Tag Archives: T. S. Eliot

The Passions of the Stoics

I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

— From “The Waste Land”, by T. S. Eliot

The Stoics divided the passions into four parts, consisting of a two by two matrix of “good” or “bad” emotions versus whether they occur during the present or while thinking about the future.

  • Delight (or Pleasure): present and good
  • Distress: present and bad
  • Desire (or Appetite) : future and good
  • Dread (or Fear): future and bad

To Stoics all these passions were actually harmful, in the sense that they are irrational and instead should be thoughtfully managed. Instead one should have Three Good Feelings and but not Three Not-as-Good Feelings:

  • Joy (chara) instead of Pleasure
  • Wish (or Hope) (boulesis) instead of Appetite
  • Care (eulabeia) instead of Fear

What about Distress and its Stoic version (which might even be Calm or Ease)? And what of emotions for past memories? They might be  Relief (past and “bad”) and  Regret (past and “good”).

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoic_passions

http://people.wku.edu/jan.garrett/stoipass.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Passions

https://immoderatestoic.com/blog/2013/4/2/stoic-emotionsall-three-of-them

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passions_(philosophy)

Stoic Ethics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passion:_An_Essay_on_Personality

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T. S. Eliot: Four Quartets

sq_four_quartets5At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

— From Burnt Norton by T. S. Eliot

Time is a child playing dice.

Heraclitus

See:

http://www.davidgorman.com/4Quartets/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Quartets

https://quadriformisratio.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/the-four-quartets/

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Falls the Shadow

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

— From “The Hollow Men” by T. S. Eliot

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hollow_Men

http://poetry.poetryx.com/poems/784/

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