First, by means of the discipline of thought, we are to strive for objectivity; since what causes human suffering is not the things in the world, but our beliefs about those things. We are to try to perceive the world as it is in itself, without the subjective coloring we automatically tend to ascribe to everything we experience (“That’s lovely,” “that’s horrible,” “that’s ugly,” “that’s terrifying,” etc.).
Second, in the discipline of desire, we are to attune our individual desires with the way the universe works, not merely accepting that things happen as they do, but actively willing for things to happen precisely the way they do happen. This attitude is, of course, the ancestor of Nietzsche’s “Yes” granted to the cosmos, a “yes” that immediately justifies the world’s existence.
Finally, in the discipline of action, we are to try to ensure that all our actions are directed not just to our own immediate, short-term advantage, but to the interests of the human community as a whole.
—Michael Chase, Philosophy as a Way of Life (via stoicwiki)
“Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. While Stoic physics are largely drawn from the teachings of the philosopher Heraclitus, they are heavily influenced by certain teachings of Socrates. Stoicism is predominantly a philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world. According to its teachings, as social beings, the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire for pleasure or fear of pain, by using one’s mind to understand the world and to do one’s part in nature’s plan, and by working together and treating others fairly and justly.” —Wikipedia
Classic Stoic Authors¶
“To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control; we should accept calmly and dispassionately whatever happens. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.”
“Marcus’ personal philosophical writings, often called Meditations, are a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy. They have been praised by fellow writers, philosophers, and monarchs–as well as by poets and politicians–centuries after his death.”
“His stoic and calm suicide has become the subject of numerous paintings. As a writer Seneca is known for his philosophical works, and for his plays, which are all tragedies. His philosophical writings include a dozen philosophical essays, and one hundred and twenty-four letters dealing with moral issues.”
“His philosophy, which is in many respects identical with that of his pupil, Epictetus, is marked by its strong practical tendency. The philosophy he would have everyone cultivate is not a mere matter of words, of instruction, or of the school; but one that everyone by their own reflection and practice may pursue for himself.”
Other Stoic Resources¶
Including other sites, podcasts, and courses.
Also embedded below.