Epictetus on insulting behavior and character assassination…

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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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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 5 That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave.

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 5 That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave.

Now to enter the world of Paradox V. That the wise man alone is free, and that every fool is a slave. As part of the commentary of Cicero’s Stoic Paradoxes. Be mindful that the word slavery has a special meaning here as will be revealed.   A detour into the ideal military leader   Though not a military man himself, Cicero begins by talking about the ideal disposition military generals should possess as part of their character; Cicero then goes on to comment: “But how or over what free man will he exercise control who can not command his

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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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Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 2 Virtue Is Sufficient For Happiness

Stoic Paradoxes – Paradox 2 Virtue Is Sufficient For Happiness

    The previous paradox stated that virtue is the only good and if virtue is the only good then logically virtue alone is sufficient for happiness and that is what this paradox is all about. It’s a short essay being no more than 3 pages long! On the flip side though there is much content that can be elaborated provided you peruse it carefully. So onwards we go with the commentaries!   Cicero praises Marcus Regulus   Cicero begins by admiring the Consul Marcus Regulus, who fought against the Carthaginians in the first Punic war. Cicero tells us about

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The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

    Appreciating the woodland aesthetic   I thought up this article from my readings of mindfulness and Zen philosophy and the many occasions from walking through the woodlands in my local countryside while deep in conversation with Comicus as if we were the peripatetics of Aristotle; talking while on the move. We go about talking in this woodland passing tree after tree and the occasional brook but are we really registering the natural beauty of it all? Are we living in the moment? Here is one picture of some woodland: When the mind is entirely focused on talking there is

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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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