Quote III

“People cause suffering when they are suffering themselves. Alleviating their suffering will help them not hurt others.”

David Cain

And this is why nothing short of violence or incitement to violence should merit aggression.

Hatred works in a cycle; a bad person doesn’t stop being a bad person by being punished. They’re just driven to seethe underground.

Punishment is useful when we don’t have good solutions – it makes an example of the transgressors, so that others will be fearful of transgressing themselves. 

Until the pain of not transgressing is greater than the fear of punishment. Then they snap, and evening news has a field day.

It’s better to try to find ways to make people happy or fulfilled enough so that there’s no room for hatred to grow.

Painting: “Nymphs Turning the Apulian Shepherd into an Olive Tree” by Francisco Collantes

Not All Those Who Wander

“You’ve wandered all over and finally realized that you never found what you were after: how to live. Not in syllogisms, not in money, or fame, or self-indulgence. Nowhere.”

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

You don’t fill the void by fleeing from it or by compensating with externals.

You don’t fill the void by trying to understand it or even trying to fill it.

According to the Stoics, we satisfy it simply by living our life as nature demands. And by, while doing so, being good, being true to ourselves, focusing on the moment, not wasting a second wishing anything was otherwise or caring what other people think of us.

We just live, as well as we can.

Painting: “Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People” by Joseph-Marie Vien

The Socratic Paradox

“I only know that I know nothing.”

That’s no appeal to humility.

It’s no show of humility.

It’s a description of intellectual reality.

It is a myth, that intelligence brings answers to questions.

Well, it’s not a myth, not entirely – but it’s also not an accurate statement.

Intelligence brings a lot more questions than answers.

And with greater intelligence, comes a greater amount of questions.

Painting: “Xantippe Dousing Socrates” by Reyer van Blommendael

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