Stewie the Stoic: Fortune

Stewie as Seneca exposes one of the core tenets of Stoicism here: It is not the world in control of you at your core—your self-realization; rather, it is you, yourself and how you receive and handle the world’s slings and arrows that determines your fate, your fortune.

StewieTheStoic014

More importantly, the Stoic realizes that it is they and they alone who grasps the reins of reality.

We choose who we are.

Poorly or wisely, it makes no difference. It is the knowledge of the choosing that is the key.

“For our powers can never inspire in us implicit faith in ourselves except when many difficulties have confronted us on this side and on that, and have occasionally even come to close quarters with us. It is only in this way that the true spirit can be tested, – the spirit that will never consent to come under the jurisdiction of things external to ourselves.” — Seneca

Prosperity teaches nothing. Adversity alone instructs the Stoic. — Anonymole

[Quotes by Seneca. Interpretation by Anonymole]

[More… Once again, “God” here is more along the lines of a cosmic consciousness, not a deity….

“Perhaps someone will say: “How can philosophy help me, if Fate exists? Of what avail is philosophy, if God rules the universe? Of what avail is it, if Chance governs everything? For not only is it impossible to change things that are determined, but it is also impossible to plan beforehand against what is undetermined; either God has forestalled my plans, and decided what I am to do, or else Fortune gives no free play to my plans.” 5 Whether the truth, Lucilius, lies in one or in all of these views, we must be philosophers; whether Fate binds us down by an inexorable law, or whether God as arbiter of the universe has arranged everything, or whether Chance drives and tosses human affairs without method, philosophy ought to be our defence. She will encourage us to obey God cheerfully, but Fortune defiantly; she will teach us to follow God and endure Chance. 6 But it is not my purpose now to be led into a discussion as to what is within our own control, – if foreknowledge is supreme, or if a chain of fated events drags us along in its clutches, or if the sudden and the unexpected play the tyrant over us; I return now to my warning and my exhortation, that you should not allow the impulse of your spirit to weaken and grow cold. Hold fast to it and establish it firmly, in order that what is now impulse may become a habit of the mind.”

]

About Anonymole


5 responses to “Stewie the Stoic: Fortune

  • Phil Huston

    We choose who we are – in essence we know who we are by the choices we make.
    “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you’d like to act.” – Bob Dylan.
    I often replay the arguments of reality by consent.

    Liked by 1 person

  • desertcurmudgeon

    Damn, I missed all of these excellent Stewie/Seneca posts until just now. WP keeps randomly un-following pages that I follow – yours isn’t the first. Not sure what’s happening there, because I never manage my followed sites. I thought you’d been unusually quiet on your page, but now the mystery is solved.

    Liked by 1 person

  • George F.

    This is a wow…and requires further reflection. How you feeling about the job?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymole

      It may be that, in general, these quotes need a bit of context. The letters I’m pulling them from certainly provide such a foundation.

      Corporate programmer: the pace of a snail. I’m so used to banging out code, moving on, that here, the red, blue, yellow and *gasp* grey tape have me confounded. But, I’m learning to ride the flow.
      You?

      Liked by 1 person

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