Epictetus on insulting behavior and character assassination…

Epictetus on insulting behavior and character assassination…

Epictetus on insulting behavior and character assassination…

When I was a kid, going to school and growing up in the 1970’s the adults around us used to encourage us to be unbothered or indifferent to the name calling of others. My mother had a mantra which went like this. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me…” If any other children in the playground tried to belittle me with an insult I was advised to simply repeat the above to them. Without knowing how exactly, my mother was and today remains a natural stoic. Stoicism requires honesty to oneself and a willingness

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The Tyranny of Positive Thinking

The Tyranny of Positive Thinking

I’ve got an app on my desktop that helpfully shows me little philosophical proverbs and quotes, every day. It’s been very good in the recent past but has crossed the line lately by outputting one-liners like this… “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right,” Author – Unknown. As respectable stoic I disapprove of and would ask everyone to ignore ‘happy-clappy, you can do it,’ nonsense such as this because we have no need of philosophical pornography. Whilst well intentioned and undoubtedly sincere, trippy one-liners that are exuberantly positive contribute endlessly

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Little Blue Men

Little Blue Men

Derek started the truck, it’s electric engines powered up with a gentle whine, as the headlamps came on, illuminating the courtyard fence. He hated starting early, it was something about the eerily large eyes of the Little Blue Men, glistening in the dark, black as tar, but reflective nonetheless, almost too large for their child-sized skulls… The Boss was ‘the Boss,’ for a reason, whatever the old man said, had to be done. It was Derek’s turn to get out of bed and do the early shift, he daren’t give the fat, old, bastard any excuse to replace him with

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Carbon Copies, Reincarnation in Materialist Form – Part 1

Carbon Copies, Reincarnation in Materialist Form – Part 1

Did you know that due to the nature of matter that given enough time, material and space there will at some or other have to be an identical copy of you? The bigger the universe gets the more likely there is to be a copy of you out there somewhere and that’s because in the approximate 1 cubic meter of space that you inhabit there’s only so many finite combinations of matter that can occur, hence the idea that if it was physically possible to traverse the universe, it’s highly likely that you could not only meet your doppelganger, but

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The Stoic approach to life and death.

The Stoic approach to life and death.

“Nobody is born on purpose,” that’s an oft-quoted remark from one of my favourite tv shows at the moment, namely ‘Rick and Morty,’ that underlines a profound truth, that as far as we know, nobody really is born on purpose. The reason why I say ‘as far as we know,’ is that as philosophers we’re only concerned with this life, the one that we are living right now, the life that we didn’t ask for but are nevertheless existing within. We do not know anything about the validity of other lifetimes whether in heaven, a pre-existence in a god-like realm

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An Introduction to Mystic Philosophy

An Introduction to Mystic Philosophy

It’s like this if you have two identical sugar cubes, are they the same? They look the same, weigh the same amount, feel the same and when dropped in your tea, they taste the same, so are they the same thing? ‘We’ll no,’ you’ll probably answer, that’s because the sugar cubes are made of different individual atoms and molecules and are separated by space. In other words they can be measured by their extensions the most important measure being the gap between them both. What about the mind though? is it rational to say that we all have the same

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Musonius Rufus – How to Live by Ben White – Book Review

Musonius Rufus – How to Live by Ben White – Book Review

“Virtue isn’t simply theoretical knowledge-it is also practical application-just like the arts of medicine and music.” White, Ben. Musonius Rufus on How to live. I really like the ancient Stoics, and I particularly like the work of Marcus Aurelius and Musonius Rufus, because it’s self-evident that these men more than many others lived their work, and used their philosophy throughout their daily lives as a tool for correct living and self-improvement. Gaius Musonius Rufus was born around about 20-30 AD and was famous in Rome by the time of Nero a renowned teacher of Stoicism and was strongly associated with

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Stoicism and Seneca on OCD and anxiety.

Stoicism and Seneca on OCD and anxiety.

We’ve all suffered from bouts of obsessive-compulsive disorder, checking the door multiple times to make sure that it’s locked is incredibly common, worrying about things that you cannot control is even more common, whether it’s keeping your job, or keeping that roof above your head or having enough money to last the month, we’ve all experienced bouts of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). None of us, however, give any thought to the fact that anxiety and OCD is just part of what it is to be a human being. Animals that are prone to be prey are prone to worry.

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Life Isn’t Fair…

Life Isn’t Fair…

Life isn’t fair, it’s never been fair and it’s not meant to be fair. So why do we expect to be treated fairly in life? This is one of the greatest lessons that a person can ever learn. That life isn’t fair. How can it possibly be fair when everyone’s circumstances differ so much from person to person, place to place? Think about it, you didn’t choose to be born, you didn’t pick your parents, you didn’t pick your life circumstances and you didn’t pick the people you went to school with and you don’t get to pick the people

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10 Things that you can learn from Nihilism…

10 Things that you can learn from Nihilism…

Size is important! 1. Firstly that you are really small, the universe is big, other universes (should they exist,) might be even bigger, but you are just a lump of biological matter attached to a spinning lump of rock, orbiting a nondescript star. You are tiny and not that important! After all, there are billions of humans and you’re just one of them, a grain amongst a beach of sand, even more so when you add in all of the rest of the planet’s flora and fauna. Life is a beach, but it’s a really big one and you’re just

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