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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.
I have recently started delving into Stoicism. I have purchased another book on the subject but it was a bit more heavy reading. This one is a much easier read and is definitely worth your time. There are some working examples of Stoic philosophy applied to real life that really help to cement the concepts. Essentially it will teach the basic framework of Stoicism and provides further reading at the end for those who wish to dig further into the teachings of this wonderful life philosophy.
As someone who deals with anxiety, the advice and lessons within this book resonated with me greatly. Irvine' easy writing style and honest review and critique of Stoic ideas present a comprehensive yet accessible framework for applying Stoicism to your own life. Of note is his unbiased discussion of different branches of Stoicism, imploring the reader to research more widely while possibly adopting Stoic values.
Really strong book which outlines firstly the history of stoicsm following a detailed view of the different elements of stoic philosophy. I particularly liked the authors own utilisation of the philosophy and he it has impacted his life.
The ancient stoic texts require in some part interpretation to be applied in modern contexts. The author does this with a splash of welcome scientific reinterpretation. You'll feel better having read it. At minimum you'll be exposed to a strong argument to at least adopt some philosophy of life.
What a life affirming book. How strange to find one's life journey mirrored in such a manner, and how surprising to find it anchored in a misunderstood Ancient Greek philosophy. Thank you for writing this treasure. If you aren't sure whether the Western consumerist treadmill is for you, then you really must read this.
A great introduction to stoicism, giving the reader useful psychological techniques to practice, and the justification for using these techniques. It's had a positive impact on my life before I finished reading it. A great read. Recommended.