Ever heard of stoicism and wanted to know more, better still to understand and maybe become one.
- Read about the origin of Stoicism. Stoicism is a philosophy from the Graeco-Roman period of classical history. Founded by Zeno of Citium, whose works have now been lost.
- Take to heart the teachings of Zeno that all suffering comes from certain destructive emotions, known as the stoic passions.
- To achieve true happiness you must control your passions. The primary passions are distress, fear, lust and delight. These are described as follows by Zeno:
- Distress is an irrational contraction, or a fresh opinion that something bad is present, at which people think it right to be depressed.
- Fear is an irrational aversion, or avoidance of an expected danger
- Lust is an irrational desire, or pursuit of an expected good.
- Delight is an irrational swelling, or a fresh opinion that something good is present, at which people think it right to be elated.
- All these are then sub-divided with different destructive emotions for each primary passion.
- Read and understand Stoic writings based on the time period that they were written in. Most Stoic works have been lost, to learn more about stoic thought read these:
- Marcus Aurelius' Meditations' and "Thoughts to Myself",Seneca's 'Letters from a stoic' and his 'On the shortness of life'.
- John Sellars' 'Stoicism' gives a good history of stoicism, that is easy to read, while comprehensive.
- Bertrand Russell's 'A history of western philosophy' also discusses Stoicism, both of these will give you outside opinion of Stoicism.
- Control your emotions at all time through the right assent of external and internal impressions- this is the Stoic's famous principle. Stoic calm has come into the English language from stoicism. Stoic calm is a famously advocated principle by Stoics.
- Lead a plain and simple life, disdain anything added by the way of decoration.
- Have a few Laconic tendencies, like Laconic brevity in speech and eating sparingly.
- Wear simple but comfortable clothes.
- You should always be familiar with poverty, just in case you became poor. Stoicism doesn't mean you can't be rich, Seneca was a senator and Marcus Aurelius was an emperor, they merely advocated non-materialism.
- Like the Buddhist idea of the universe, believe everything is constantly changing and humans were unimportant; just tiny parts of nature, it is therefore necessary for you to accept fate without fuss.
- Be happy in all circumstances. Stoic's advocated the idea that no matter what happens to you, you are still happy; a stoic saying goes something like this; Full of belly and happy, hungry and happy, well rested and happy, tired and happy, etc.
- Prepare and be familiar with death for your life is short, however you must not be fearful, as fear is unbecoming to the stoic.
- Courage of the soul as well as humility and honesty is at the heart of the stoic philosophy, also compassion and solidarity between men
- Always be ready and never take things for granted as they can be snatched from you at any moment.
- Try meditation, many stoics advocated a Buddhist like meditation.
- Read and research stoicism to find out more.
Tags: How to Understand