Today, as the title may have made already clear to you, I’m going to talk about stoicism.
The reason i’m writing about it is that it comes from a much healthier era than ours and I want to convince you of the interest to read books of Stoic (or listen to audiobooks very easily found on YouTube)
In our age of micro-aggression, the worst thing that can happen to a young person is to be “misgendered” and he will complain on a large twitter thread where any form of criticism will be censored.
Stoicism comes from a much harder time, a time where epictetus said
“Never say about anything, “I have lost it”, but only “I have given it back.”
Is your child dead? It has been given back.
Is your wife dead? She has been returned.”
(The enchiridion of epictetus. chapter 11)
You can tell yourself that I’m preaching converted and I have to agree, but that’s why I’m writing about it.
Most people, as well as almost all the western culture to which we are constantly exposed, is tainted with leftism, mindless hedonistic consumerism, this weak and sly mentality, this childish democratic morality refusing any form of suffering.
Listening and reading works that escape this doctrine can allow you to breathe and help purifying yourself from these ideologies. If you think that reading is a waste of time, here’s something from Seneca, the man himself
“Of all men they alone are at leisure who take time for philosophy, they alone really live; for they are not content to be good guardians of their own lifetime only.They annex ever age to their own; all the years that have gone ore them are an addition to their store.Unless we are most ungrateful, all those men, glorious fashioners of holy thoughts, were born for us; for us they have prepared a way of life. By other men’s labours we are led to the sight of things most beautiful that have been wrested from darkness and brought into light; from no age are we shut out, we have access to all ages, and if it is our wish, by greatness of mind, to pass beyond the narrow limit sof human weakness, there is a great stretch of time through which we may roam.
We may argue with Socrates, we may doubt with Carneades, find peace with Epicurus, overcome human nature with the Stoics, exceed it with the Cynics.
Since Nature allows us to enter into fellowship with every age, why should we not turn from this paltry and fleeting span of time and surrender ourselves with all our soul to the past, which is boundless,which is eternal, which we share with our betters”
(On shortness of life, chapter 14)
So why do I think that Stoicism is so great?
Stoicism is about enduring and accepting the natural order and life as they are.
It’s about being impassible towards adversary, being able to endure everything life will ask of you, not wanting anything superfluous, being free of passions and strong feelings, not talking about virtue but showing by example what is being virtuous and living as a man who strives for perfection
If I have convinced you here’s some resources
- Marcus Aurelius – Meditations
audiobook : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5E2AQKuCyU
ebook : https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6920
- Epictetus – The Enchiridion
audiobook : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVN-DqUqyS8
ebook : https://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html
- Seneca – On shortness of life
audiobook : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABRN0E_mI0U
ebook : https://archive.org/stream/SenecaOnTheShortnessOfLife/Seneca+on+the+Shortness+of+Life_djvu.txt
- Seneca – Of a happy life
audiobook : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2A-hgYqQio
ebook : https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Of_a_Happy_Life
- Seneca – Of tranquillity of mind
audiobook : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl5WDfwY4PY
ebook : https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Of_Peace_of_Mind