On the Stoics

Not sure how I stumbled into the Stoics, I think it might have been from reading De Botton’s “Consolations of Philosophy”. I’ve been steadily making my way through  Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and Epictus over the last few months.

They are definitely, as De Botton points out, a great source of comfort. You can’t help but want to highlight or memorize a quote almost from every page.

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. ”

~ Seneca

A lot of the ideas, much like the concepts of philosophical Taoism, revolve around accepting your place in the grand workings of the universe. An idea that appeals more and more to me as I age. But at the same time, having practically grown up on Kierkegaard – I find the lack of action in the Stoic concepts to be mildly disquieting. Stoic determination seems wise in the face of small slights, in the face of the slings and arrows of fate.

But in the face of a dictatorship or a brutal illness?

Marcus Aurelius


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