APATHEIA is ‘peaceful state of mind’. It is not any quiet and calm state of mind. In fact <apatheia> is the tranquillity of individuals with no turmoil of passion (<pathos>). Indeed, according to some relevant philosophical schools,<apatheia> is the final goal of all their studies, trainings, experiences and efforts. For Stoics, this equanimous condition is the quality that characterizes the sage.
In his Letters to Lucilius, Lucius Annaeus Seneca writes “pain is light if opinion adds nothing to it. By thinking it light, you make it light. So everything depends on opinion: ambition, luxury, greed, all return to opinion. It is by means opinion that we suffer. Thus let us win the way to victory in all our struggles. Because the reward is virtue, steadfastness of soul, and peace for all time“.
Liberation from uncontrollable emotions, disorderly reactions and untidy feelings is among the best possible conditions for a human being. Nonetheless there are sentiments, in ancient philosophies, not seen as enemies. But philosophers certainly have a firm aversion against all conditions out of human control. A philosophical life is such when the individual is able to manage all his responses, reactions and sensations.
<Apatheia> is ‘peaceful state of mind’. A liberation from passions. Freedom from the assaults of temptations, impulses, urges, moods, reactions. emotions, Anyway it means not indifference but just government of oneself. It means detachment from the bad sides of our emotional nature.
Another quite similar word is <ataraxia>. However, in Epicureanism <ataraxia> is a consequence of the freedom from pain and fear. In Pyrrhonism it derives from the removal of disturbing feelings depending on beliefs regarding non-evident matters (i.e. <dogma>).