Recent Stoic Meditations, #13

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:

Philosophers can be clever. Too clever for their own sake, suggests Seneca. Indeed, one measure of wisdom is precisely the ability to tell the difference between cleverness and usefulness. (listen here)

Doesn’t it take time to practice Stoicism? We are all so busy! Here is Marcus Aurelius’ response to that question. A response that applies also if you are a Christian, or a Buddhist, among other things. (listen here)

Epictetus argues that things are useless or useful not in themselves, but as a result of what we do with them. As usual in Stoicism, the answer comes from within, from our own attitudes toward things. (listen here)

Seneca explains that courage has little to do with rushing into battle to face an enemy. It’s about how we handle the good and the bad that Fortuna throws our way. Also, wanna play ball with Socrates? (listen here)

Human beings have an unparalleled ability to communicate with each other. And yet, Seneca suggests, much of the time we talk about things that are neither improving ourselves, nor making the world a better place. (listen here)

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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.