On Stoicism


“How much more harmful are the consequences of anger and grief than the circumstances that aroused them in us!”


This quote by Marcus Aurelius, from his book “Meditations,” reflects on the destructive nature of anger and grief and how they can exacerbate the difficulties we face. Marcus Aurelius, a Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor, suggests that the consequences of these emotions often outweigh the initial circumstances that triggered them.

By stating that the consequences of anger and grief are more harmful than the circumstances that caused them, Marcus Aurelius emphasizes the negative impact of these emotions on our well-being and rational thinking. He suggests that our emotional reactions, particularly anger and grief, can intensify and prolong our suffering, sometimes even more than the actual events or situations that gave rise to those emotions.

In Stoic philosophy, there is an emphasis on cultivating inner tranquility and maintaining a rational perspective on life’s challenges. Marcus Aurelius suggests that anger and grief, instead of helping us cope with difficult circumstances, tend to amplify our distress and cloud our judgment. By recognizing this, he urges us to be mindful of our emotional responses and strive to manage them wisely, focusing on maintaining equanimity and finding constructive ways to address the challenges we encounter.

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  • When I feel these negative / angry emotions welling, I remind myself of a quote from a Nicholas Cage film, I think it was AirCon … “makes no never-mind”. Always brings me back where the mind belongs, in a happy place.

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