Stoic philosophers transformed philosophy into a praxis, a practical discipline of daily life. If nature is bigger and stronger than all of us and if its actions aim to survival in a rational way, then wisdom is to live according to nature.
Therefore, wisdom is the root virtue without which one can not be ethical nor a philosopher. Even success and real power can’t be achieved without wisdom. Think about Marcus Aurelius who was a Stoic philosopher and one of the greatest emperors of the Roman Empire.
What is virtue? Virtue is a life led according to nature.
Stoicism is a school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. It is a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to eudaimonia (happiness, or blessedness) is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or by the fear of pain, by using one’s mind to understand the world and to do one’s part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.
Nature (understood also as the universe) is rational and deterministic whose actions aim for survival. The universe is governed by the law of reason. There is no hazardous phenomenon in the natural world nor intention. Everything natural happens for a reason.
Humans are part of the big nature; thus the importance to live according to its plan. Otherwise, human actions can provoke a disequilibrium as it is the case today with climate change, endangered species, floods and storms which are all lethal to humanity. If money is the goal, then nature is overexploited. Since nature is rational and tends to harmony, not to forget that it is much stronger than people.
One day, human actions can wipe out all existence. According to Stoic, this is the peek of human foolishness.
Traditionally speaking, from ancient Greeks and yogis to religions and philosophy, happiness was thought of as a result of self knowledge or knowing oneself. The idea behind it is that happiness doesn’t resonate with ignorance.
As much as this concept of happiness still on today, as much as it is not complete. For the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, “Ignorance is a blessing”. So, knowledge doesn’t bring happiness; in fact it can bring sadness and despair.
Imagine one would find out about a deep forgotten childhood trauma? Imagine knowing a dark family secret? Imagine knowing the eventual death date? Imagine a clear self knowledge without any good luck in actions?
Happiness is not about self knowledge but about an attitude or a will to be happy; that’s fifty percent of the deal. The other fifty percent are left to luck.
After studying philosophy and psychology by myself for a little less than a year. I’d like to share with you my views on life. If I were to gave myself labels for my ever-changing and evolving philosophy of life, at this moment I’d consider myself as a mix of the following philosophies: 1. Absurdism Finding […]
by John Clark Philosophy is in decline. You hear it all the time. The evidence is regularly trotted out: fewer graduates; no jobs; no prospects; a lack of interest from the culture, etc. It’s become a tedious verity. But hold on, how can that be? The oracle of the humanities cast out of public discourse, […]
Another year, another lockdown, another bad news, the ambiance is apocalyptic. With the outbreak of new variants and economical cataclysm, one can’t help asking what would come next. Oddly though, Covid19 being this unfortunate event, imposes spiritual practices.
It is a scientific truth now that the coronavirus spreads through sneezing and speaking droplets. If the world shuts up for fifteen days won’t we be able to win over the virus? Silence is a spiritual discipline.
Another scientific truth goes about social distancing, another wrong word for physical distancing. Learning to be alone is a spiritual discipline.
Lastly, we know that overeating leads to chronic diseases. Since the virus outbreak, food awareness was spread; less is more. Here is also the importance of fasting, known with the fancy word intermittent fasting or simply IF. Fasting has been around for thousands of years as a spiritual practice in all religions.
Being alone, quiet and in a fasted state is a meditative spiritual practice.
Journaling about sleep fall and anxiety, family problems and personal ones helped not sleep fall the night before.
Putting words to feelings, verbalizing and objectification of one’s interiority are all of a big help.
Often, a problem requires not a radical devastating solution but a lukewarm one, at least for the near future. And oftentimes, lukewarm means hiding partly the truth. Lying can paradoxically save lives, so it’s not an absolute evil thing all the time.
In chaotic times, in a world without any visibility, the urge of reading and learning Stoicism is a must.
Stoicism is an ancient philosophy created by Zeno, targeting well-being and resilience in daily actions. While Stoics criticized Plato for being too theoretical, they wanted philosophy to be practical, to teach people to be fearless when faced with troubles.
Check this brilliant article down below on how to become less anxious and more fearless.
Massimo Pigliucci refers to two passages on the fig tree. One is from the Gospels, where Jesus cursed a fig tree and it died completely. The second passage is from Epictetus, the stoic philosopher, who explained that it is wise to take advantage of what life has to offer; therefore it is foolish to desire the impossible.
Through the comparison of these two references, the author explains the difference between religion and stoicism as a philosophy.
It is a well written article, easy to read but profound. There is a freedom in picking religion over philosophy and vice versa. This choice, along many others, dictates our life in general.
Love, probably the most debated concept, is easy (it should be, right?) But complicated (for sure). The most natural feeling that ties people together has never been less than difficult, up to impossible sometimes.
Following a certain pattern of impossible loves, going from one impossible affair into another, is not a pure coincidence. Digging deeper, this pattern hides a subconscious (or unconscious) reason.
Falling for impossible loves more than once says a fear of commitment. Worse, it reveals a guilt feeling of betraying parents or closed loved ones. An impossible love doesn’t lead to commitment; so one is safe from commitment, guilt and betrayal.
Always falling for the “wrong” person is not a lack of chance. It is an unconscious choice. It is repeating the same experience over and over again. This repeated pattern of a person lies between the myth of Sisyphus and the Stockholm syndrome.
Emancipating oneself from the chain of the absurdity of this repeated heartbreaks requires a mind reset. And this is a long sinuous road of self discovery.