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DONALD ROBERTSON

Stoic and Islamic Thoughts

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

People often ask me whether there’s any relationship between Stoic philosophy and Islam. The writings of arab Muslim scholar Al-Kindi may provide the best example of a more direct link between Islam and Stoicism.


Wisdom is the most important thing in life

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

As an infant, you're unable to speak and so can't question things logically. You follow your instincts and learn by copying people around you. 


On how to treat others

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

Think of others as yourself - How should a Stoic treat others? Here is a piece of advice from Hierocles:


The art of eating

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

The ancient Stoic philosophers were very interested in food. They talk both about what we should eat and how we should eat it, if we want to live wisely and gain strength of character. For instance, Musonius Rufus often talked in a very forceful manner about food, on the grounds that food was not an insignificant topic and that what one eats has significant consequences. In particular, he thought that mastering one’s appetites for food and drink was the beginning of and basis for self-control. 


Wisdom vs. glory

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

Marcus is not impressed 

Marcus lived nearly five hundred years after Alexander died. Yet he’s still a figure who looms large for Marcus. He mentions Alexander five times altogether in Meditations. However, Marcus doesn’t revere Alexander for his military achievements, but views him from the perspective of Stoic philosophy, with a greater degree of cynicism regarding his love of conquest. Indeed, Marcus appears to have viewed Alexander’s legacy as short-lived. According to Herodian, another Roman historian: 


Are Jefferson’s Ten Rules of Life Stoic?

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

Ten Rules for Daily Life


The Golden Rule in Stoicism

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

The Golden Rule 

The Golden Rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated by them” is one of the simplest and most influential of all ethical principles. Although the Golden Rule is most commonly associated with Christianity, it was arguably also implicit in many traditions, including Stoicism. 


Playing the game: The skill of cooperation

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

The essence of Stoicism 

Epictetus says that the chief thing in life is to distinguish carefully between things that are up to us and things that are not. 


Learning to eat the Stoic way

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

https://amzn.to/2SswfJ1The ancient Stoic philosophers were very interested in food. They talk both about what we should eat and how we should eat it, if we want to live wisely and gain strength of character. 


How should you deal with your thoughts? Distance yourself

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

All psychological techniques described in the surviving Stoic writings are-grounded in one continual practice, paying attention to the way we use our judgment to form opinions, particularly our value judgments. 


Everyday life: Going beyond a child’s curiosity

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

A few years ago, when my daughter Poppy was four, she began asking me to tell her stories. I didn’t know any children’s stories, so I told her what came to mind: stories about Greek myths, heroes, and philosophers. One of her favorites is about the Athenian general Xenophon.


Canadian Stoicism

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

Canadian Stoicism 

There’s is a growing reaction against the vapidity of modern life. A number of young Canadians have become disillusioned with the relentless march of social media, celebrity culture, consumerism, and other potentially soul-destroying forces. Many of them are turning to a surprising source of help and consolation: the ancient philosophy of Stoicism


The art of Stoic walking

Feature || DONALD ROBERTSON

Walking since the time of Socrates 

Socrates was known for walking barefoot. His student Antisthenes, who inspired the Cynics and Stoics, likewise walked barefoot for miles to listen to him talk each day. It’s said they were both good friends with a shoe-maker called Simon. The Cynic philosopher Diogenes used to say that both mental and physical training are required to become a true philosopher. Constant physical exercise that is in accord with nature leads to a ful-filled life. 


Prayers as affirmations

The Stoic Gym || DONALD ROBERTSON

Prayer as a form of self-improvement 


We tend to be self-centred. We constantly wonder what I should do if I fall ill, if I get angry, if someone is angry at me, if I don’t have enough money, if my coworkers are jerks, if my boss embarrasses me in front of others, if I fail to get the job I want … But while we are busy thinking about ourselves, life presents us with situations that we are not prepared for. Now what? Modern Stoics respond to our last month’s picture, the burning image of the Notre Dame Cathedral.