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“Tiredness is not just tiredness itself, but it is also a microcosm of human experience.”
“In Stoicism body, mind and spirit are not distinct but are all made of one and the same matter.”
“We need to learn how to choose to not travel that path. This is what I came to call the principle of defining a proper alternative.”
It’s no mistake – it’s supposed to be 80/120. It’s a deliberate play on the 80/20 rule, so please, don’t confuse it. Today I take a different angle. I want to show how the Stoic principles translate into patterns of daily life.
“On the one hand we have the crowning heights of sagehood, on the other there are the daily doldrums of the work of selfimprovement. ”
Stoicism is a perennial philosophy. One problem with perennial philosophies is that sometimes they require us to dive into an analysis which may seem fruitless today because it had been all sorted out thousands of years ago. Our predecessors nailed it and we have nothing to add. And yet, we need to mull it over again and again – that’s how important some principles are.
Living on purpose
As long as you are alive there will always be time to have a shot at betterment. That time is right now.
In my previous pieces I outlined the concept and introductory tenets of reformed Stoicism. They might have seemed a bit abstract, so today the time comes for some specific applications.
Stoicism is famous for its paradoxes. The tradition of intellectual provocation goes way back, and it’s quite well embedded in the Stoic modus operandi. One of the most seminal examples of it is a discussion of the dichotomy of control.
In my piece a month ago, I introduced the Stoic concept of dichotomy of control. “Introduced” is not the right word, though.
As I mentioned a month ago in my first piece, in this column I will step by step explain reformed Stoicism, i.e., my reinterpretation of updated Stoicism for our time. Just as the name suggests, reformed Stoicism diverts many times from the original doctrine. Sometimes I skip certain Stoic dogmas and sometimes I deeply reframe them. Yet, I feel tempted to begin with where I stick to the original Stoic story.
One of the attractions of Stoicism is that its main ideas have withstood the test of time. However, the peripheral ideas and what the ancient Stoics believed to be the foundation of Stoicism have been challenged by many. In recent times, among others, Lawrence Becker (New Stoicism), Massimo Pigliucci (Stoicism 2.0) and myself (Stoic Minimalism) have written about this. Piotr calls his version ‘reformed Stoicism’, and presents his thoughts in this series of articles.
Chuck Chakrapani, Editor.
It is one of my favorite thought experiments. We write something down, imagining that we put the note in the bottle and throw it into sea. Someday the bottle will be washed ashore on some unimaginable coast.