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The concept of a "Stoic sage" in an intriguing one. According to Stoicism, only a Stoic sage is virtuous and happy. Yet none of us is a sage. Not just that, no one can ever be a sage. Since one is either virtuous or vicious, happy or unhappy, we are all vicious and unhappy. (There is no intermediate state between happiness and unhappiness, virtue and vice in Stoicism.)
Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
Traveling within: The skill of being with yourself
Traveling is a good learning experience
Growing up, I thought that traveling somewhere else would turn me into a different person—a more interesting, cooler person.
I know, I know, it is not good form to be pleased with yourself. Even less so to announce it to others. But today I am pleased with myself and I am not hiding it. Let me explain why.
Saturday, February 1st, 2020
A Stoic Cyclist: When People Behave Badly on the Roads
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly.
You read a book on Stoicism. Or listen to a lecture, read a blog, or see a post on social media. You are inspired. You are going to practice Stoicism. You are going to be happy, virtuous, and invincible.
Sunday, March 1st, 2020
Is ignoring violence Stoic? What should a Stoic do?
We are the same as we always have been
In this issue, Greg Sadler poses an interesting question. Why is it, in many Stoic forums, people ask questions like
- Is Batman Stoic?
- Is Donald Trump Stoic?
- Is Mickey Mouse Stoic?
- Is feminism Stoic?
- Is traveling around the world Stoic?
We all face many uncertain times in our lives. But the current pandemic is a time of collective uncertainty, the like of which most of us have never experienced. What has Stoicism got to say in coping with a situation that is so uncertain? Our contributing editor Meredith A. Kunz offers a three-step plan based on Stoic principles to cope with uncertainty.
Chuck Chakrapani, Editor
Long ago, a thirty-something philosopher strode up the steps of a porch on the north end of the Athenian agora. It was the meeting place for all and sundry—jugglers, fire eaters, vendors, fishmongers, beggars, hawkers, and layabouts. The porch was decorated with beautiful paintings but it was also tainted with human blood. It was the site where hundreds had been executed.
Never say about anything, “I’ve lost it,” but rather, “I’ve given it back.” … What does it matter to you through what person the one who gave it to you demanded it back? So long as he entrusts it to you, take care of it as something that isn’t your own, as travelers treat an inn. Epictetus, Enchiridion, 11
Now that you have found this message in a bottle, I invite you to open your mind to a new way of looking at the world: through the perspective of Stoic philosophy. Stoic approaches can help you get through many challenges in life while cultivating your character.
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
Looking at things from a Stoic perspective
How do we react when unexpected things—such as a job loss or a health problem—happen to us? How do we react to predictable daily events? We often react to events in a way that causes more misery. Many people get depressed by they way they habitually react to things.
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
Kids get frustrated. Stoic approaches can help.
Stressed and struggling - Many adults today are stressed and struggling as they cope with the global pandemic and its consequences. Kids, too, have a lot of reasons to be upset. Frustration comes naturally to kids, especially when they are stuck in their homes subject to new rules and restrictions.
Living in challenging times
We are living in challenging times. As Covid-19 continues to ravage wide sections of the globe, many of us are experiencing social isolation, and much worse.
A curious philosophy
Stoicism is a curious philosophy. At its core is the strong conviction that we need nothing and need no one to be happy. Epictetus clearly summarizes this conviction.