The Daily Stoic: January 14, 2021

Filed in PhilosophyTags: Clarity, Daily Stoic, Marcus Aurelius, Perception

Reflections on The Daily Stoic:

  • The Discipline of Perception
  • January's Theme: Clarity
  • Topic: Cut the Strings That Pull Your Mind
  • Stoic: Marcus Aurelius

Today's quote:

Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?

- Meditations, 12.19

We are not called to be puppets to internal or external temptation or passions. Whatever the source of bodily passions, we are called to overcome them. "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (I Corinthians 10:13) We must remain vigilant, lets we fall prey to the passions and emotions (fear, suspicion, desire, etc.) that might otherwise occupy our thoughts. "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder." (Luke 11:21-22). In fact, we must intentionally avoid such passions. "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." (Ephesians 4:31)

We are not called to be puppets to our minds, but rather to take control of our thoughts - and, therefore, our choices and actions. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2a)