Marcus Aurelius said - “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” (self.TheRedPill)

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[–][deleted] 81 points82 points  (5 children)

Everyone ought to read Meditations.

A literal ancient redpill.

[–]LittleWindowpane points points [recovered]

Agreed: Meditations also has some ethical guidance there. Marcus might have agreed that sexual strategy was amoral, but he wouldn't have advocated "Dark Triad" or other strategies: according to him, what was harmful to society harmed the individual.

[–]RedPillFreedom 0 points1 point  (1 child)

but he wouldn't have advocated "Dark Triad" or other strategies: according to him, what was harmful to society harmed the individual.

He was emperor after all. It would be up to him to contain the chaos that would ensue.


[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sure, but the other Stoics like Epictetus also throw in a little bit of ethical guidance and don't spew FULL DARK TRIAD BRO bullshit.

[–]hahayeahthatscool 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Dark triad is the only reason we don't live in caves right now.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How so? People might have invented technology for its own sake, or to repel invading dark-triad bandits.

[–]antihostile 71 points72 points  (2 children)

"How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life."
— Marcus Aurelius

[–]Droogas points points [recovered]

This is my favorite quote:

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

[–]sorad792 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Damn I've been using this quote in essays since high school

[–]EricDaGreat 32 points33 points  (7 children)

The idea that you are your own frame of reference (i.e. all is opinion, and only your own opinion matters) is at the heart of both stoicism and the red pill.

[–]1htbf 12 points13 points  (6 children)

It's a scary power to be able to reframe everything you're feeling. At some point, you end up wondering if you're not just twisting reality to protect your ego.

[–]PaBowbow 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Now that's a deep Rabbit Hole

[–]Ragnarrrrr points points [recovered]

Do you ever feel that your ability to reframe changes from day to day? Like, you might have the same initial reaction on two separate days, but on one day you're able to reframe and on the other day you aren't

[–]1htbf 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. So much depends on the frame on which you leave your fucking bed. And even on great days, sometimes you get curveballs from behind and it send your frame toppling in the ground.

So far, nurturing a positive mindset before sleep and then waking up on time enough to get a cold shower and maybe a breakfast before work is helping. It gives that feeling that you're fresh enough for fighting anything the day has in store for you.

I don't have much more for you, hope it helps.

[–]ActiveShipyard 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. That's why people suggest not to make rash decisions. Rash just means relying too much on your current state of mind.

The flip side can be a plus though. Take your time with an important decision, and you essentially get to rely on the opinions of multiple people. It becomes a team effort.

[–]555553211 points points [recovered]

No it's actually more about accepting reality for what it is. You don't view it through a lense of good, bad, surprising or whatever, you simply accept it.

[–]1htbf 4 points5 points  (0 children)

There is no reality without a lens.

[–]Returnofthemack3 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Nothing brings me more peace than Meditations. When you're in a tough spot, open it up and start reading. I keep a copy by my bedside and another in my car. It's always with me lol

Oh and a copy on my computer too

[–]_the_shape_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)


"Whoever writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read but to be learned by heart." -TSZ, Nietzsche

[–]Eckus points points [recovered]

I wrote a short series on his memoir, Meditations.

Redpillschool seems to despise stoicism as a school of thought and either auto mod or he marks stoicism "off topic".

I personally stopped posting the series as a result.

[–]BrodinsOats 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That is a shame. That's my favorite type of content here.

[–]pmelton317 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I heard "think about whether worrying about the situation will help you or not. If it doesn't help to worry, don't worry." Worry is attracting your fears. Strength conquers fear. Doing things you don't want to do makes you stronger.

[–]czargwar 14 points15 points  (3 children)

Voluntary discomfort and negative visualization are both great practices to get you ready for anything life throws at you during the day.

Another great quote to remember from Marcus Aurelius in the redpill context of SMV is this: "The measure of a man is the worth of the things he cares about". Use it to fillter out the bullshit that happens daily, because if you start caring about small things like gossip or some girl's rejection of you, you become a small man. Care about the things you have most control over.

[–]Nathan_thai 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I agree. Because of this mindset, I have virtually zero friends here at college because literally every guy here is worried about what John did last night at the frat party. Very difficult to find like minded people who enjoy talking about ideas/philosophy, rather than gossip or other small things.

[–]Curious_MPhys points points [recovered]

Keep on keeping on. It really does get better. Instead use your time to meet professors and PhD students in many fields. You've got a lot of time to meet interesting people working on interesting problems if only you pick up a phone, send an email, or knock on an office door.

You will likely never have access to as many books or journals for free either. Pick up one from physics, chemistry, history, music, see what people in these fields are talking about TODAY. Even if you don't understand it all you will learn a ton and generate a huge volume of questions. Your interests will grow and you'll be a much better person for it.

Also, don't be afraid to meet janitors, cooking staff, and store owners in the area. Lots of friends to be made and surprising stories to learn.

As you do this, by some magical force over time, you will find like minded people. Often seemingly randomly. At least that's how it works for me.

Having done all of these things I can say it pays off 1000 fold, not only for daily happiness and confidence but also long term happiness and connections.

Humans are awesome. Don't be angry and bitter that some people are stupid. It's easy to complain, it's harder to work to find/build a community where you don't feel like complaining.

Learn what you can from the people you meet in University; really embrace the idea that you can learn something from everyone, that you have two ears and one mouth (greatest lesson I ever took to heart) and just don't be one of the dumb ones.

University is fun, but if you're smart, the fun is in the work/suffering.

[23yo w masters in physics for what it's worth]

[–]EatmyShorts59 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I have cliff notes on this book if anyone is interested.


[–]UseForThrowAwayStuff points points [recovered]

direct link to the book and not your general site?

[–]EatmyShorts59 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hmmmm not sure I understand.

But if you want a direct link to my cliff notes for the book.


[–]Oz70NYC 5 points6 points  (2 children)

The principles of stoicism is preached by not only my sensei, but all masters in virtually all forms. "Control your self and you control your opponent." I marry the principals...as I do all of my martial learnings, to my day to day life.

In a fight, be it in the ring, the cage or the streets...holding frame and being in control of you mind, body and emotions are the key to walking away or being carried away. Recently I had an exhibition against a guy from another dojo. Full contact with pads. I heard that this guy, 7 years my younger...was a bit of a hot shot. He has this question mark kick (google it) he liked to throw for oohs & aahs. So the first round starts and I'm sizing him up. Looking for his tells. Guaging his pacing and distance. A few times I notice he'd pivot his lead foot. Sure enough the pivot was the set up for the kick. He stepped back on his lead foot, pivoted and let it fly. Fast as hell, aand I sidestepped fast enough that it caught mostly my arm. Claps and oohs from the spectators, and he's a bouncing and hyped. But I had all I needed from there.

Play out the round as normal, and I go into the round expecting it. Now he's pushing the pace. Trying feint and bait me into over extending, but I take the center of the ring and hold it. He's getting impatient now. Throwing punches and kicks to try and make me trade, but I'm slipping and checking them...waiting. The lead foot goes back, back foot pivots and before the lead even leaves the mat I come over the top with a hook. Hit him flush as his arms were down and his momentum was coming the opposite direction as my hook. Down he goes, and he can't answer the standing 8 count.

So after the fight, the kid is pissed. His people are trying to console him. I go over to him and say to him "you lost the fight because you lost your composure". He looks at me as if to say "fuck you, dude." But I break down move for move his mistakes...and the martial mind of the young buck started to kick in. In a nutshell, I point out his flaw was losing control of his emotions. A lesson I know will stick with him.

It carries over into every facet. From fighting, to getting ahead professionally, to getting laid. Control yourself and you control the battle.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

You going up to him after the match and explaining how you were able to outdo him is quite respectful. People only want to be better, and you humbling him with defeat while teaching him of his mistakes is great. We should be trying to build each other up more than trying to tear one another down.

[–]Oz70NYC 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Exactly. I could have just been like every other meathead and been all "I'm the best fighter there is". But I'm not a fighter, I'm a martial artist. There's a difference...a RESOUNDING difference. I believe in the martial spirit, and all it encompasses. Part of that is to be gracious and humble in victory and defeat.

[–]Droogas points points [recovered]

I got Macrus Aurelius' Meditations in the mail yesterday. Thats because I really like the guy. But what are some other books that I can get for a better understanding of Stoicism? A guide to the good life?

[–]BrodinsOats 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Obstacle is the Way is a very pragmatic guide that illustrates many of the points from Meditations with real-world success stories.

It's a great read, especially paired with Meditations.

[–]alphabeta49 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I don't remember which philosopher it was, Plato or Aristotle, but one of them would spend winters in simple summer garb with sandals. Others would think they were crazy or hated themselves or had huge chips on their shoulders and wanted to prove something to the world. But in reality, they were practicing the art of self control. Wim Hof is a modern day example.

Negative visualization helps me. I regularly imagine losing my job, or my kids dying. I try to feel what I would feel and imagine what I would do and how I would handle it. When I come out of that fantasy, I have a much simpler and deeper appreciation for my job and my kids. I complain less. Pain doesn't hurt as much.

[–]hellenic-freight 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I believe it was Diogenes the Cynic.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I think the way stoicism is perceived is overrated. TOO MUCH STOICISM IS BAD FOR YOU. Men kill themselves from suppressing their emotions. People who are successful in some way ARE EMOTIONAL. Their emotion is a flood moving in the direction of their success. This idea of constantly suppressing your emotion and your memories isn't holistic, and the greatest access to knowledge requires openness because knowledge hides everywhere, so excessive stoicism won't maximize personal growth.

I've been watching a lot of youtube motivational videos, and I found a lot of rehashed speeches by this guy Les Brown, and they get hundreds of thousands to millions of views.. even though they are repeatedly used speeches. A big thing that differs from his speeches is the amount of meaning and inflection in his voice, you can tell that he believes it and that it has intention, and that speaking emotionally like that is overpowering his own negative inner talk and inner emotion. And this can be done in thought as well, we can think we the same emotional urgency and positive intention to begin to overpower the negative thinking and emotion in ourselves.

People who want to master something and learn from the best masters available are not stoics. Stoics don't have the emotional hunger to master anything because they are cut off from their own emotions. The people who have brought themselves into a peak emotional state from their entire life's experiences pushing them intensely towards something are the people who master things, they act towards realizing the full extent of the mythology they want to create around themselves, and they do it when their emotions are not suppressed and those emotions are guided by a meaning-driven inner voice.

[–]desno 2 points3 points  (1 child)

This is all well and good but stoicism is not suppressing your emotions. Controlling them and suppressing them are two different things.

[–]JoRocKStaR 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This. I'm a practicing stoic & it took me awhile to realize that I can actually feel or react whenever I wanted to. I could also suppress when I wanted. The fact is that I always had a choice. That's what stoicism is about.

If you generalized stoicism as just "suppressing" your emotions then you really don't know it's philosophy.

[–]ScientiaOmnisEst points points [recovered]

So much this. I loved the idea of Stoicism years ago - I thought killing my emotions would make me smarter and tougher. I have copies of the Meditations and the Enchiridion that I'm now too disgusted to even look at. It's not me - I'm the exact opposite of a stoic at heart.

I still do stuff that looks stoic, but I know my reasons. I underdress for the cold or overdress for the heat to test myself, or try to measure up to others who do so. I cut or burn or beat myself out of anger and punishment because I know I'm a bad person. I've tried to fast for health reasons and occasionally take cold showers for the same reason. Self control is overrated - then again I have none and don't want any.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you. I'm not saying lose control of your emotions, just have an emotionally-charged positive inner voice that leads them, and leads you, into action. Leading the storm of your emotions towards your missions and passions.

[–]NotYourTypicalNurse 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You may not be responsible for some of the shitty things that happen in your life, but you're 100% responsible for how you let it affect you

[–]LightBearCares 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I like this concept. It sounds a lot better than masochism, which I thought was what I practiced every time I threw myself in uncomfortable situations for my own "benefit".

[–]caP1taL1sm -4 points-3 points  (4 children)

Why does everyone love these cold showers lol... other than that great post

[–]i-wish-i-could-code points points [recovered]

literally explained in the post

[–]caP1taL1sm -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

I read it bruh, I'm saying that every other post I see on here touts cold showers as a way to grow your dick 5 inches.

I've done it for a bit and I can only really take a cold shower after working out. Otherwise I take a lukewarm shower and turn it down as I'm about to get out

[–]Mudpielol 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Easily accessible form of creating discomfort for yourself. I do it regularly to combat my anxieties. And it works for me.

[–]arrayay 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Magic pill thinking. It is a lot easier to think doing something passive will have benefit vs putting in effort.