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Vol. 2, Issue 10, October 2020
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.
In Northern California, where I live, we can’t go outdoors because the air is fouled with noxious smoke from nearby wildfires and the countless other fires ravaging California, Oregon, and Washington State. A few days ago, the temperature outside was 115 degrees.
We act surprised by what happens
The cucumber is bitter? Then throw it out. There are brambles in the path? Then go around them. That’s all you need to know. Nothing more. Don’t demand to know ‘why such things exist.’ Anyone who understands the world will laugh at you, just as a carpenter would if you seemed shocked at finding sawdust in his workshop, or a shoemaker at scraps of leather leftover from work. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 8.50)
Turning ourselves into better humans
The study of how to turn ourselves into better humans sometimes suffers from a lack of “hard evidence.” I am a science writer, and I always look for quantitative as well as qualitative data when evaluating any practice or behavior.
Politics in a modern world can often feel like a gladiator sport - like combatants, but armed with rhetoric that is designed to cause harm.
How to be with the world we live in
You’ve probably heard of VUCA before, to describe the kind of world we are living in - Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous. Considering what we’re going through now with the pandemic, these words are taking on new meaning and it is becoming increasingly difficult to see clearly, clarify our thoughts and decisionmaking. This is why we urgently need philosophy.
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.
Ancient Stoics talked a lot about God or gods. But who is this Stoic God? Does the Stoic God even remotely resemble what we mean by God (in a Judaeo-Christian sense)? In this miniseries, Kai Whiting explores these questions.
Chuck Chakrapani, Editor.
Stoicon 2020 / Stoic week
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