passions as being locked into a tumultuous life of constant vacillation which

Passions as being locked into a tumultuous life of

This preview shows page 96 - 98 out of 108 pages.

passions as being locked into a tumultuous life of constant vacillation, which more often than not leads to unhappiness, despair, depression, envy, anger, and the like. Subject to the constantly shifting tides to the emotions as they change from one moment to the next, these individuals are unable to develop clear, logical, or rational thought, they are unable to take control of themselves. Instead, they are constantly reacting to, and trying to overcome or control the manner in which X emotion can be produced or avoided, and as such they never find true happiness, as they are constantly playing second fiddle to the events that impact them, and this in turn undermines stable and clear cognition. The goal of Stoicism is to empower our ability to reason and logically cognize the world such that we no longer live according to our emotions no longer allowing events to produce an emotional reaction that would render the subject passive, reactive; enslaved. Evil & Ignorance – The Unhappy Many For the Stoic the evil or normatively bad person is one who exists in the form of enslavement as described above. Compelled to act, such individuals are like a “dog chained to the emotions and 96
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inclinations,” according to Seneca, meaning that when an individual is led by their emotions and passions a certain bondage and infirmity hinders the development of that individual and their rational capacity to clearly cognize the world and their situation. Lacking an ability to clearly grasp and think of the world, such emotionally-bounded individuals are necessarily driven towards ignorance , wherein the dimension of reason and rationality inherent in human nature is undermined and lost beneath the tumultuous sea of our emotions. Thus by being so determined, individuals who are enslaved to their passions in this manner are necessarily bound to be driven to periods of unhappiness and sadness . Suffering under ignorance and subjected to the movements of their emotions, such individuals fail to take control over themselves, and they subsequently live by the whims of their feelings, and they are damned to a life of reacting to, and trying to overcome or control, the manner in which X emotion can be produced or avoided – and locked in this never ending pursuit this many never find true happiness, confusing true joy for enslavement. To be in ignorance in this manner is to be living in a manner that diverges from the rational side of our nature, and as a result, such people leave underdeveloped a core aspect of what it means to be a human being, namely the ability to rationally control oneself. Thus for these reasons the ignorant are in effect acting against their own nature – and from such, unhappiness and negativity eventually ensue.
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