From Vol. 1, Issue 11, November 2019
Stoicism as a way of life
Stoic principles can be used to solve our problems, big and small. But they can also be seen as a way of life, so it is always with us, warding off problems before they arise and offering us help if they still arise.
Sometimes we are not facing problems as such, but are seeking a guide to the good life. Our thoughtful contributors consider different aspects of our life and offer their thoughts on topics like these in this issue. They touch upon a number of subjects such as courage, duty, thoughts, success, and metaphors we live by.
Here are their Stoic answers:
• What is our job as human beings?
As human beings, our job is to do good and be good, by doing one good deed at a time. Jonas Salzgeber explains why.
• What should be our concerns?
Our concerns should extend beyond our concern for personal well-being, to the world at large and, more specifically, to the environment. As Hierocles explained centuries ago, we are not separate from, but a part of, the world at large. Kai Whiting expands on this theme.
• How should we deal with our thoughts?
Our thoughts get us into trouble. They don’t represent reality, even though they look as though they do. Our thoughts are colored by the glasses we wear and we are not even aware of them. Donald Roberson offers ways of distancing ourselves from our thoughts, so we can make better decisions.
• What should we seek?
Good and bad comes from us. Can a life without challenges really flourish? Can it stand adversity? Meredith Kunz considers these questions and makes a case for speaking up for wise ideas and for justice.
• What should we consider as “success”?
We consider something a success if we manage to get what we go after. But doing so puts us at the mercy of what is not under our control. But if we consider that success is doing everything that is under our control, then we decide what is success for us and we can't fail. Using the example of her teenage daughter, Flora Bernard explains why.
• What steers your life?
Although we may not be aware of it, we are guided to act by metaphors. But metaphors can mislead us. Even to use the principle of dichotomy we need to have a more objective understanding of ourselves than that provided by unexamined metaphors.
If you have been a practicing Stoic, most likely you already know these things Even so, it is helpful to be reminded of them as often as possible. Hope you enjoy these articles. Please let us know your thoughts.
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Dr. Chuck Chakrapani Editor-in-Chief