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Vol. 2, Issue 12, December 2020
As ‘the year like no other’ comes to a close, we may want to reflect on our lives so we may steer them better in the new year. In this issue of THE STOIC, our contributors provide excellent perspectives on living a better life, no matter what we have been through this year.
Is journaling a useful Stoic practice? Some modern Stoics have certainly found it to be helpful. They’ve often taken inspiration from Marcus Aurelius, whose Meditations was effectively his own private journal in which he reflected on issues on his own life. What can a modern Stoic learn from Marcus’s journaling practices?
Practice self-sufficiency. Don’t remain a dependent malleable patient: Become your own soul’s doctor. These lines, inspired by Epictetus, are from my book The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness.
This is one of my favourite Stoic ideas:
Starting with things of little value—a bit of spilled oil, a little stolen wine—repeat to yourself: ‘For such a small price I buy tranquility and peace of mind.’ – Epictetus, Enchiridion 12
“There is no actual tomorrow.” My daughter said this to me as we talked about the way people experience time. It’s true: We’re always living in the right now, today. And we always seem to imagine that tomorrow will be just the same as today.
In my piece a month ago, I introduced the Stoic concept of dichotomy of control. “Introduced” is not the right word, though.
A year like no other
There is no question that for many of us, 2020 has been a year like no other. It’s been a year that’s forced many people to grapple with the pangs of ambiguity at best and job loss, sickness, or grief at worst.
This is the fourth of Seneca’s discourse, On Tranquility. In this exchange with his young protege Serenus, Seneca expands on the following key ideas:
In Part 1, I put forward the case that accepting the existence of the Stoic God was a profoundly rational position that did not contradict contemporary scientific discoveries. In Part 2, I discussed how the Stoic God could help you connect more deeply with Nature. In the third part, I shared a personal piece on how I choose to connect with God. In this fourth and last part, I will delve into more deeply how my belief in the Stoic God has affected my day-to-day decisions and how it might affect your own.
Over the past several months, we have been redesigning our website in an effort to make it the single most useful website for Stoic practitioners. While the website does offer articles that relate to Stoic theory, our main emphasis is on practice: What can I do now to lead a better life?
THE STOIC digital magazine is entirely funded by The Stoic Gym and is distributed to subscribers free of cost. The Stoic Gym underwrites all expenses associated with the production and distribution. The Stoic Gym neither solicits nor accepts donations.