Stoic Week 2017 – Wednesday

If you find anything in human life better than justice, truthfulness, self-control, courage… turn to it with all your heart and enjoy the supreme good that you have found… but if you find all other things to be trivial and valueless in comparison with virtue give no room to anything else, since once you turn towards that and divert from your proper path, you will no longer be able without inner conflict to give the highest honour to that which is properly good. It is not right to set up as a rival to the rational and social good [virtue] anything alien its nature, such as the praise of the many or positions of power, wealth or enjoyment of pleasures.

– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 3.6

I think he’s on to something with that bolded part.

When you give in to vice and folly, they will ever so slightly change what you are, what and how you do.

Then, when you try to steer yourself back to the right path, you will feel inner conflict. You have learned to search for happiness from externals, from pleasures, popularity and other things of that nature. You have then learned to enjoy laziness and indulge.

When this has happened, as you try to do better, that doing better surprisingly does not feel good. There is inner conflict, a pull back to the things that became easy for you to do.

StoicWeek 2017

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