Stoic Resolve and Equanimity

Stoic resolve, I take it, is a resolution to remain untouched by external circumstances. This, I assume, is what most people think of when they think of Stoicism: someone who just endured through sheer force of will. I contrasted this outlook with equanimity in my post of the same name, with Stoic resolve playing the part of a foil to equanimity; one wants equanimity, not Stoic resolve. But now, I’m not so sure.

Stoic resolve may be a way to obtain equanimity, or at least, a valuable placeholder until equanimity is obtained. Take the example of the cold shower in the post I linked to in the above paragraph; while I obtained equanimity the first time I tried that, ever since then, every cold shower test I’ve attempted has been a case of Stoic resolve. I have remained in the cold shower (or other unpleasant circumstance) through sheer force of will. Now, this is Stoic resolve, but what about equanimity? How will I get that valuable thing back?

One possible answer, I think, is that I can obtain equanimity by practicing Stoic resolve. If I continue to force myself to endure unpleasant circumstances, especially those that are outside of my control, I will find the means to reach equanimity, because I will have forced myself into it. That is to say, I will become equanimitious by necessity, because I have Stoically resolved to stay in the situation until equanimity is achieved.

Stoic Resolve and Equanimity

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