, a better citizen? Modest? Disciplined? Resourceful? Forgiving of others’ faults? [Marcus Aurelius, M7.52]

24 [Anger] has no self-control, doesn’t care for dignity, forgets friendships, and is tenacious in finishing what it started, all in equal measure. [Seneca, A1]

25 You cannot be blocked if you don’t desire external things, things that are not your own. [Epictetus D4.1]

26 There is nothing to fear if you do things that are in line with reason. [Marcus Aurelius, M7.53]

27 [Anger] is deaf to reason and advice, excited by minor things, and unable to see what is real and just. [Seneca, A!]

28 What things are not your own? Things over which you don’t have the power to decide. [Epictetus D4.1]

29 Everywhere and in every moment, you have the power to accept what happens with humility, treat your associates justly, and examine every impression of the day, so nothing irrational enters our mind. [Marcus Aurelius, M7.54]

30 [Anger] is like a falling rock that breaks into pieces when it falls on the item it crushes. [Seneca, A1]

D: Discourses
M: Meditations
A: On Anger
H: On Happiness