The Tyranny of Positive Thinking

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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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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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La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

    Intro The philosopher physician returns and this time he brings his own ethics on happiness. However, his ethics sharply contrasts with that of the stoics putting forward hedonism over virtue (but not over the pleasure derived from collecting new knowledge it must be said). First published in 1748, while shacking up at Fredrick’s court, Anti-Seneca had gone through many revisions, rewritten many times by La Mettrie for the purpose of perfecting his morality drawn from his own interpretation of materialism. As is typical with our darling philosopher physician, contention, controversy and condemnation trails not far behind him with

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Comicus Muo vs The Death Penalty…

Comicus Muo vs The Death Penalty…

With a little help from Marcus Aurelius… I like to think of myself as a modern-day stoic, I like the idea that we can live for virtue, or more simply put that we can resolve to do the right thing at the right time as often as circumstances allow.   A virtuous life is indeed a good life, all of us have an innate understanding of virtue, (the correct way to act).  Virtue is its own reward and in order to improve ourselves over time we must embrace virtue and avoid it’s opposite (namely vice). “Waste no more time arguing

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Introduction to Stoicism

Introduction to Stoicism

Introduction to Stoic Philosophy I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to introduce you to Stoic Philosophy. It’s Stoic because we talk about the non-physical mind and an ancient set of beliefs that have for most of our pre-enlightenment history been regarded as forgotten truths not commonly shared with everyone… You see it’s like this. Every problem that we as human beings might encounter has at some time or another happened to others in enough numbers that a few of those people have been mindful enough to record a solution that we can use to help us

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Then I will be happy! Fame and being Insulted

Then I will be happy! Fame and being Insulted

    I wrote this article about three miscellaneous themes we encounter in life. Namely, goal directed behaviour (then I will be happy), fame and being at the receiving end of insults. In addition with some stoic psychology thrown in the mix the purpose is to raise awareness and gain greater understanding of these themes so that we gain apathia or freedom from afflictive emotions (pathos).     Goal Directed Behaviour Just like a Roman senator who thinks “when my service to Rome is finished I will retire to my countryside villa, then I will be happy” the modern individual

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Why I love Stoicism

Why I love Stoicism

We’ve already mentioned in some of our other articles on this site that to live for pleasure alone is probably not a good life.  It’s ironic that the pursuit of happiness can lead you to places that are not very happy at all. The stoic will see happiness as the necessary byproduct of something else, namely virtue.  The opportunity to practice virtue in your daily life, to measure your own mind, to take time out for introspection so that you can clearly see your own flaws and formulate a plan to deal with them so that you can in turn

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Time Gives No Refunds!

Time Gives No Refunds!

This article is concerned with the theme of time as an important commodity. With an analysis of Seneca’s ‘On Saving Time’ a short letter to Lucilius, Seneca’s friend. I pick out statements from the letter and give my own commentary on them with a conclusion at the end of the article to finish off. Feel free to comment!     “Continue to act thus, my dear Lucilius – set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which till lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands” -Seneca Seneca

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