The 4 Stoic Virtues [BONUS 5]

Updated: Aug 4

Further exploration into the Stoic Philosophy/Lifestyle with special friends and fellow travelers, Cassidy and Ryan.

Specifically, we will unbox "The 4 Stoic Virtues".

Also, we take a deeper look at the concept of “Sympatheia”, which if internalized, can change how we interact with the world—for the better.

Introduction

This episode continues the question of “Can we be ‘good’ without God?” My friends Cassidy and Ryan are back to help me explore the four Stoic Virtues.


Summary

  • Stoics believe they don’t control the world around them, only how they respond

  • The four cardinal virtues recognized by the Stoics were: 1. Wisdom (sophia) / Prudence - Acting with care, showing thought for the futur 2. Temperance (sophrosyne) / Moderation - Balance, self-control 3. Courage (andreia) / Fortitude - Insistence on Truth 4. Justice (dikaiosyne) / Morality - The source of all the other virtues

  • Sympatheia - the belief in mutual interdependence among everything in the universe


Quotables

  • “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” --Viktor Frankl

  • “Works not words” --Seneca

  • “‘If you seek tranquility, do less.’ Or (more accurately) do what’s essential... what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better. Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’” --Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 4.24

  • “Curb your desire — don’t set your heart on so many things and you will get what you need.” --Epictetus

  • “You ask what is the proper limit to a person’s wealth? First, having what is essential, and second, having what is enough.” --Seneca

  • “Two words should be committed to memory and obeyed: persist and resist.” --Epictetus

  • “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.’” --Mary Anne Radmacher

  • “Summum bonum” --Latin expression meaning “the highest good”

  • “Justice is the crowning glory of the virtues.” --Marcus Aurelius

  • “What injures the hive, injures the bee” --Marcus Aurelius

  • “Seeking the very best in ourselves means actively caring for the welfare of other human beings.” --Epictetus

  • “...to honor equality, to want to do good, and for a person, being human, to not want to harm human beings—this is the most honorable lesson and it makes just people out of those who learn it.” --Musonius Rufus

  • “If, at some point in your life, you should come across anything better than justice, prudence, self-control, courage—than a mind satisfied that it has succeeded in enabling you to act rationally, and satisfied to accept what’s beyond its control—if you find anything better than that, embrace it without reservations—it must be an extraordinary thing indeed—and enjoy it to the full. But if nothing presents itself that’s superior to the spirit that lives within—the one that has subordinated individual desires to itself, that discriminates among impressions, that has broken free of physical temptations, and subordinated itself to the gods, and looks out for human beings’ welfare—if you find that there’s nothing more important or valuable than that, then don’t make room for anything but it.” --Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

  • “...I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.” --Richard Feynman


Recommended Resources + External Links

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