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From Vol. 6, Issue 4, April 2024

Stoic every day

Stoic Everyday || Chuck Chakrapani

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  1. If donkeys had the ability to go further and understand how to deal with impressions, they would refuse to obey us and would be our equal. And rightly so.  [Epictetus, D 2.7]
  2. When you wake up, unwilling to get out of bed, say to yourself: I am born to do the work of a human being. What do I have to complain about, if this is what I was born for? Or did I come into this world to lie in bed, covered in blankets? [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.1]
  3. You must turn to that course towards which you are naturally inclined. [Seneca, T 7]
  4. I would die and bear disease godlike. This much is in my power. This I can do. All other things you say are not in my power and I cannot do them. [Epictetus, D 2.8]
  5. Are you unwilling to do your job as a human being? Do you refuse to do your part in nature’s order? [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.1]
  6. No good can come of forcing one's mind to engage in disagreeable work. [Seneca, T 7]
  7. Each person is strengthened and preserved by actions that reflect their nature: A carpenter by the art of carpentry, a grammar expert by grammatical studies. [Epictetus, D 2.9]
  8. When it comes to working, you are well below what you could achieve. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.1]
  9. Nothing delights the mind as much as a faithful and pleasant friendship. [Seneca, T 7]
  10. Acts of opposite character preserve the opposite character. Shamelessness by shameless behaviour, dishonesty by dishonest behaviour, slanderousness by slander, a bad temper by anger, and miserliness by disproportionate taking compared to giving. [Epictetus, D 2.9]
  11. You don’t love yourself enough. If you did, you’d love your nature and what it asks of you. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.1]
  12. In a time of plague, we must be careful not to sit near infected people, and in whom the disease is already burning because, by so doing, we will attract danger and catch the plague from their very breath. [Seneca, T 7]
  13. Unless we apply the correct opinions, we will just be interpreting other people’s judgments. [Epictetus, D 2.9]
  14. Set aside and forget every annoyance, distraction, and false impression. Be at peace. Totally. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.2]
  15. But these days, when there is such a shortage of good people, you must be less choosy. However, avoid miserable people who grumble and find something to complain of in everything. [Seneca, T 7]
  16. Don’t try to be a philosopher when you can barely be a human being. [Epictetus, D 2.9]
  17. Any action or saying that is in accordance with nature is right for you. Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.3]
  18. Your peace of mind will be destroyed by friends who are disturbed and greet everything with a groan. [Seneca, T 7]
  19. Modest acts preserve the modest man, whereas immodest acts destroy him; and faithful acts preserve the faithful man while acts of the opposite character destroy him. [Epictetus, D 2.9]
  20. If something is good, don’t give up your right to it. Those who criticize you have their own motives and impulses. Don’t be distracted by them. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.3]
  21. When we select our friends' temperaments, we must take care to select those who are, as far as possible, unspotted by the world; for the way to breed disease is to mix what is healthy with what is sick. [Seneca, T 7]
  22. The two faculties – power to choose and reas on –make you a citizen of the world. You are a principal part of it, not a subsidiary. [Epictetus, D 2.10]
  23. Keep your eyes straight ahead and follow your own nature and the nature of the world. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.3]
  24. If you compare all other ills that make us suffer – deaths, sicknesses, fears, regrets, the endurance of pains and labours – with the misery that money causes us, the latter will far outweigh all the others. [Seneca, T 7]
  25. Since we don’t know the future, we should choose things that are preferable by nature, because we are born for this purpose. [Epictetus, D 2.10]
  26. It is this earth that gave me food and drink all these years. It is greatly abused, but still allows me to walk on it. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.4]
  27. You are mistaken if you believe the rich put up with losses more cheerfully than the poor. A wound is equally painful in a large body as it is in a small body. [Seneca, T 7]
  28. In your role as someone’s brother/sister, be respectful, ready to yield, and gracious. Do not fight over material things, things over which you have no control. [Epictetus, D 2.10]
  29. All right, you will never be known for your quick wit. Still, there are plenty of other things left for which you can’t claim to have no talent. [Marcus Aurelius, M 5.5]
  30. It hurts bald men as much as hairy men to have their hairs pulled out. [Seneca, T 7]

D=Discourses, M=Meditations T=On Tranquility