Recent Stoic Meditations, #9

When Fortuna allows, I publish a short morning meditation based on a short quote from a Stoic writer, seeking to apply that ancient wisdom to life in the 21st century. Here are the most recent entries:

Seneca anticipates modern social psychological research in arguing that keeping oneself busy for the sake of being busy does not lead to happiness. On the contrary. (listen here)

Without knowing about modern psychological research, Epictetus figured out that we all too easily fool ourselves. Here are three Stoic techniques to at least partially remedy the problem. (listen here)

Cicero explains that we may lose any external good, because it isn’t truly ours, but rather on loan from the universe. However, our judgments, considered opinions, and consciously embraced values are truly ours and cannot be taken away. (listen here)

Seneca talks about the premeditatio malorum, an exercise that allows us to be mentally prepared for possible negative outcomes of our action. The key to it is to engage your reasoning faculty, not your emotional reactions. (listen here)

Seneca uses a metaphor of life as a journey, or as a trip to the thermal baths, to make the point that obstacles will be thrown our way, either on purpose or by accident. The question is: how do we deal with them? (listen here)

Advertisements

Published by

Massimo

Massimo is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. He blogs at platofootnote.org and howtobeastoic.org. He is the author of How to Be a Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life.