The Daily Stoic for June 1. “Always Have A Mental Reverse Clause”.
“Indeed, no one can thwart the purposes of your mind—for they can’t be touched by fire, steel, tyranny, slander, or anything.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 8.41
Dune is one of the most fascinating science fiction sagas in my opinion. One of the most famous phrases by Thufir Hawat, the Mental Master of Assassins of the Atreides House, goes something like:
Knowing that a trap exists is the first step in avoiding it
How does that relate to today’s stoic? Well, according to Murphy’s Law, if something can go wrong, it will. That means we should always have a fallback to our usual reaction (anger, angst, depression, rage…). This fallback is the “Reverse clause” the author mentions.
Always Have A Mental Reverse Clause
Knowing that things can go wrong is the best way of not taking for granted everything we have now. Of course, it would be impossible to consider every possible situation, imagine what could go wrong and then think of this reverse clause.
Instead, I think it’s just a matter of not assuming that our life, belongings, job, our conveniences, etc, are going to stay there always. This reverse clause, in my mind, equals trying to see things in a positive light.
That’s easier said than done, of course. I certainly can’t affirm that I will keep my stoic attitude if things go wrong. Probably, all of us have a threshold, beyond which we explode. I would be lying if I said I am immune to anger, depression, or any other negative feelings in the face of adversity. I’m only human.
I would love it if my exposure to stoicism has given me some tools to cope with those situations. At least, it would be great seeing a little bit of light when everything turns dark.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Always Have A Mental Reverse Clause”, discusses how we should have a “reverse clause” or positive fallback to see things in a positive light when everything falls apart. I think that’s easier said than done, and not quite sure how I would react if everything fell apart in my life.