Living life according to nature. The Stoic principles.

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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.

Watch “6 Hits of Stoic Motivation (Sports and Philosophy)” on YouTube

Seneca

Ryan Holiday, the specialist of Stoic philosophers and the creator of the YouTube channel Daily Stoic which I highly recommend, talks about the strong relationship between Stoic philosophers and sports. In his video, he breaks down the idea of a workout routine and its benefits to Stoic philosophers. In addition he talks to professional athletes who were inspired by stoicism and how it helped them in their career.

Click on the link below to watch the video:

Sénèque et la comédie humaine tragique.

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« Mais il ne sert de rien d’avoir éliminé les causes de tristesse personnelle : car il arrive quelquefois que le dégoût du genre humain nous saisit, quand nous voyons tout ce qu’il y a au monde de crimes heureux. Lorsqu’on songe à quel point l’innocence est rare et la droiture introuvable, lorsqu’on se représente que la probité n’est autant dire jamais désintéressée, que la débauche a des profits aussi répugnants que ses débours, que l’ambition, se trahissant elle-même, en arrive à chercher son éclat dans l’ignominie, l’âme alors sombre dans la nuit : on a l’impression que les vertus, qu’on ne peut plus s’attendre à rencontrer et qu’on a plus d’avantage à pratiquer, sont anéanties, et l’on est la proie des ténèbres. Aussi faut-il nous appliquer à ne pas trouver haïssables, mais risibles, les vices des humains, et à imiter Démocrite plutôt qu’Héraclite : celui-ci ne pouvait paraître en public sans pleurer, l’autre sans rire ; l’un ne voyait que misère dans toutes les actions des hommes, l’autre que sottise. Prenons donc toutes choses légèrement et supportons-les avec bonne humeur : il est bien plus conforme à la nature humaine de se moquer de l’existence que d’en gémir. Ajoutez qu’on rend meilleur service au genre humain en riant de lui qu’en se lamentant : le rieur nous laisse quelque espoir d’amendement ; l’autre s’afflige stupidement des maux qu’il désespère de guérir. Enfin, pour qui juge les choses d’un point de vue supérieur, on montre une âme plus forte en s’abandonnant au rire qu’en cédant aux larmes, puisqu’on ne se laisse troubler que d’une émotion toute superficielle et qu’on ne voit rien d’important, rien de sérieux, rien de déplorable non plus, dans toute la comédie humaine ».

Sénèque, De la tranquillité de l’âme, in Dialogues, Tome IV, texte établi et traduit par René Waltz, Paris, Société d’édition « Les Belles-Lettres », 1970, p. 100-101.

The Stoic Kiss of Death

The Stoics believed that most of our problems in life are caused by placing too much value on things that are not entirely up to us, and neglecting to pay attention to our own character and actions. Love that involves self-deception isn’t real love at all. Yet we deceive ourselves when we ignore the uncertainty […]

The Stoic Kiss of Death

Finding Meaning in the Pursuit of Meaning

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 […]

Finding Meaning in the Pursuit of Meaning

Success Can Make People Better… Or Worse

It made Marcus Aurelius better and Seneca worse when he was asked by Nero’s mother to assist his son and he kept a blind eye from Nero’s atrocities.

So, success is perhaps not for everyone. Seneca somehow lost his authenticity and his sincerity when he became a consultant. Success should not alter the true self unless the self wasn’t that true to start with.

This is a well written article about the difference of success reception in stoicism, a comparison of Marcus Aurelius and Seneca.

You can read it by clicking on the link below:

https://dailystoic.com/success-can-make-people-better-or-worse/

What are your journaling strategies?

I’ve often read that journaling is an effective practice for clearing your mind and focusing on the things you can control (while relieving your mind of the things you cannot control). For those of you that journal, what is your “strategy” for how you organize your thoughts on paper? When I sit down with a […]

What are your journaling strategies?

Peculiarly inspiring quotes!

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid”. Epictetus

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage”. Seneca

“We have art in order not to die from the truth”. F. Nietzsche

“Religion is to mysticism what popularization is to science”. H. Bergson

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live”. Marcus Aurelius

“Free election of masters does not abolish the masters of the slaves”. Herbert Marcuse

“Love is a serious mental illness”. Plato

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. Plato

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”. Aristotle

A stoic guide to become fearless

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.

https://link.medium.com/GxFMx6sfocb