The Stoics: Negative Visualisation

“I’ve taken sufficient precautions, more than sufficient precautions, to ensure that I’m not taken in by deceptive phenomena. At this you’ll protest: ‘Can you really say ” the day that follows never proves me wrong”? Surely anything that happens which one didn’t know in advance was going to happen proves one wrong?’ Well, I don’t know what’s going to happen; but I do know what’s capable of happening – and none of this will give rise to any protest on my part. I’m ready for everything. If I’m let off in any way, I’m pleased. The day in question proves me wrong in a sense if it treats me leniently, but even so not really wrong, for just as I know that anything is capable of happening so also do I know that it’s not bound to happen. So I look for the best and am prepared for the opposite.”

Seneca