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The Stoic Gym
In the 5,000 year old epic Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, Gilgamesh sets out to find the secret of immortality. He undertakes an ardous journey and faces many dangers in his quest. In the end, he comes to the understanding that humans cannot be immortals. All we can do is to live our lives well here on this earth.
It is commonly believed that Marcus Aurelius’ wife Faustina was unfaithful to him. Personally, such things don’t interest me. We read Marcus Aurelius because his thoughts are uplifitng. Little does it matter (except for him maybe) whether his wife was faithful to him or not.
John Bogle , founder of the Vanguard Group, one the world’s largest mutual fund companies, has this to say about how we live ineffectively: We chase the ‘wrong rabbits’, things that don’t matter, instead of going after the ‘right rabbits’, things that do matter.
John Bradford, the Sixteenth Century English Reformer, was a humble man. He was the Chaplain to King Edward VI. Yet, it is said that, whenever he saw a criminal led to his execution, Bradford would exclaim,
There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford!
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?
We are all comfortable in our little worlds. People who are different from us and who differ with us create in us some insecurity. This type of insecurity is sometimes nurtured for political purposes.
Not being here
Does it often happen to you that as you are doing something, you also wished you were somewhere else, doing something else?
Prayer as a form of self-improvement
“What do the Stoics have to say about climate change?” A friend recently asked me. The question would have seemed crazy to Stoics like Seneca or Epictetus, but since then, human beings have changed nature in such a way that the question is now more relevant than ever.
We all face setbacks
We all face setbacks in our life. How best to cope with such setbacks? Socrates provides a four-pronged strategy for resilience.
Having problems means being alive or, “The day all your problems vanish is the day they will throw dirt on you!”
This is a condensed extract from Massimo Pigliucci’s excellent personal tribute to Larry Becker in patreon.com/footnotes to Plato.