Judgments Cause Disturbances

Essays 1 min read
“It isn’t events themselves that disturb people, but only their judgments about them.”
~ Epictetus, Enchiridioin, 5
painting of man
Photographer: Aarón Blanco Tejedor | Source: Unsplash

In The Daily Stoic April 10th entry, we are told of Musashi, the samurai swordsman who distinguished between our "observing eye" and our "perceiving eye."

🔴 The 'observing eye' notes the existence of things.
🔴 The 'perceiving eye' creates the meaning of things.

The author then asks, "Which one do you think causes us the most anguish?"

The event/moment/thing is neutral, and our perceiving eye gives it meaning that disturbs us.

This is true, however, I think a more empowering question is,

🔴 "How might this thing in my perception serve me?"

In Meditation, Aurelius says

“If something external is causing you distress, it’s not the thing itself that’s troubling you but your judgment about it, and it’s within your power to erase that right now."
~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditation 8:47

In a phrase, "Life happens, and we give it meaning."

Yazan and I in Aramco being disturbed by our judgments

It is always your choice to choose an empowering meaning if you so wish. Always.

Your 'perception' (choice of ‘meaning’) is one of the only three choices you always have. If/when you give up that choice, you disempower yourself and open your mind to the possibility of losing its peace. (You open your inner citadel.)

Remember, the 3 choices you always have:
🔴 Attention / 🔴 Perception / 🔴 Action
Stoicism in three words.

Stoicism The Daily mindset empowerment perception