The Wisdom of Stoic Philosophers


  The Wisdom of Stoic Philosophers

School is out for summer, but don't worry! You can keep learning at home to grow your mind and better yourself. If you're looking for advice and insight into life's true challenges from some of the greatest minds in history, this blog post will be perfect for you. Keep reading to find out all about how Stoic philosophy can help you thrive in any situation. 

In its essence, stoicism is a practical philosophy that aims to equip people with the tools they need to live every day life as best as possible. It teaches them how to handle everything in their lives with composure so they will be happy regardless of their circumstances - which we know aren't always ideal.

The central idea of Stoic philosophy is that of being master over your emotions, rather than allowing your emotions to master you. It also teaches that if you try your best to control the things you cannot, sow good seeds and reap good results.

The three central tenants of Stoicism are as follows:

1) The Law of Nature: What every man aspires to and strives for. This is taken so seriously by stoics because they think it's what makes us tick. It's our human nature to want happiness; not just in the present moment, but also in the future. As Seneca puts it: "To be free from vice is the only thing we have brought about. We can't help being poor. We can't do anything about the fact that we will die. Rather than bemoaning what we cannot control, stoics strive to accept fate and be content with the life they have.

2) The Law of Reason: A stoic believes that they ought to accept whatever will happen and follow nature without complaint. They take nothing for granted, but live a philosophical life by questioning everything and attempting to be rational in their judgments.

3) The Law of Actions: This is perhaps the most important tenant of Stoicism because it explains how one ought to act in every circumstance with morality, rationality and justice as a priority above all else. In other words, they should act in accordance with what is right and just. This may include being a thoughtful consumer, friend, neighbor and every other decision in their lives. If you find this hard to follow, that's because it really isn't about following rules; it's about being a person of virtue (which doesn't mean you need to be good).

Below I will provide for you some quotes from the great Stoic philosophers that will give you an idea of how they live their life that teaches this philosophy. Their thoughts are literally lessons on how to live by these tenants.


"Human suffering has two origins: lack of self-control and the will to live well." - The Golden Sayings of Seneca "It's not the stress of life or hectic schedule that's the main problem for most people, it's their opinion about these things. All of us have a choice about what things mean to us." - The Greatest Quotes from the Stoic Philosophers "God gave us two eyes so that we would see more than one way; two ears so that we would hear from more than one side; and but one tongue, because we should use this in moderation and should not find everything as tasteful as honey. We are given one mouth but two hands, one to help others and the other to help ourselves."

- The Greatest Quotes from the Stoic Philosophers "If you are distressed by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now." - Meditations

Marcus Aurelius:

Marcus Aurelius was a stoic philosopher who some would argue was the last true stoic philosopher of ancient Rome. Throughout his writings he taught others how to live a virtuous life, reconcile themselves with fate and gain wisdom for living in harmony with others.

"The strongest thing to hold onto in life is our integrity and ability to deal with things as they come."

- The Meditations
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." - Meditations 
"You are a part of the universal whole; nothing can be done without you. But since there are many parts, let every act be done so that the whole may not suffer." - The Meditations
"People set store by external things, appreciating some less and others more, while all the while escaping from what they really are. They use other people as screens against their own faults, turning them into weapons for defense or attacks on others or even unwitting tools for their own harm. What a wretched state of affairs!" - On Ruling Ourselves
- The Meditations
"If we keep our eyes open, we can immediately see what's happening in the world around us; if we don't, everything starts to look the same." - The Meditations
"But he who has won the battle has also won the war. He who has satisfied his thirst has quenched his appetite. He who has achieved his desire has settled something for all time." 
- The Meditations "It is impossible to live a continent life without at times looking away from ourselves and turning our attention outward. But our outward turn should not be toward business or outside activity, but toward some object that elevates the soul and does not draw it downward. External things must be used with discrimination, for we cannot overindulge in them without injuring ourselves." - The Meditations
"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." - Meditations
"The main reason why such great importance is attached to the discipline of the body is that through it we can control pleasures and pains, which are the greatest source of our mistakes. We make a mistake in this way, not by doing wrong, but by not doing what is right. If you want to be free from mistakes of judgement, then don't allow yourself to be influenced by pleasure or pain." - The Meditations
"Although we carry the mind inside us, it is clear that it can remain outside us too. We can travel through life with our minds unencumbered." - The Meditations
"We must be content with the stoic lightness and readiness to face difficulties of which we are conscious."
- The Meditations "Walk as you have been taught; stay within your limits. He who is not set on firm ground will always fall back. Be persistent in being just; be persevering in endurance. Be consistent in your actions." - Meditations "How wretched it is to despise our present moments and how much better it is to live using each present moment."
"- The Meditations
"Look at every event that occurs as being beneficial, even if it appears harmful at first, for the Universe is ultimately a good thing and brings us good if we embrace it with intelligent affection." - The Meditations
"People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the truth is that he has found himself only too often, he has become lost just as many times.

Through the quotes above we can see how the stoics lived their life and lived by the philosophy that they taught. It's an austere lifestyle, but one that will lead to success in life.
"He who lives with himself is alone." - Meditations
"People thought they were seeking happiness by running from it and through pain trying to avoid it; while what they really were seeking was freedom from turmoil and anxiety, and not endurance of pain." - The Meditations
"It is better to be free of harmful passions than to just be free of their painful consequences."- The Meditations "The only real misfortune is not being able to live a good life in the circumstances you find yourself in.

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