Stoic Meditations



Occasional reflections on the wisdom of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers.


  • 1068. No evil can befall a good person

    17/06/2022 Duração: 03min

    The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of a brave person; for the mind of someone brave maintains its balance and throws its own complexion over all that takes place, because it is more powerful than any external circumstances. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1067. The Stoic argument from design

    16/06/2022 Duração: 03min

    Seneca presents an argument from design to conclude that the universe is rationally and providentially arranged, just like Cleanthes, Chrysippus, and Cicero had done before him, and like Epictetus will do afterwards. Of course, from a modern scientific perspective, such argument does not hold water. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1066. Stoic R&R

    15/06/2022 Duração: 03min

    It does good also to take walks out of doors, that our spirits may be raised and refreshed by the open air and fresh breeze. Sometimes we gain strength by driving in a carriage, by travel, by change of air, or by social meals and a more generous allowance of wine. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1065. Democritus vs Heraclitus

    14/06/2022 Duração: 02min

    We ought therefore to bring ourselves into such a state of mind that all the vices of the vulgar may not appear hateful to us, but merely ridiculous, and we should imitate Democritus rather than Heraclitus. The latter of these, whenever he appeared in public, used to weep, the former to laugh. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1064. Stoic non-attachment

    13/06/2022 Duração: 02min

    Zeno, the chief of our school, when he heard the news of a shipwreck, in which all his property had been lost, remarked, “Fortune bids me follow philosophy in lighter marching order.” --- Support this podcast:

  • 1063. The reserve clause

    31/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    He who does many things often puts himself in Fortune’s power, and it is safest not to tempt her often, but always to remember her existence, and never to promise oneself anything on her security. I will set sail unless anything happens to prevent me; I shall be praetor, if nothing hinders me; my financial operations will succeed, unless anything goes wrong with them. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1062. The problem with busyness

    30/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    We must limit the running to and fro which most people practice, rambling about houses, theaters, and marketplaces. They mind other peoples’ business, and always seem as though they themselves had something to do. If you ask them as they come out of their own door, “Whither are you going?” they will answer, “By Hercules, I do not know: but I shall see some people and do some things.” --- Support this podcast:

  • 1061. What do we labor for?

    27/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    The next point to these will be to take care that we do not labour for what is vain, or labour in vain: that is to say, neither to desire what we are not able to obtain, nor yet, having obtained our desire too late, and after much toil, to discover the folly of our wishes: in other words, that our labour may not be without result, and that the result may not be unworthy of our labour. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1060. The premeditatio malorum

    26/05/2022 Duração: 03min

    For by looking forward to everything which can happen as though it would happen to us, we take the sting out of all evils, which can make no difference to those who expect it and are prepared to meet it. … Disease, captivity, disaster, conflagration, are none of them unexpected: I always knew with what disorderly company Nature had associated me. … Ought I to be surprised if the dangers which have always been circling around me at last assail me? --- Support this podcast:

  • 1059. It's a matter of attitude

    25/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    In every station of life you will find amusements, relaxations, and enjoyments; that is, provided you be willing to make light of evils rather than to hate them. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1058. How many books? How many authors?

    24/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    What is the use of possessing numberless books and libraries, whose titles their owner can hardly read through in a lifetime? A student is over-whelmed by such a mass, not instructed, and it is much better to devote yourself to a few writers than to skim through many. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1057. The real value of things

    23/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    Let us accustom ourselves to set aside mere outward show, and to measure things by their uses, not by their ornamental trappings. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1056. Whereby Seneca praises Diogenes

    20/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    The best amount of property to have is that which is enough to keep us from poverty, and which yet is not far removed from it. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1055. The problem with too much wealth

    19/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    If you compare all the other ills from which we suffer—deaths, sicknesses, fears, regrets, endurance of pains and labors—with those miseries which our money inflicts upon us, the latter will far outweigh all the others. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1054. Be careful the company you keep

    18/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    We should choose for our friends those who are, as far as possible, free from strong desires: for vices are contagious, and pass from someone to their neighbor, and injure those who touch them. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1053. What we do is a preferred indifferent, how we do it is not

    17/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    No good is done by forcing one’s mind to engage in uncongenial work: it is vain to struggle against Nature. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1052. Careful about what and why you commit yourself to

    16/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    We ought first to examine our own selves, next the business which we propose to transact, next those for whose sake or in whose company we transact it. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1051. Consider how much or how little you can do

    06/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    We ought therefore, to expand or contract ourselves according as the state of things presents itself to us, or as Fortune offers us opportunities. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1050. Be a good citizen

    05/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    The services of a good citizen are never thrown away: he does good by being heard and seen, by his expression, his gestures, his silent determination, and his very walk. --- Support this podcast:

  • 1049. Wisdom and age

    04/05/2022 Duração: 02min

    Often a man who is very old in years has nothing beyond his age by which he can prove that he has lived a long time. --- Support this podcast:

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