Top 23 Quotes From The Stoic Philosophy: Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Seneca

  1. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius
  2. “If a person gave your body to any stranger he met on his way, you would be angry. And do you feel no shame in handing over your own mind to be confused and mystified by anyone who happens to verbally attack you?” – Epictetus
  3. “It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.” – Seneca
  4. “The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.” – Epictetus
  5. “We are more often frightened than hurt, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
  6. “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” – Seneca
  7. “Do not waste what remains of your life in speculating about your neighbors, unless with a view to some mutual benefit. To wonder what so-and-so is doing and why, or what he is saying, or thinking, or scheming – in a word, anything that distracts you from fidelity to the ruler within you – means a loss of opportunity for some other task.” – Marcus Aurelius
  8. “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.” – Marcus Aurelius
  9. “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
  10. “The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius
  11. “Man conquers the world by conquering himself.” – Zeno
  12. “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” – Epictetus
  13. “Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.” – Marcus Aurelius
  14. “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.” – Seneca
  15. “There is no great genius without some mixture of madness.” – Seneca
  16. “The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” – Seneca
  17. “The best way to avenge yourself is to not be like that.” – Marcus Aurelius
  18. “The wise man will live as long as he ought, not as long as he can.” – Seneca
  19. “No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.” – Seneca
  20. “Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.” – Epictetus
  21. “What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee.” – Marcus Aurelius
  22. “The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.” – Epictetus
  23. “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” – Buddha (not technically a Stoic quote, but consistent with Stoic philosophy)

Recommended books:

There are many great books on Stoicism, both ancient and modern. Here are some recommendations:

“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius: This is a collection of personal reflections and philosophical musings by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who was also a Stoic philosopher.

“Letters from a Stoic” by Seneca: This book is a collection of letters written by Seneca to his friend Lucilius, offering advice on how to live a good life and overcome difficulties using Stoic principles.

“The Enchiridion” by Epictetus: This is a concise manual of Stoic philosophy, written by the Greek philosopher Epictetus, who was also a former slave.

“The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca” by Moses Hadas: This book is a collection of Seneca’s essays, letters, and dialogues, translated and edited by the scholar Moses Hadas.

“A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” by William B. Irvine: This is a modern introduction to Stoicism, exploring how its principles can be applied to modern life to achieve happiness and fulfillment.

“How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life” by Massimo Pigliucci: This is another modern introduction to Stoicism, exploring its principles and how they can be used to deal with modern challenges such as social media and climate change.

“Stoicism: A Very Short Introduction” by Brad Inwood: This is a brief but informative overview of Stoic philosophy, covering its key concepts and historical context.

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