10 Ways to deal with your enemies like a Roman Emperor

10 Ways to deal with your enemies like a Roman Emperor

10 Ways to deal with your enemies like a Roman Emperor

I’ve always been the type of guy who thought that he didn’t have enemies in life. I was the nice guy, I did nice things, I was kind to everyone, cheerful, polite, a bit of a loner, self-reliant, solitary, with a few good friends and determined to do good. Why would anyone be an enemy to me? The argument from determinism. I’ve turned the other cheek, tried to see the best in people and whilst I haven’t always agreed or supported their actions, I’ve taken the view that if I had lived completely in their shoes and experienced what they

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Socrates the Athenian whom I admire…

Socrates the Athenian whom I admire…

I’ve recently finished reading and re-reading the Apology of Socrates, which is a highly recommended read and full of sage advice and insights into how one should live a good life and in particular how one should face our impending doom. The dignity of the man’s defence of his life and the equanimity with which he faced his doom is a powerful lesson to us all. Plato’s description of Socrates clearly revealed him to be the wisest man in Athens whose greatness has never been realised since. Socrates refused to be consumed by fear, brushed aside the superstitious beliefs of

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God for Beginners.

God for Beginners.

A sharp line has been drawn right the way down the middle of reality where mind meets matter, where the objective external world of ‘things,’ and ‘events,’ meets the inner subjective world of thoughts, feelings, sensations and awareness. The world of self-awareness (mind) does not hold the whip hand over matter. The objective world of atoms, molecules, particles and waves is in no way superior to mind, both are needed for an experience of reality to take place. ‘Mind,’ is the opposite of matter and is in many ways the sense organ of God as is empty space. Matter cannot

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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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