Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Daily Stoic: The Tyranny of Desire

 Today's mediation is about indulgence. It is interesting.

A king, by attending to what is honorable, protect the food health of the body in its care and gives it no base or sordid command. But an uncontrolled, desire-fueled, over-indulged soul is turned form a king into that most feared and detested thing - a tyrant.

Seneca

Just think about the way we talk about some of our vices; 'addicted to porn', 'hooked on drugs', 'dependent on alcohol', 'getting a sugar high', 'you'll take my guns from my cold dead hands', 'I can't live without my phone', etc. 

I am sure many of these vices, those things that dominate some lives today, were problems in Greek times. But there are so many more indulgences now. Hard liquor, easy access to drugs, heroin, porn of all types. I know that some people think gay sex is an addiction (not me, I'm just trying to be expansive).

There are so many new and possible vices that the sneak up on us. It was a bitch to kick Diet Coke (actually Coke Zero, but you get it). And it passed from being a occasional indulgence to a vice without me even knowing. 

Some vices sneak up on you, and you don't know until it's too late. And there is an "enjoyment" that we don't think of as a vice until it goes too far. Plastic surgery, dieting and exercise.

I like the idea that over-indulgence is the problem. For most things that turn into vices, moderation is the key. But motivation isn't enough for some people. Or isn't possible at times of stress. Physical or mental, we need to work on our addictions.



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