Stoicism

Stoics spend every day writing and reflecting on the art of living, which is what many bloggers do too, so you may be half way to being a Stoic already. But Stoicism was also designed for the living and DOING of daily life, which is what makes it philosophically unique.

Stoicism is an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Athens in the 3rd century BC and continued by Seneca (d. 65 AD), Epictetus (d. 135 AD) and Marcus Aurelius (d. 180 AD).

“I will keep constant watch over myself and – most usefully – will put each day up for review. For this is what makes us evil – that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past.” – Seneca, Moral Letters, 83.2

“From Rusticus… I learned to read carefully and not be satisfied with a rough understanding of the whole, and not to agree too quickly with those who have a lot to say about something.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 1.7.3

“But what does Socrates say? ‘Just as one person delights in improving his farm, and another his horse, so I delight in attending to my own improvement day by day.'” – Epictetus, Discourses, 3.5.14

So, here are some Stoic exercises for today.

What are you getting out of your blogging ritual?

What bad habit did you curb today?

And which of your possessions owns you?

I would love to hear your reflections in the comments section.

10 thoughts on “Stoicism

  1. Today I put in place a thing I had been excited to be challenged to do, and know it will happen. In doing so, I negated procastination, one of my sometimes bad habits. My possession that owns me is my phone, with its instant access to the world, and so procrastination.

    A wannabe novelist who isn’t writing in the long form is not an actual novelist … I’m edging closer, but it’s one stip closer, two steps away.

    Stoic thought, when it comes helps to sift through these things, and writing what I have written here helps with focus for the coming day. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting. Daily blogging is one of the best ways to train to become a novelist. It helps us to write every, or most, days and we’re courageously putting our best effort out there for people to respond to. You have made me very happy today because you’re the first person to comment on my blog which I started over a week ago. Thank you!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Letters to Seneca has been a powerful and influential book in my life. I came to love Marcus Aurelius as well, so much so that I wrote a post on him: https://kendikay.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/how-to-survive-a-pandemic-and-how-marcus-aurelius-can-help/
    I have not tried reading any of Epictetus works yet but I am getting up to it. I came to realize that one can’t consume all their texts speedily. In fact, one shouldn’t. Digestion time is necessary so Meditations and Letters to Seneca are my current snack.
    Thanks for this elegantly phrased piece

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am currently reading Meditations, so reading through your online journal and seeing it, I felt some sort of kinship.

    My phone owns me too, lately I reflect on my actions less because am a bit weary from the exercise because some of the results are career-altering decisions that require hard work.
    Even then I have an appreciation for stoicism and how much more self aware and productive it encourages us to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I first began trying to practice Stoicism it was a daily practice and it was hard sometimes. Over a year later I don’t reflect every day but I think I’m doing OK. I think some of it has become habitual thinking. X

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m currently working on my biggest writing project ever, and I don’t think I would have begun this big (and important) thing, if I wasn’t working at becoming a good and Stoic thinker. Stoic thought, leading us all to be better people, and to better things for others, this is what and why lead me to reaching out to others, to work toward producing an anthology of responses to Covid-19. This book will be a reminder of what happened, what worked, what didn’t, and what people were/are thinking about.

    Liked by 1 person

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