“Erase the false impressions from your mind by constantly saying to yourself, I have it in my soul to keep out any evil, desire or any kind of disturbance — instead, seeing the true nature of things, I will give them only their due. Always remember this power that nature gave you.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.29
Marcus wants us to remember that we have a specific ability granted to us by the universe — and that is the power to discern “the true nature of things” and call them for what they are. That’s the wisdom encapsulated in today’s quote from The Daily Stoic.
We can see evil for what it is. This is an innate skill that we all have. We can notice unhelpful or unhealthy emotions and drives when they arise in us. And we have the ability to shut them down. Erase these false impressions, demolish them, boot them out of your mind. And don’t let them back in.
The book’s author Ryan Holidays suggests that we repeat a mantra to ourselves every day — that we acknowledge that we can always see the truth. I think that’s a good idea. It brings accountability for us. The truth should be clear unless we’re truth-impaired, and the false impressions should likewise be clear. We have no excuse not to eliminate the false and focus on what’s right and good, and fill our mind with those things instead. As Marcus says: “You have it in your soul.”