Stoic advise

Emotion Control

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We humans love power and feeling powerful, we admire stories of courage of people cliffwho face victoriously his enemies and challenges with the might of Hercules. We would like to feel, if we could, as the mighty cliff that faces the ferocious ocean without moving, without giving in just one bit. This is possible, we have that power within us. We have to understand though, what is that power and how to use it.

Stoicism is often depicted as a philosophy whose sole aim, is the suppression of emotion, popularly believed. It portrays a stoic as a piece of wood or iron, fearless but also emotionless.  This does not hold true for Stoicism. Stoics are, at the end of the day, human beings charged with love, fear and shyness too. Humans all to humans.

The aim of Stoicism is not to suppress emotion, is to live life as best as it can be lived.


“an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.”

There is no way in which we cannot feel emotion, emotion just arises.

If you happen to be at the subway in the middle of the night and someone pulls out a gun, you will be afraid, you cannot control not being afraid. The same thing happens with every situation in life. When you have an important meeting, you will feel anxious, asking a girl out? you will feel anxious as well.

What the Stoics argued regarding emotions is that you don’t have to suppress them, quite the contrary, you should act in ways that give you the would ones and avoid the negative ones.  You don’t have to feel guilty about feeling afraid or angry. The rise of emotion is something, just as thought, that isn’t under our direct control, and so this too becomes part of the indifferents.

Indifferents, all the things that are not under our direct control. We have to be carefully aware of what it is and what is not that is under our direct control. Emotions play a tricky part, because we are the ones feeling it, and we feel rulers of our emotions because we ourselves are literally feeling them, but in reality you cannot control the next thought or the next emotion that arises.

tumblr_inline_os6onoarwr1uk9lm5_500Emotion control

A practicing Stoic, however, has the capacity of applied reason. Volition, the capacity to exert our will. It is in the power to exert our own will where we can become like the unmoving rock in the middle of the waves. Emotion may rise, but it is subjected to our reason and cardinal virtues (wisdom, temperance, courage and justice).

Stoically, we have the capacity to disregard passions as indifferents, but still feel the whole sphere of emotion without restrictions, it is in that power, where we have emotion control.

Make sure that the ruling and sovereign part of your soul remains unaffected by every movement, smooth or violent, in your flesh, and that it does not combine with them, but circumscribes itself, and restricts these experiences to the bodily parts. Whenever they communicate themselves to the mind by virtue of that other sympathy, as is bound to occur in a unified organism, you should not attempt to resist the sensation, which is a natural one, but you must not allow the ruling centre to add its own further judgement that the experience is good or bad. (Meditations, 5.26)

You can feel fear, but act with courage anyways.

You can feel shame, but stand proudly anyways.

You can feel anger, but act with justice anyway.

Stoicism and action go hand in hand. A Stoic does not wait, he acts in spite of. The greater the challenges, the greater for the Stoic mind becuase it can practice its power to overcome it.

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their Michael_Zeno_Diemer_-_Ship_at_Seareputation from storms and tempests. ”
― Epictetus

The difference between a fool man and a wise man lies in the power to put everything that happens to him to the test of his reason and act accordingly.


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Carved in Mayhem

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Carved in Mayhem from Dan DiFelice on Vimeo.

Life is poetic.

I believe we don’t take that into account very often.

Life is painfully beautiful. One day you wake up with pure joy in your hands, the entire day is the most perfect gift you could ever wish for, in this moments, life flows easily and you feel blessed for it.

There are dark times as well, challenging times, times where emotions like happiness seem just childish. What is needed then, are deeper, darker and stronger emotions. Character arises from our depths.

“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”

― C.G. Jung

Mayhem, destruction, hate, jelousy, anger. God forbid you to feel this dark emotions too often but trust me. You are going to feel them.

There is great power in our darkness.

There are situations in life where a “positive attitude” will get you nowhere, force and damage must be done and we must be readily capable of performing.

Know this. You are not a “good” being. You are an infinelty complex entity that is rarely definable by good and bad, it’s just not that easy.

Material for carving

The ancient stoics claimed that everything that happens to us or better said all the externals (our bodies, fortune, our experiences) are material for virtue. We carve ourselves from ourselves.

Everything inside us, is material for carving. Anger is great material for excercise to give an example, envy is great material for work. None of our emotions are to be scorned, they are material for virtue.  Use them accordingly.

Once you had passions and called them evil. But now you have onlyyour virtues: they grew out of your passions.You set your highest goal in the heart of those passions: then they became your virtues and joys. And though you were of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the lustful, or of the fanatical, or the vengeful; in the end, all your passions became virtues, and all your devils, angels. Once you had wild dogs in your cellar: but they changed at last into birds and charming singers. Out of your poisons you brewed soothing ointments for yourself; you milked your cow of sorrow — now you drink the sweet milk of her udder. And nothing evil grows out of you any longer, unless it be the evil that grows out of the conflict of your virtues.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Realize this, and you will be powerful. Nothing is to be scorned, Amor Fati, love everything that happens.



I got to a point in my existence
with my head insisting i live to kill
Spilling my ills…I was engulfed to go public and show my life was rubbished. Everything about me obsessed to mess a man’s life up
and leave his family with the knowledge i cut his head off
I preserved me…to decay them
I carved me in my mayhem, a stone cut from the same element.
My mother gave birth to a story that will shame men, this became my importance. every day that came and went
venting mentally my mentality.
I sedated my impatience with drugs and booze.
I stalked and wrote the horror story.
Lies gave me my act as an asset
my ego relaxed in the sociopathic…
Every day i fight with my lack of patience, so i sedate me, making me weak That don’t work.
How can i have my dream to be a nightmare?
I’m not sharp and my body is not prepared…so i cleaned my act.
Trained hard to let the steam off,
cleaned my diet to strengthen my mean heart,
but it cleaned my heart.
Thoughts were feeding my fed up,
love was fixing my head up.
A new story was starting to write itself
I was liking myself
I realized I was not going to just kill him…I was going to kill me Fuck that.
Now I live to shine
relax my spine in the quiet of the divine that gives the sky
To cover my life I live like I don’t want anyone to die.
Vibrant I feel facilitated for no reason other than something loves me to be alive… I oblige
With body heart and mind…
I have found my spirit
my creativity is how I live
my life realizes it.
Read my manifest manifested,
from cursed to blessed…
the hand of the divine
gave me time to rise and rest.
I eat sleep train and move
to be the best version of me my children can get and our love can ensue… blessed…
I’m grateful
not hate obsessed.
My life was carved from a stone,
52 years was never too late to begin again.


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Stoic advise


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220px-Nietzsche187aWhat is it about freedom that is so appealing to us human beings? Why does Nietzsche spoke so proudly of “us, the free man”?

He said that god is dead, that we killed him, and if he is dead someone asks, who is making the rules? Nietzsche says: Nobody! and if nobody is making the rules, then anybody can make them.

The power to make, create your own rules, the ultimate power, lies in your hands. However:


There are a few men whom slavery holds fast, but there are many more who hold fast to slavery.


We are scared of freedom, we care too much.

We care about how we look, we care about what other people think about us and in doing so we hold fast to slavery as Seneca says.

To make your own rules is to choose what you yourself like and don’t like and be open about it, this is living virtuously and from truth. Your truth.

A free man has a great responsibility, most people scorn freedom. It is a heavy burden, to be free.

A free man must choose on his own accord what is best for him, but how the hell can he know what is best for him?

We can certainly look around and get an idea of what is best. We can learn from the great ones and take what we feel goes with us and simply not put attention to what does not resonates with us. But, the ultimate choice to be anything is ours.

What is deep inside us? what are we? What is it in us that wants to be free?Canada, into the Abyss.jpg

Maybe, precisely this is what Nietzsche was referring to when he said that if you stare long enough at the abyss, the abyss will stare back. Scary to know yourself so deeply and without filters, but it is in that innermost space where ultimate freedom  is. That thing in which we must put our hopes in, is the self (that thing that stares back from the abyss).

Not choosing voluntarily to be free has its consequences.

“Escape from Freedom attempts to show, modern man still is anxious and tempted to surrender his freedom to dictators of all kinds, or to lose it by transforming himself into a small cog in the machine, well fed, and well clothed, yet not a free man but an automaton.”

Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom

Sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it?

When we don’t choose to make our own choices, they are going to be made by someone else.

Making choices is hard, it requires courage and a leap of faith must be made.

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”

Jim Morrison

Go lock yourself in your room, meditate, think about your life.

If you are quiet long enough what will happen is that you are going to begin to see all the chatter of your mind, most of it is not even yours, repeating the same old stuff.

audience-vieew.jpgIt’s not even original, it’s boring, everyone is thinking about the same things: work, my likes on facebook, money, looks, men, women.

It has become blatantly boring We need differences and variety. We need more clash of ideas, from this class comes the creation of new and better ideas. Authenticity will not be welcomed nicely, you can be sure about that, but you have to train yourself in your truth and in your willingness to be free, if freedom is what you want.  

“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
― Ralph Waldo EmersonSelf Reliance

Of course, as previously said, this requires courage , face your fears of rejection, claim your freedom.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”

Jim Morrison

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

Robert Frost

To finish this quick review on quotes on freedom, I’d like to remember Frederick Douglass.

I believe there are very few men who have as him tasted the sweet flavor of freedom more joyously.

Frederick Douglass, as you might already know, was an american slave and later frederick.jpgprominent writer during the 1800’s. He eventually gained his freedom, not without an  unimaginable terrible toil of years of wretched slavery and shameful experience . There is a particularly strong passage in his book Narrative that goes:

I therefore resolved that 1835 should not pass
without witnessing an attempt, on my part, to secure my liberty.
But I was not willing to cherish this determination alone. My
fellow-slaves were dear to me. I was anxious to have them
participate with me in this, my life-giving determination. I
therefore, though with great prudence, commenced early to
ascertain their views and feelings in regard to their condition,
and to imbue their minds with thoughts of freedom. I bent
myself to devising ways and means for our escape, and
meanwhile strove, on all fitting occasions, to impress them with
the gross fraud and inhumanity of slavery. I went first to Henry,
next to John, then to the others. I found, in them all, warm
hearts and noble spirits. They were ready to hear, and ready to
act when a feasible plan should be proposed. This was what I
wanted. I talked to them of our want of manhood, if we
submitted to our enslavement without at least one noble effort
to be free. We met often, and consulted frequently, and told our
hopes and fears, recounted the difficulties, real and imagined,
which we should be called on to meet. At times we were almost
disposed to give up, and try to content ourselves with our
wretched lot; at others, we were firm and unbending in our
determination to go. Whenever we suggested any plan, there
was shrinking—the odds were fearful. Our path was beset with
the greatest obstacles; and if we succeeded in gaining the end of
it, our right to be free was yet questionable—we were yet liable
to be returned to bondage. We could see no spot, this side of the
ocean, where we could be free. We knew nothing about Canada.

Our knowledge of the north did not extend farther than New
York; and to go there, and be forever harassed with the frightful
liability of being returned to slavery—with the certainty of
being treated tenfold worse than before—the thought was truly
a horrible one, and one which it was not easy to overcome. The
case sometimes stood thus: At every gate through which we
were to pass, we saw a watchman—at every ferry a guard—on
every bridge a sentinel—and in every wood a patrol. We were
hemmed in upon every side. Here were the difficulties, real or
imagined—the good to be sought, and the evil to be shunned.
On the one hand, there stood slavery, a stern reality, glaring
frightfully upon us,—its robes already crimsoned with the blood
of millions, and even now feasting itself greedily upon our own
flesh. On the other hand, away back in the dim distance, under
the flickering light of the north star, behind some craggy hill or
snow-covered mountain, stood a doubtful freedom—half
frozen—beckoning us to come and share its hospitality. This in
itself was sometimes enough to stagger us; but when we
permitted ourselves to survey the road, we were frequently
appalled. Upon either side we saw grim death, assuming the
most horrid shapes. Now it was starvation, causing us to eat our
own flesh;—now we were contending with the waves, and were
drowned;—now we were overtaken, and torn to pieces by the
fangs of the terrible bloodhound. We were stung by scorpions,
chased by wild beasts, bitten by snakes, and finally, after having
nearly reached the desired spot,—after swimming rivers,
encountering wild beasts, sleeping in the woods, suffering
hunger and nakedness,—we were overtaken by our pursuers,
and, in our resistance, we were shot dead upon the spot! I say,
this picture sometimes appalled us, and made us

“rather bear those ills we had,
Than fly to others, that we knew not of.”

Frederick Douglass

I can’t imagine a harsher situation than that of this great man. Today, we feel that we are slaves to our 9-5 job or our situation but it’s quite helpful to know just how much power there is in a human being. Frederick eventually gained his freedom and lived to tell us about it.

Like him, claim yours. Everyone has a struggle but is precisely in the overcoming of our struggles where freedom lies.

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Some thoughts on quality

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“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

First, some thoughts on quality.

Today, Sunday, I feel compelled to talk about so many things with you, but first as I just said, I need to talk about quality, because it is that single attribute what defines this whole process, called life.

A concept seems easy to understand in our heads don’t you think?


We, after all, comprehend phenomena in the realm of our unique consciousness but when it comes to set a concept into words and we try to illustrate the pictures from our heads, into others, that right there, becomes the tricky part.

What is the solution for that difficultness?


Quality is the aim to do something  the right way.

Quality is admirable because it is self-explanatory, everyone can feel it or understand it even metaphysically.  Sometimes we don’t know how to explain the why a work is a work of quality but we just know deep inside.

To do anything with quality is to do it right and we all know what that right is, we feel it.

When we make the decision to act with quality there is no confusion, there is no hesitancy, the choice to do it right has already been made and so no explanation for action is needed, there is just right action.

When we act with quality, the feeling of how we are using our time can get counter-intuitive. We tend to make the supposition that time is scarce, so we better hurry, thus sacrificing quality.

Quality needs time and patience, as long as attention. What’s counterintuitive is that acting in a hurry and without care, is actually slowing us down.

By not taking the decision to act with quality and being half-there half in other place, slows us down because by doing something good we only have to do it once, but do something bad and you’ll stumble into the same problem again and again.

Let your work, work on you.51a7fb95d69a284ee9eeb72a27644eb7--photography-art-night-photography

This is a rather profound recommendation.

Let your work, work on you. Everything you do or make, is an opportunity to be better, inside and outside.

It’s just as true that everything that is done badly or half-heartedly will work as well in the inside and the outside and not precisely in a good way.

Everything we do matters. Matters because it betters or worses not just ourselves, but the whole existence. Everything is connected. When we act with quality, we give quality to existence.

When we are washing dishes to give an example, there are two ways of doing it, correctly, or incorrectly. If you don’t put your full attention and care to the task at hand, you will not treat it fairly and will not let it work on you. If you don’t do it correctly the inner work (lesson) that the action can teach you will be wasted.

Everytime we are doing something we have an opportunity to practice patience and presence, to practice diligence, to practice everything.

Practice is all there is, there is never going to be a moment in which the work is done. We can only strive to become better and better at what we do and as quality is prefered in our lives than mediocrity practice is the only way through which great and better quality can be achieved and everytime we discard an activity and don’t put our effort in it, we are wasting our lives in mediocrity.

Living is an activity and better said an art, it is something that Seneca said, takes our whole lives to learn.

We can practice right now, this is why quality is so important, in everything we make, everything we do, everything we are needs to be constantly perfected and in doing so we are living as best and qualitatively as we can.

Hurry up and live.


chess-1Quality is admirable and speaks for itself, I don’t have to tell you how to live your life best, that is something only you know, but bear in mind the concept of quality, because you know what a life of quality is. Apply it, apply it to everything and quality will start surrounding your life.

Life is fractal every small deed is part of the bigger deed. The details make the whole. Take care of the details, they are not time wasters, they are time savers, know this and quality will be effortless and more importantly, you’ll make your life and others, lives of quality.

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Stoic advise


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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

― Winston S. Churchill

What is courage? When you think about this fundamental stoic value what appears on your mind? Is it an attitude? Is it a tool? Is it maybe a disposition of the mind?

First, let’s get a feeling of what courage is .

Rosa Louise McCauley better known as Rosa Parks, became a key part of the civil rosa parks.jpgmovement in the US because she was brave enough to sit in the white people section, she denied the unglamorous insults given to her telling her to move back to the black section. She ended in jail, but this small action gained her the nickname of “The first lady of the civil rights movement”. A great act of courage that suites just perfectly to what  Henry David Thoreau in Civil disobedience said: “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man (woman) is also a prison.”

The great Scipio, Publius Cornelius Scipio. A young roman consul that at the young age of paul ruebens.jpg26 commanded two roman legions and against all odds conquered Cartago Nova (now the city of Cartagena) a mighty and fortified city at the time.  What’s more impressive still is that he took control of the city with the two famous cursed legions. Legions that fled from the battle of Cannae and in doing so lost their honor. Scipio took them and gave them the opportunity to regain their honor by fighting and so they did by conquering Cartago Nova.

Later in Africa, he defeated the mighty Hannibal and gained the nickname “Africanus”. At such a young age he had the burden of defending the great Roman Empire against one of the most cunning and undefeatable roman enemies.

The two examples just mentioned exemplified the most admirable types of courage. A type of courage that sacrifices itself for the benefit of the group but there is also bravery in the dark side as well.

The movie Scarface, famously depicts Tony Montana as a bloody killer, you can definitely say he had another kind of courage, commonly called balls of steel.

Jack Donovan argues in his book The way of men  that courage or bravery is kinetic, it requires movement, it is a sort of force. You can certainly be very powerful physically, but if you don’t have the will to face something, you are not brave.

From the examples just mentioned, we can infer that courage need some sort of risk or danger to exist. The might of and act of courage is directly correlated with the level of danger or risk one must encounter.

Rosa faced jail, Publius faced the defeat of the Roman Empire and Tony is facing literally torture or death.

I believe we all know that state of mind, during those moments the mind goes quiet, the vintage-boxing (1)idea of not achieving something cease to matter, we are just ready and in “go”mode.

When I was younger and I got into fights, I got scared.

I remember rationalizing my fear saying to myself or my father when he asked, that I wasn’t afraid of the fight itself. I thought that if I just could assure myself victory, I would be fearless.

But that exactly there is the problem. The fact that you can lose is what gives you the opportunity to act with courage. If everything were assured, courage would not be needed.

Just as with this example, so is everything in life. We can prepare ourselves, sure, but at the end of the day, courage is making the decision to do anything in spite of the consequences.

The feeling of courage is majestic, it’s mighty.

The stoics know very well what this means, the power to be courageous is a decision that springs always from within. Courage is also one of the cardinal virtues of stoicism, it’s just a fundamental virtue to live.

I believe now we have a better understanding of what courage is don’t you think? But, what about the dark side of courage? What differentiates them?

Jack Donovan  argues that there are two types of courage. The first type is higher courage, this is the type of courage that will sacrifice himself for the group, you can say it is the most noble.

The second type is lower courage. This is the type of courage that is more personal and used in everyday life. This is the courage that will give us the push to assert our interests.

albert-camus-biblioteca_tonaEveryone wants to be good, but being good all the time will not take you very far in life as it is perfectly natural to have personal interests and ambitions. This is the type of courage that Tony Montana used to get what he wanted.

I know, that is a pathological level, but as with everything in life, there needs to be a balance between the higher and the lower.

Another way to understand courage is with the word “game”.

Sam Sheridan wrote in his book A fighter’s heart the concept of gameness which is: “the eagerness to get into the fight, the berserker rage, and then the absolute commitment to the fight in the face of pain, of disfigurement, until death.”

In dogfighting the dogs start to fight and when one of them seems to starts losing, they take them back outside the “scratch lines” if a dog returns voluntarily to the fight, that dogs is said to have game.

Having game or courage is a personal decision.

Marcus Aurelius obviously had game, I mean, he had to wage war against the barbarians MARCUS AURELIOUS HEADmost of his life, but he also had that higher courage that protected the whole Roman Empire.

Just imagine what Marcus Aurelius went through, this is why he is one of the mayor authorities in stoicism, he had to practice stoicism, literally everyday and in battle.

Courage, a magnificent virtue that is available to all but attained by the few.

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Stoic advise

We are blind

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There is a chapter in Seneca’s book Letters to Lucilius in which he speaks about blindness and its cure. 

Seneca tells the story about what he called one of his wife’s female clowns. Harpaste (the name of the clown) was  funny  because she was blind, but she also was sure that she could see, and so she kept asking her attendant to change her rooms to another one because that one was to dark, funny story. But what is really funny is that most of us are blind to our faults and vices and that is why it is so hard to get ahold of virtue, the sole good.

For what else are you
busied with except improving yourself every day,tumblr_inline_os6onoarwr1uk9lm5_500
laying aside some error, and coming to understand
that the faults which you attribute to circumstances
are in yourself? 


This should be our sole aim, no doubt.

If we only knew in our heart that the most intense power is already within us, why do we go then living lives of vice? Because we do not know we are sick, we don’t see our faults.


In the cave allegory of Plato (image above), everyone is chained inside a cave, there is a fire inside the cave, and the only things visible inside the cave are the shadows that form from the fire. A man sets himself free breaking his chains and goes outside the cave, he is amazed to see what the world is really like, so then he comes back and tells everyone about the true world, but he is deemed as a mad man by the people that has only seen the shadows their whole lives. The same thing happens with virtue and vice, vice is easy, we fall into it and we don’t even know it. Virtue is difficult, we have to exert ourselves to get a grip on it and accept that we are not perfect and never will be, which is a hard thing to accept, but nevertheless virtue is also seeing the world in the most beneficial way possible, we are no longer waiting to live, with virtue we begin to really live.

The people inside the cave blame their circumstances to everything but themselves, how 225px-Magritte_TheSonOfMancould they do otherwise? They are blind. How can they even know there is anything they can actually do something about?

It’s easier to blame than to take responsibility. And by doing this we remain blind to our powers. Seneca further says.

I am not extravagant, but mere living
in the city demands a great outlay. It is not my
fault that I have a choleric disposition, or that I have not settled down to any definite scheme of
life; it is due to my youth.” Why do we deceive
ourselves ? The evil that afflicts us is not external,
it is within us, situated in our very vitals ; for that reason we attain soundness with all the more difficulty, because we do not know that we are diseased. 


We can blame our families, money, people, our life situation and basically everything, but we have to understand that the fault is never outside but on our estimation of it. Once you become aware of this, you can actually start doing something about it.

This  reminded me of the shadow and projection concepts form Carl Jung.

It’s relatively hard to know why or when we are being mischievous for most of the time2b251e6a2578ab43f87a2ff5b86e4496--gustav-jung-carl-jung.jpg we are blind to them, but a good exercise to practice is what Jung called the projection of the shadow. A quick overview, the shadow is a part of ourselves that has been repressed in our subconscious because we believe it is socially unacceptable and so we hid it inside, but nevertheless it still acts from the dark places of our mind. The idea of a shadow projection is that we put the blame of something we don’t like in ourselves unto something or someone else. An example  is every time you get frustrated by the behavior of someone, if it makes you react with disgust or anger, you yourself are guilty of the very same thing that makes you mad. This is hard to comprehend and difficult to accept, but very true. This is why Marcus Aurelius said:

The best revenge is to be unlike the one who performed the injustice. – Marcus Aurelius

Just as Seneca knew so long ago what needs to be worked is not in the thing or the person, but in us. This is the paramount self enlightening psychology of stoicism, everytime something or someone makes us mad or angry, we have to fix that disposition on ourselves. Projections can be used for us to become a little less blind, they show us what we have to work in ourselves.

You must not deny the shadow however, you have to incorporate it. If you get angry easily you have to pay attention to that part of yourself and analyze it, and incorporate it into your self, that way you get the power and force of being angry which is quite useful, but you are no longer blinded by it, you control it and use it to your benefit.

If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against… Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.

Carl Jung 

Stoicism shows us to deal with everything correctly, from the inside out, it is our dispositions that we can control, not what is outside and if we need to take heed in turning our vices into virtues as Nietzsche famously said:

Once you had passions and called them evil. But now you have only  your virtues: they grew out of your passions.You set your highest goal in the heart of those passions: then they became your virtues and joys. And though you were of the race of the hot-tempered, or of the lustful, or of the fanatical, or the vengeful; in the end, all your passions became virtues, and all your devils, angels. Once you had wild dogs in your cellar: but they changed at last into birds and charming singers. Out of your poisons you brewed soothing ointments for yourself; you milked your cow of sorrow – now you drink the sweet milk of her udder. And nothing evil grows out of you any longer, unless it be the evil that grows out of the conflict of your virtues.

Friedrich Nietzsche

So there it is, the task for freedom, the task that will give us our sight back so that we know ourselves for the first time and become the  giants that we really are.

No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”Amor-Fati-1024x680
― C.G. Jung

To end the article I’ll leave you with a quote from Seneca and I sincerley hope that you’ll find the strenght to turn your vices into virtues and live freely.

We should
therefore proceed to the task of freeing ourselves from faults with all the more courage because, when
once committed to us, the good is an everlasting
possession ; virtue is not unlearned. 


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No questions please, Albert Camus

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“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” 
― Albert Camus

Essentially stoic, Albert Camus. This great philosopher, writer of The stranger, a book that depicts the absurd,  lovely term. It is absurd to live, tell me please an answer that does not sound absolutely absurd! It’s impossible. Life is so incredibly strange that we have to go about it not really asking us any questions.

But there comes a time in every man’s life where the questions begin to emerge and it is during those times that true meaning starts to blossom.

2700What questions exactly? Well, it is one thing to ask yourself what you want to be when you grow up, and say that you want to be a fireman, but if I ask you why, then it gets really fun. So, I ask you why and you tell me that you want to save other people’s lives, and that is truly noble! So then I ask you why do you want to save people’s lives and then you tell me that it is what good people do, and then I tell you why is it that you want to be good? And by this question I would feel that you are getting pretty annoyed. What I want to show, is that there are no ultimate answers, there will always be a why that takes us further into the depths of philosophy.

I don’t know about you but I can question and answer why’s all day, I believe it makes a really good conversation. But, we have to live so we must know at least how to do it as best as we can.

There are a few things that would be better to know than not to know however, like stoicism.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.

And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” 
― Albert Camus

Camus argues that happiness will never be found through questioning ourselves.

In the phrase just mentioned above, however,  he said that knowing of the summer he had within, made him happy , interesting?

Where is he getting at? What exactly is that thing that pushes back, that endless summer? and that happens to give him happiness as well?

Here, Camus depicts himself as a stoic, for that endless summer is what the stoics admire29198.jpg the most, virtue. Virtue is concerned with acting correctly, but how do we know what a correct action is?

I believe that is a terribly hard question,but if we are to live our lives without questioning a lot we should know a few things first, so we can live more easily like knowing what we can control from what we can’t.

We have to live, now, live immediately and questioning a lot ourselves is hard, this is why I put together this  two particular phrases of Camus.

If we want to live now and without doubt, we need to live with self trust, in that silence, in that endless summer is where the answers lie, quiet answers. That space where virtue emerges, where self discipline is formed and where love springs. That invisible summer knows the answers, and although sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do, trusting that inner giant will surely light the way. Trust yourself.

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Stoic advise

Character, our inner citadel.

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What is character?

Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men tumblr_inline_os6onoarwr1uk9lm5_500and weak men create hard times. 

Character, as defined by Ralph Waldo Emerson is a reserved force that acts by presence, and without means.

There are many roads in life, the most difficult and worthy of them require a certain kind force and attitude, a spectacle of fortitude that only a few manage to comprehend and to embody.

This is character, the powerful attitude available to anyone but attained by the few.

To comprehend character we must comprehend first gravity and trees, yes, trees.

Gravity is a roman word that comes from the latin gravitas, the romans used it to describe a man with a strong personality. A man that similated an immovable force, like a strong, unshakable pillar. 

You can see it in the face of a man that is dead serious about something.

Character is a superb business quality as it gives assurance to a man’s purpose, a man of gravity will stand for what he believes in and fight for what he wants, character is synonym with self-assurance and confidence.

Emerson also compares character with self-sufficingness.

Winston_Churchill_fbSelf-reliance is a core characteristic of a stoic character. Let us not forget that character must be independant, it must stand alone.

This solid foundation that is character can be comprehended and explained with the inner citadel  concept in stoicism.

The Inner Citadel is a fortress around your innermost self, so that externals, meaning  all the things we cannot control, are powerless against our higher sense of will and reason.

The power to do this, to put things to the test of our will and become unmovable is what constitutes a man of character. It is a virtue that must be practiced at all times.

To illustrate this idea better, Aulus Gellius describes it just perfectly.

These representations of the soul, which the philosophers call phantasiai, by which a person’s spirit is momentarily moved, at the first glimpse of the thing which presents itself to the soul: they do not depend upon the will, and are not free. Rather, by means of some kind of force which is peculiar to them, they throw themselves upon people, in order to be known. Assents, by contrast, which are called sunkatatheseis, by means of which these representations are recognized and judged, are voluntary and take place through human freedom. This is why, when a terrifying sound is heard-whether it comes from the heavens or from the collapse of some building, or whether it announces some kind of danger, or anything else of that nature it is necessary that the soul of the sage, too, be also slightly moved and constricted and terrified; not because he judges that some form of evil is present, but because of the rapid and involuntary movements, which usurp the proper task of the mind and of reason. The sage, however, does not give his assent immediately to such representations which terrify his soul; he does not approve them, but brushes them aside and rejects them, and it seems to him that there is nothing to fear from such things. This is the difference between the sage and the foolish person: the foolish person thinks that things are as they appear to the first emotion of his soul-that is to say, atrocious and frightful, and the foolish person approves by his assent these first impressions, which appear to justify his fear. But the sage, although the color of his face was briefly and rapidly altered, does not give his assent, but maintains the force and solidity of the dogma which he has always had about such representations: that they are not at all to be feared, but they terrify people by means of a false appearance and an empty terror.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that if we are capable of fear, we will readily find terrors.727-architecture-interior-old-dirty

In ultimate instance, character is a decision. Is that final freedom of which Viktor Frankl writes in A man’s search for meaning. The inner freedom of choosing to face everything that happens with a stout heart. This inner freedom that is the ultimate power to choose how we are going to face life, with virtue and courage or with fear and cowardice.

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Let your work be your worth

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Work. We all know what we need to do. The price of not doing what we know we must do is of course living a life of denial, a life of quiet desperation as Henry David Thoreau said. We do not do our work for several reasons but the main reason I believe is fear of success and greatness.

Greatness can seem like a majestic and unreachable deed. It’s hard to think about _84010986_zeno-chest-976Marcus Aurelius and Socrates or Alexander the great and not feel minuscule. But these men walked the earth  and lived the same 24 hours as we do today. To think of them as extraterrestrial is an enormous mistake because you no longer view them as what they are, fellow human beings.

Work must be done in silence. It’s very easy to talk about what we are going to do but it’s extremely difficult to walk the talk. We love to preach our plans to parents, girlfriends and friends but we forget that to work, we must work in silence. We dream too about the day when our plans are accomplished and done but when it comes to sit down and actually do the work, we open netflix instead hoping that someday some future me will be inspired to do something(needless to say, that time never comes).

We must not wait for inspiration. Work is painful and hard. It is warzone, we must think hard and put the hours and sometimes it doesn’t seem that we have achieved anything. This is the great wall that not many can or want to climb.

They say it’s very lonely at the top.  Nobody wants to suffer. We treat our dark feelings as burdens. They are not burdens, they are heavenly angels telling you what you need to do to be great. If you feel like shit, good, it means something needs to be changed. If you feel restless, good, it means that you need to sit down and write what can be done in order to gain peace again. No feeling is to be discarded, every feeling tells us something and so we cannot aim to be happy all the time nor we want to.

John F. Kennedy kept this poem in his wallet:3235913_Bullfight_Painting_Corrida_75.jpg

Bullfight critics ranked in rows.

Crowd the enormous plaza full.

But only one is there who knows,

and he’s the man that fights the bull.

I remember when I was younger, my boxing days. I wasn’t to old, around 14 to 15. I had a fight with a tough kid from a tough neighborhood and precisely that day I caught a cold. I was very, very sick. My father nevertheless, took me to the fight, as I couldn’t say I felt extremely bad for fear of being called a coward. When boxing, you have to be not only courageous, but really smart as well. Raw courage won’t help without brains to know when to punch and when to save energy.

I was really sick so I asked my father for advice as well as my coach. They bought told me: give everything you’ve got.

So I did exactly that, I gave everything I had but not very intelligently. I thought that giving everything would help me, but deep inside I knew I needed to trust my brains and fight slowly and defenselvy but instead I just threw punches as fast and often as I could so I tired myself in the first round. The other kid just played defensively and waited for the next round in which he beated the crap out of me. After the fight ended, I knew I should have listened to myself, I mean I was the one fighting. If I had listened to myself maybe I would have won,  (or lose, just not so horribly).

Nobody can fight your fights for you. Only you know what your work is. Ask for advice but remember that at the end of the day, it’s your call the only one that counts. Trust your instincts.

When it comes to work, we need to focus on the process. First trust ourselves to do what is necessary and then be quiet, be very quiet and attend to our work. Let your work, be your worth.




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It’s late at night and I’m half asleep already but as a personal promise I had to write something as I do everynight. It’s very difficult to do so while tired and sleepy. The struggle more than anything else is thinking about something to write, something relatable to you as well and what came to my mind first was the power of will. The power of will is magnificent, I wish I had more and what it got me thinking about was: What feeds the power of will?


Character is a fierce creature within us. It is aggressive, it is also judgemental. It is the divine beast that says what is going to be accepted and what is not. It is a beast of supreme power, the more it gets fed, the more it grows.

Ralph Waldo Emerson defines character as: “a reserved force that acts directly by 220px-Ralph_Waldo_Emerson_ca1857_retouchedpresence, and without means.”

A person with character is quite interesting. Character can be seen as the capacity to say no to anything that does not mold the judgement of what is worthy or not worthy, what we can tolerate from what not.

You can say that a person with character is quite intolerant.

Character is the capacity to cement personality with force and power. A person with personality is interesting but a person with character is attractive.

Jordan B. Peterson says: “There is very little difference between the capacity for mayhem and destruction, integrated, and strength of character. This is one of the most difficult lessons of life.”

It is true, a person with character is a dangerous person. But what do you prefer?

Nietzsche argued that a moral men, is merely a coward disguising his fear with morality. Character decides for itself.

One last thing

Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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