The Stoic Code

These laws all fall equally under the purview of the Stoic.

0: First, decide what you would be. Then, do what you must do.

1. Live nobly.

2. Control yourself; and, therefore, your destiny.

3. Be not touched by things external.

4. Expect nothing; be surprised at nothing.

5. Be satisfied to live now according to nature.

6. Find vigor in constant pursuit of Truth, and permit no treasonous thought and nothing to bar you from that pursuit.

7. Virtue is nothing else than right reason. Pursue it to the hilt.

8. Work at that which is before you, follow your right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, and allow nothing to distract you.

9. To an intelligence of sufficient facility and fortitude, nothing is impossible.

10. All evil is derived from delusion, all wickedness from fallacy, all issue from ignorance.

11. Never believe you know the Truth, for that is the most sublime of delusions.

12. Change is the lifeblood of reality. All things perceived as constant appear so only by the nature of our limited perspective.

13. Secure freedom; not by the fulfilling of desire, but by the removal of desire.

14. Allow nothing to cleave to you that is not your own, and nothing to grow upon you that will give you agony when it is torn away.

15. Let Nature deal with matter, which is her own, as she pleases; be cheerful and brave in the face of everything, reflecting that it is nothing of your own that perishes.

16. Do not act as a citizen of a nation, or as member to any group or club, for you are a citizen of the Universe.

17. Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.

18. Do not permit those who seek Truth to delude themselves. Do not enlighten those who wish to remain deluded, for they will persist, whatever you might show them.

19. The only indestructible elements in this world are your word, and your judgment.

20. The only inexhaustible resources in this world are your will, and the force that guides it.

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7 Responses to “The Stoic Code”

  1. Adrian Sponseller Says:

    Very nice. This could have been the commandments that Moses broke in the movie “History of the World Part I”

  2. Eric Says:

    Point #0 seems particularly relevant to my life right now. Thanks for posting.

  3. Russell McNeil Says:

    Great summary and important work. Feel free to respond here as well:

    http://russellmcneil.blogspot.com/search/label/meditations

  4. Hammad Hussain Says:

    #2 is interesting. My understanding of the orthodox Stoics is that they held that one’s *aims* are under one’s control, but one’s *destiny* is not. And: one *should* aim to go wherever the *logos* (nature) takes you

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  6. バリー 財布 Says:

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