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Day 11: If You Want To Be Unsteady

“For if a person shifts their caution to their own reasoned choices and the acts of those choices, they will at the same time gain the will to avoid, but if they shift their caution away from their own reasoned choices to things not under their control, seeking to avoid what is controlled by others, they will then be agitated, fearful, and unstable.”

EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.1.12

If you have read my previous post, If you want to be steady you know how much I stressed on the importance of perspectives and judgements. Now in this post I will talk about how much not having a consciousness about your judgements can make you unsteady in your life. We tend to believe that to achieve the state of Zen or tranquility, one need to leave everything and go live a life of monk but any true Stoic won’t talk about leaving their wordily duties. The principles teaches us to achieve this state of “Eustatheia” while being surrounded by all the distractions on the world.

Now our brain is trained to form perceptions and judgements based on the values and conclusions we already have. Every new information is measured against the values we already have and hence our brain is biased towards what you already believe in. And if we have some evidence to contradict what we believe we tend to ignore them and continue believing what we believe.

Another problem with our brain is that we tend to forget the facts with time. Imagine you have a story to tell about something amazing that happened last night. Now when you are retelling this story you just can’t remember each and every part, so you fill up the story with small lies. Now these are harmless lies as complete story is true, you are just filling up the small missing parts. Now imagine telling the same story month after that night. You must now have forgotten more facts and there are more lies to complete the story. As the time goes one, you will keep inventing the new lies for every fact you forget and first lie that you have told initially now almost seems like a fact to you. So, in this way one brain is capable of making it’s own reality and hence completely relying on our brain can be sometimes very harmful.

One must keep an open mind that our brain can be wrong in making a judgement and forming a perception. There are times in our life when we have such a strong opinion about something or someone that we choose to close our eyes and ears to any other school of thought. And I think it is the biggest red flag that we might be wrong with our opinions and hence one must question it. I have added some tips on how can we break our perceptions in day to day life in the previous post. If you have read it and find it useful please let me know or if you have any other ideas you can share that too.

Published inPhilosophy & IdeasStoicism

One Comment

  1. […] bias that each of us has which in turn affects our judgment. I have talked about it earlier in this previous post too that how we can’t trust our brain completely to know what we think we know. That’s […]

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