What is in Our Power, Part Four: An Exploratory Course by Keith Seddon

In Part Four (of Five) of our series in which Keith Seddon explores the key Stoic theme of what is in our power and what is not, Keith discusses how it is that a Stoic can act wisely once he or she understands what is in his power. This is called the ‘reservation clause’.

Click below to find out more! If you can, take 15 minutes to go through the exercises and please post below your reflections on this key Stoic maxim!

What is in Our Power, Part Four

Part Five will be posted on Saturday.

More about Keith Seddon & Stoic Serenity: Keith Seddon is director of the MA and PhD programmes in Ancient Philosophy at Warnborough College, Ireland. He is a freelance academic and writer, who started the ‘Stoic Foundation’ in 2000, an educational trust, offering advice, support and a correspondence course (on which his book Stoic Serenity, from which our extract is taken, is based) in practical Stoic philosophy to anyone interested in taking up Stoicism as a philosophy to live by. Our thanks go to Keith for allowing his work to be reproduced on this blog.

One thought on What is in Our Power, Part Four: An Exploratory Course by Keith Seddon

  1. We really never know for certain what will happen next in our lives. I agree with Seneca that we can’t trust Fortune. Therefore, acting with reservation is the only sensible way to proceed with life. One could wake up in the morning, and say to oneself that I will work hard to accomplish my goals, but I will only really accomplish them if nothing interferes. It also helps to recognize as Marcus Aurelius writes that nothing external can interfere with our internal impulse to do good. As Keith comments- we can rethink our strategies, or work towards a different worthwhile goals. We can also try again–but we always keep our impulse to work on worthwhile goals. We will be likely to achieve what is important and worthy in life. Therefore, we should live acting with reservation.

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