Stoic Quotes on Desire

Marcus Aurelius

Wipe out imagination: check desire: extinguish appetite: keep the ruling faculty in its own power.

Marcus Aurelius
(Meditations - Book IX, 167 A.C.E.)

Passions stem from frustrated desire.

Epictetus (Discourses, 108 A.D)

You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.

Seneca (On The Shortness of Life - Chapter III)

Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire.

Epictetus (Discourses, 108 A.D)

We must concern ourselves absolutely with the things that are under our control and entrust the things not in our control to the universe.

Gaius Musonius Rufus

Death is a cessation of the impressions through the senses, and of the pulling of the strings which move the appetites, and of the discursive movements of the thoughts, and of the service to the flesh.

Marcus Aurelius (Meditations - Book VI, 167 A.C.E.)

Remember to act always as if you were at a symposium. When the food or drink comes around, reach out and take some politely; if it passes you by don’t try pulling it back. And if it has not reached you yet, don’t let your desire run ahead of you, be patient until your turn comes.

Epictetus (Enchiridion)

People to whom such things are still denied come to imagine that everything good will be theirs if only they could acquire them. Then they get them: and their longing is unchanged, their anxiety is unchanged, their disgust is no less, and they still long for whatever is lacking. Freedom is not achieved by satisfying desire, but by eliminating it.

Epictetus (Discourses, 108 A.D)

The prime principle then in man's constitution is the social. And the second is not to yield to the persuasions of the body, for it is the peculiar office of the rational and intelligent motion to circumscribe itself, and never to be overpowered either by the motion of the senses or of the appetites, for both are animal; but the intelligent motion claims superiority and does not permit itself to be overpowered by the others.

Marcus Aurelius (Meditations - Book VII, 167 A.C.E.)

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Quotes by Ancient Stoics

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