Autodidact: self-taught

Nov
29
2012

Stoicism

by V. L. Craven

Aurelius, Marcus: Every instant of time is a pinprick of eternity. All things are petty, easily changed, vanishing away.

Epictetus (60-117): Two rules we must ever bear in mind—that apart from the will there is nothing either good or bad, & that we must not try to anticipate or direct events, but merely accept them with intelligence.

”The Stoics denied the concept of progress. There might be a little advance here, some improvement there—cosmology in their time, dentistry in ours—but in the long run the balance of things, such as good and evil, beauty and ugliness, joy and misery, remains constant. Periodically, at the end of aeons, the world is destroyed in a holocaust of fire and then everything starts up again, just as before. This pre-Nietzschean notion of eternal recurrence I have always found greatly comforting, not because I look forward to returning again and again to live my life over, but because it drains events of all consequence while at the same time conferring on them the numinous significance that derives from fixity, from completedness….” – John Banville, The Untouchable

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