Sunday, August 18, 2013


Tangent warning: Stoic-ish

Many of us have expectations of this or that in our lives. Expectations (desires) that life will be fair become delusions, and the root of dissatisfaction according to Buddha, and Epictetus. Only Epictetus tell us a simple way of dealing with these, let them go and do not form expectations, expect no outcome, and just be happy with what happens.

Zeno puts it thus: The path to personal happiness and inner peace is through extinguishing of all desires to have or to affect things beyond ones control and through living for the present without hope or fear of the future; beyond the power of opinion.

We could prefer a outcome, but beyond that, we create a desire, an expectation, which can become crushed. Disappointment, of if some person blocks the expectation for no reason, we can suffer anger. Just let it go, prefer an outcome, prepare for the worse, but accept what happens. Kiss a mortal, for they also will die, soon. Hug a statue if that makes you feel better. Chip you name into a big rock, and we have reached the standard legacy of our ancestors. Tell a friend your philosophy, and it may live on.

Some things are up to us and some are not. Our judgements, opinions, beliefs, values and volitions are up to us. If we are high rational beings, expectations or the lack of, our desires, and thoughts are up to us. Perhaps also our knowledge collection, or intents and attitudes, or speech, actions and livelihood; perhaps even our efforts, our mindfulness or attention and concentration. That which has not happened and is under the control of others is not our concern. That which is beyond anyone's control, must be endured, or avoided, but it is not our responsibility. Let it go. If it has happened, it is all just storey. May it rest in piece.      


  1. learning detachment has been SUCH a help to me -- i occasionally break my "rule" but go back to it when i catch myself.... :-) i haven't read the Greco-Roman philosophers, but Patanjali has worked for me.

  2. Thanks Tess; Arrian's Epictetus Enchiridion changes my life.

  3. The thing is people do expect so much and can get disappointed, angry,depressed plus a range of other emotions when things do not go to plan. It's how you deal with these expectations. Some find it easier than others. I try not to over analyse and by all means 'Hug a statue if that makes you feel better.'But it is our life and we do have to deal with things. Like you and Tess have done I must continue to expand my horizons.

    All the best Jan


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