Stoic Sunday | 1.15.23 | Impermanence
The principle of impermanence, also known as the principle of "memento mori" or "remember that you have to die", is a fundamental concept in Stoicism. It teaches that everything in the world is constantly changing, and that we should learn to accept this change and not cling to things that will inevitably pass away.
According to the Stoics, attachment to external things leads to suffering because these things are ultimately beyond our control and will inevitably change or disappear. By accepting the impermanence of all things, we can learn to let go of attachment and find peace in the present moment. This principle encourages us to focus on the things that we can control, such as our own thoughts and actions, rather than dwelling on the things that we cannot control.
The Stoics believed that by accepting the impermanence of all things, we can learn to be content with what we have and make the most of the time we have. This principle encourages us to live in the present and not be overly concerned with the past or the future. It also encourages us to focus on living a virtuous life and making a positive impact on the world around us, rather than being overly focused on material possessions or external status.
The principle of impermanence is closely related to the Stoic idea of "ataraxia" which means freedom from disturbance or tranquility. In other words, by accepting that all things are impermanent and that we cannot control everything, we can let go of the things that cause us distress and find peace in the present moment.
The Stoics believed that by accepting that everything is subject to change, we can learn to detach ourselves from the desire for material possessions, status or power, which can be a source of great anxiety and suffering. By accepting that these things are not permanent, we can learn to enjoy them while they last, but not become too attached to them.