Existentialism in Stoic Quotes: Part 1

We are alive and living in the present moment, in this world. Despite the vast differences in consequence we face, we will always have the freedom to choose. Now.. when I say existentialism, I’m referring to the belief that we are all human and choose to act based on our own experiences. We always have the delusion of free will (post coming soon) which allows us to always have a choice. The stoic, even Nietzsche may disagree, believing free will does not exist and we cannot choose our fate. The Existentialist argues, although we ultimately have no choice in what may happen to us, the delusion of free will is enough for an individual to choose their actions freely; what their existence makes ‘happen’. Those held under the delusion of free will hold themselves morally responsible for their actions and will feel more emotions (guilt, pride, judgement) than those who believe free will does not exist, therefore they do not feel responsible for the outcome of their life.

Enough babble, let’s get into some of these quotes…

FIND YOUR STRENGTH IN YOUR STRUGGLES.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

MORGAN PECK. 1936-2005. psychiatrist + author.

This reminds me of a time in my early teen years when I was very pessimistic and often nihilistic. It wasn’t a good place to be in and I remember feeling so terrible about myself, I never thought that feeling would end. When it did though, it was noticeable. This quote points out those terrible situations we have in life, and how it creates something it’s opposite. We have that choice that arises… do we choose to continue thinking this way even after we are aware how negatively it affects us? Or do we try looking into different ways to act and as the quote also mentions, truer answers. To find closure in whatever has brought you to this terrible state of mind, ultimately finding that closure or as the stoic calls the ‘truer answers’ will bring you to a state of mind where you can begin to crawl out of that dark hole. Being humans, and being able to feel this range of emotions, it is one of our finest moments when we can dig ourselves out of a bad spot through the minute choices we make. Choosing to sleep earlier, block that person that’s been bothering you, drinking more water, etc. These are all minute choices that you can make, ultimately leading you out of that rut. Unfortunately, this means the opposite does exist, and it is a choice people make when they decide not to help themselves, often from the perspective that they don’t deserve help. You deserve all life has to offer, and this experience is one of the many.

PERSISTENCE IS PAIN.

“It’s okay to be discouraged, it’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life — that’s persistence.”

RYAN HOLIDAY. 1987 – PRESENT. author + entrepreneur.

A lot of stoicism and existentialism is based around self-awareness but it really isn’t talked about as much as morals and values. To become persistent, you first have to be self-aware. This helps us distinguish the feelings of discouragement rather than outright failure causing us to quit. ‘You know you want to quit’ screams self-awareness to me and it continues, ‘but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress.’ Without knowing it, you are choosing to take this fortress and take control of your own life, in this context I am assuming, it means take control of your thoughts. In both of these quotes above, the individual is faced with a choice to move forward or stay stuck, even worse commit to death. If you are reading this you’ve made a choice to be here. You’ve seen many dark times in your life but have become so persistent, it’s almost forgotten in the past. That is one of our finest moments when we choose to live despite how painful persistence can be and let death take us whenever it wants, we’ll never truly know until it ‘happens.’


“That is the one true thing I love about human beings. We carry the same traits through human nature, yet our minds think completely different from one another. Over 7 billion different worlds in one. All of which we created with through our existence.”

emriyus
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Published by emriyus

I am human, just like you. I have been around for almost 20 years and although it may not be a lot of time to some, it feels like I've been alive forever. To cope with all the things my life has given me; good and bad, I've always been a writer. Maybe I didn't know or necessarily want to be a writer, but I was always on the creative side, not really understanding how different I was from others; I'm really not that different from you. To this day I'm still eager to learn more about myself, to improve and grow amorphously. I want to use this fuel of constant self-discovery as the direct source of 'energy' that can create whatever I want it to, making writing for me a healthier coping mechanism than most I've tried in my lifetime. That being said, I believe that starting my blog, The Existentialist, (all thanks to Wordpress and Bluehost teams) I finally have the opportunity and creative outlet to unleash my passion for art; writing. The beginning is never easy, and it won't get much easier I am aware. I can only believe in myself and keep my expectations to a minimum; I like to believe I hold no expectations, but they seem unavoidable. To whoever reads this, I'm not one to care about views or reads, I won't encourage/pressure you to read my work because for me, the thrill really comes from just making a finished piece of work I'm happy with, regardless if it is read by others or not; judgement from others is what I've feared all my life. I can only encourage you to have an open mind as a reader and believe in me as much as I believe in myself to accumulate the courage to start showing my creative writing(art) to the world. Everybody creates things in their lifetime, I am just another one of those beings; whether you like it or not, nouns (persons, places and 'things') exist to teach us something about ourselves. There is always more to learn...

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