Stoicism: True Stoicism; anyone can align themselves to this philosophy, everyone should align themselves to the philosophy, in part. This book provides a detailed and exemplified look into what the philosophy and practice of Stoicism involves. Adhering to a Stoic way of life-contrary to mainstream belief-does not mean you need to live poor, or without emotion, or without faith and religion. Stoicism is an application to your existing life that will either change aspects of it, alter it somewhat, negate other parts, and improve others.
I enjoy many elements of what the Stoics taught. There are some I disagree with and some I question. My Judaic-based beliefs influence me in a way that I do not support the Stoics view on suicide or self-termination (and no the Stoics don't actually say to commit suicide per se. Read the book for more information on this.) Further, I question not the benefits of the Stoic Negative Visualisation techniques but, again based on my Judaic beliefs, I feel that serious contemplation of losing those people or things you value may actually make these things happen. In Judaic faiths, we remind ourselves to "think good and it will be good." Negative Visualisation seems to go against this idea in a way. Stoics don't not ask that you worry about bad things happening but they do say contemplate losing people and things you value because a) it can help prepare oneself for those particular events, and b) to truly value those people and things you have. I think you can use this technique and still think good thoughts by contemplating not on losing a person or thing but by truly visualising how much you Vale that person or thing and that you should make the most of that value because life is limited. Further, you can prepare oneself to deal with losing a person or thing by contemplating what you would do should that event happen. I, for example, value my son above all on earth and space. I cannot draw myself to contemplate losing him as I want to dwell on good thoughts, so taking a Stoic and Judaic approach, I often take time to think about him, his smile, his behaviour, etc and it makes me value you him even more. I contemplate that if he were to pass, G-d forbid such a thing, what would I do. I feel this is a better approach, for me, rather than the exact practice of Negative Visualisation that Stoicism teaches.
Then again, that is what philosophy is. A application to one's life that teaches and encourages good values and how to achieve them, to achieve tranquility--personal to each individual.
A great, well-written read with techniques that one should definitely consider employing in their life.
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press USA (1 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195374614
- ISBN-13: 978-0195374612
- Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 13.7 x 17.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)