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From Vol. 6, Issue 7, July 2024

Stoic every day

Stoic Everyday || Chuck Chakrapani

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  1. When you become attached to something, don’t think it cannot be taken away from you. Rather it is like a cup made of glass or ceramics. If it breaks, remember that is its nature and you won’t be troubled. [Epictetus D3.24]
  2. When someone offends you, ask yourself what good or ill they thought would come out of it. If you understand that, you will not be puzzled or angry but will sympathise with them. [Marcus Aurelius M7.26]
  3. In my view, if I lose my wealth, all that will happen is that I will not be wealthy. But you will be struck dumb. If you lose your wealth, you will think you have been abandoned by your own self. [Seneca H22]
  4. You did not come into being when you wanted to, but when the world had a need for you.  [Epictetus D3.24]
  5. Don’t dream about things you don’t have. Instead, think about the best things you now have and how much you would crave them if you didn’t have them. [Marcus Aurelius M7.27]
  6. In my eyes, wealth has a certain place. In your eyes, it takes the centre stage. My wealth belongs to me. You belong to your wealth. [Seneca H22]
  7. If I live a life in accordance with nature, I will not look for a place other than where I am or look for company other than who I am with now. [Epictetus D3.24]
  8. Rest in yourself. The rational principle that rules us has this quality: it is content with itself when it does what is just, and thus achieves peace. [Marcus Aurelius M7.28]
  9. No one has condemned wisdom to poverty. The philosopher shall have considerable wealth, but it will not have been snatched from someone, and it will not be tainted with someone’s blood. He must earn it without doing anything wrong to anyone, without exploiting anyone. [Seneca H23]
  10. If something undesirable should happen, the thought that “this is not unexpected” should lighten the burden. [Epictetus D3.24]
  11. Do away with vain imagination. Don’t be a puppet of passion. [Marcus Aurelius M7.29]
  12. A philosopher does not push aside fortune’s kindness. If he inherits money with honour, he will neither be ashamed of it not be boastful about it. [Seneca H23]
  13. If you are in Rome, don’t imagine the way of life in Athens, but think only about how best live where you are. [Epictetus D3.24]
  14. Limit yourself to the present. Understand well what happens to you and to others. Analyze everything to understand what is cause and what is material.  [Marcus Aurelius M7.29]
  15. The wise man will not allow a penny to enter his house dishonestly. Neither will he reject or refuse to admit great wealth, if fortune gave it to him as the reward for his virtue.  [Seneca H23]
  16. Don’t look for what is good for you outside yourselves. Look for it within you or you’ll never find it. [Epictetus D3.24]
  17. Let other people’s mistakes rest with them. [Marcus Aurelius M7.29]
  18. Even if one can complete his journey on foot, one will prefer to use a vehicle. So also, if one is poor, one will prefer to be rich. [Seneca H23]
  19. Even if no one notices, be content to live in health and happiness yourself. [Epictetus D3.24]
  20. Direct your attention to what is said. Focus your mind on what happens and what makes it happen. [Marcus Aurelius M7.30]
  21. You may not ask the other person to return the gift, but the other person may choose to give it back. [Seneca H24]
  22. If you are involved in the greatest of contests, you must not pull back but be prepared to take blows. The contest we are involved in is not like wrestling or a sport with no rules…No, this is a contest for good fortune and happiness itself. [Epictetus D3.25]
  23. Beautify yourself with simplicity and modesty. [Marcus Aurelius M7.31]
  24. Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for an act of kindness. [Seneca H24]
  25. What pain, what punishment followed your faults? And when did you ever develop the habit of avoiding bad actions? [Epictetus D3.25]
  26. Be indifferent to things that lie between virtue and vice. Love humankind. [Marcus Aurelius M7.31]
  27. A wise person never throws money at undeserving people of low character. Neither does he make the mistake of being too tired to let the money flow from his full hands when he finds a deserving person. [Seneca H24]
  28. Is anything shameful to you, if it is not your own doing, for which you are not responsible, which has come to you uninvited, like a headache or fever?  [Epictetus D3.26]
  29. Death: If it is atoms, they are extinguished or dispersed. If it is unity, it is transmuted. [Marcus Aurelius M7.32]
  30. It is not acceptable for you to misinterpret the honourable, brave, and the spirited words of those who are dedicated to being wise. [Seneca H24]
  31. Shouldn’t you be measuring these – what makes people happy, what makes their affairs prosper for them as they wish, what makes it possible for them to blame no one, fault no one, and submit to the governing order of the universe? Show me that. [Epictetus D3.26]

[D: Discourses; M: Meditations: H: On Happiness]