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Old 05-28-2012, 10:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stavemaster View Post
...Having said that, there are some incredibly profound ideas in the book, and as a whole I think Stoicism is a very useful philosophy. The idea that our perceptions and judgments of events affect us far more than the events themselves (assuming we survive them) has always appealed to me.

Epictetus:
"Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire." (oh hello Buddhist thought)
"Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them."
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone."

Marcus Aurelius:
"How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life!"
"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also"
"Outward things cannot touch the soul, not in the least degree; nor have they admission to the soul, nor can they turn or move the soul; but the soul turns and moves itself alone."
I agree that it's useful to distinguish events from our interpretation of events.

Stoicism seems to imply that one is open to many possibilities and takes it all in stride. But the reality is that we cannot help but have expectations - even if they are not completely in line with the many possibilities of reality. And we cannot help but want certain things - like life, love/belonging, achievement...

I can see how it's good to not get too attached to any expectations, because otherwise we're setting ourselves up for disappointment, unfairness & resulting "unstoic" tantrums. But on the other hand, suppressing emotions can "eat us alive" & is not good for our mental nor physical health.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:13 PM
 
Location: around the way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I agree that it's useful to distinguish events from our interpretation of events.

Stoicism seems to imply that one is open to many possibilities and takes it all in stride. But the reality is that we cannot help but have expectations - even if they are not completely in line with the many possibilities of reality. And we cannot help but want certain things - like life, love/belonging, achievement...

I can see how it's good to not get too attached to any expectations, because otherwise we're setting ourselves up for disappointment, unfairness & resulting "unstoic" tantrums. But on the other hand, suppressing emotions can "eat us alive" & is not good for our mental nor physical health.
I agree that suppressing one's emotions is not good for us (at least in the long run), but I don't think that's the focus of well-applied Stoicism. I think the focus should rather be on working through to the underlying cause; "WHY do I want or not want this?". Additionally, keeping our mortality and human limitations in mind helps us keep our desires in perspective. The things of this world eventually fade and die, including ourselves and the things we think we want, so in the big picture getting them isn't all that important.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Stavemaster View Post
"WHY do I want or not want this?"

Good question - that would be helpful to ask ourselves.

Quote:
Additionally, keeping our mortality and human limitations in mind helps us keep our desires in perspective. The things of this world eventually fade and die, including ourselves and the things we think we want, so in the big picture getting them isn't all that important.
I agree, yet, at the same time, this life is what we have to work with.
I believe that there are more important principles and energies that are eternal.
Yet don't you think that in order to apply or strive for those, we use tools like our desires to motivate us?
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:36 PM
 
Location: around the way
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Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I agree, yet, at the same time, this life is what we have to work with.
I believe that there are more important principles and energies that are eternal.
Yet don't you think that in order to apply or strive for those, we use tools like our desires to motivate us?
Absolutely, but Aurelius also mentions the Logos fairly frequently in the sense of the nature of things, the way of the world, the will of the gods, the Tao, or whatever you want to compare it to, and stresses the need to align our own thoughts and desires with that. The basic underlying idea is that if you align your mind and desires with the Logos and understand how the world works, you won't be perplexed when things happen as they happen.

Sorry if that's a little vague. I would provide some quotes to illustrate, but I haven't read the book in a few months and actually don't have the damnedest idea where I left it. You'd think it would be hard to lose track of things in an apartment as small as mine, but you'd be wrong.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:46 PM
 
2,379 posts, read 2,614,551 times
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Originally Posted by Stavemaster View Post
Absolutely, but Aurelius also mentions the Logos fairly frequently in the sense of the nature of things, the way of the world, the will of the gods, the Tao, or whatever you want to compare it to, and stresses the need to align our own thoughts and desires with that. The basic underlying idea is that if you align your mind and desires with the Logos and understand how the world works, you won't be perplexed when things happen as they happen.

Sorry if that's a little vague. I would provide some quotes to illustrate, but I haven't read the book in a few months and actually don't have the damnedest idea where I left it. You'd think it would be hard to lose track of things in an apartment as small as mine, but you'd be wrong.

Good points that are inspiring to me, thank you.

I guess there are a zillion different ways to call truth - the will of the gods, the tao, spirit, etc.
It's somewhat illusive, I've found... like a flow - never still - but always dynamic & not controllable, as we usually want to control things. That's what is so illusive, I think. Sometimes, I get in the "flow" - but I don't know how exactly - it just happens. Like, the other day, I felt impressed to bring some treats like just in case I might need them for kids I might teach (in church). I usually don't teach. But to my surprise, I was asked to teach & was prepared, without really consciously preparing. Infact, when I try to prepare what I want to say exactly perfectly, it seems to come across less in the "flow" than when I just wing it (although, I read a lot & cannot stop thinking about spiritual things).

I like how you pointed out that if our desires are in line with the higher best of possibilities (tao, logos etc.)... then we'll have a better relationships with truth & won't be so thrown when things happen that are out of the ordinary. This is HUGE! - Very significant!

Every day, we go on our merry way, assuming so much... that all of our body systems will continue miraculously working together well, that we will have our needs & many wants met, that we will be safe... so many assumptions. And one little thing happens & "Oh crap - my world is falling apart!" We don't realize that so many things are still going well. If one little thing shakes us, what will happen if something bigger happens?
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