The Roman statesman and orator Cicero wrote, “A happy life consists in tranquility of mind.” (Fully, “We make blessedness of life depend upon an untroubled mind, and exemption from all duties.”)
As the other stoics did, Cicero claims that happiness relies on the internal—we must ultimately rely on ourselves for happiness. The happiest person is “the one who depends on himself only.”
For the stoics, tranquility is to be found by stopping to stress about things we can’t control—by narrowing our focus, looking inward, and eliminating the many uncontrollable passions.
The Bhagavad Gita (2:64-65; from Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s exposition) reiterates that such a mode of conduct characterized by the tranquility of mind is the means of spiritual realization:
A man of disciplined mind, who moves along the objects of the sense, with the senses under control and free from attachment and aversion, he attains purity of spirit. And in the purity of spirit, there is produced for him an end of sorrow; the intelligence of such a man of pure spirit is soon established (in the peace of self.)
Idea for Impact: It’s the state of mind that conceives of whether we’re happy. Therefore, we must strengthen our minds and become fulfilled humans.
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