Stoic Week 2015

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marjoram_blues
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Stoic Week 2015

Post by marjoram_blues » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:17 am

http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday ... week-2015/
Stoic Week is an online and international event taking place this year from Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th November. 2015 will be the fourth year in a row that Stoic Week has run. Anyone can participate by following the daily instructions in the Stoic Week 2015 Handbook, which will be published online. You will be following the practice of Stoic philosophers for seven days. You will also be discussing the experience of adapting Stoic ideas for modern living with other participants in our online forums. The aims of the course are to introduce the philosophy so that you can see how it might be useful in your own life and to measure its psychological benefits. This year’s theme is The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the most widely-read of all Stoic authors.

artisticsolution
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by artisticsolution » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:26 pm

marjoram_blues wrote:http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday ... week-2015/
Stoic Week is an online and international event taking place this year from Monday 2nd to Sunday 8th November. 2015 will be the fourth year in a row that Stoic Week has run. Anyone can participate by following the daily instructions in the Stoic Week 2015 Handbook, which will be published online. You will be following the practice of Stoic philosophers for seven days. You will also be discussing the experience of adapting Stoic ideas for modern living with other participants in our online forums. The aims of the course are to introduce the philosophy so that you can see how it might be useful in your own life and to measure its psychological benefits. This year’s theme is The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the most widely-read of all Stoic authors.
HI M! Love it! I didn't know stoic was thinking being a good person was the ultimate goal. ..I thought it was just about not showing pain and having strength both in character and willfullness/ mind.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by marjoram_blues » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:41 pm

Hi AS - there's a lot I don't know about being a Stoic. I'm not sure that there is only one way. I kinda like the idea of a pik'n' mix !
Anyway - when I realised this Event was Happening, thought I'd share. Takes us back to dear Marcus :D
Hope you are well and staying wicked !

Risto
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by Risto » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:01 am

I've been taking part in this experiment this whole week. Very interesting! I've been pondering over this:

Central belief in Stoicism is the idea that we should focus mostly on what we can control and be indifferent toward what we cannot control. But this whole belief requires scrutiny. It's very easy to see that external results are not something we can clearly control. However, is our inner world something we can control? Are we free to choose our will? I believe not, because it is determined by external (environment) and internal causes (nervous system) that we cannot control. But are we happy as long as we can feel that we have control over, for example, practicing virtues?

marjoram_blues
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by marjoram_blues » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:22 am

Risto wrote:I've been taking part in this experiment this whole week. Very interesting! I've been pondering over this:

Central belief in Stoicism is the idea that we should focus mostly on what we can control and be indifferent toward what we cannot control. But this whole belief requires scrutiny. It's very easy to see that external results are not something we can clearly control. However, is our inner world something we can control? Are we free to choose our will? I believe not, because it is determined by external (environment) and internal causes (nervous system) that we cannot control. But are we happy as long as we can feel that we have control over, for example, practicing virtues?
Wow! I was hoping that someone would post of their experience of this Stoic Week.
I only discovered it on Thursday and haven't had time to read the Handbook, or is it more of a Workbook re meditations ?

You ask great questions based on something that sounds like the Serenity prayer.
I'd be grateful if you could point to the particular place in the week, or handbook, where this is covered. Just so that we can be sure of the interpretation.
Thanks.

Risto
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by Risto » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:30 pm

"Control" is the lesson of Tuesday.

"Stoics believe that all of us can and should work at taking forward our own ethical development by learning how to act virtuously and by broadening and deepening our relationships with other people. This is something that is 'up to us' or 'within our power' as rational beings. But there are many things we cannot determine by our own actions, such as whether we become rich or famous, whether we get ill or whether close family members die."

marjoram_blues
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by marjoram_blues » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:49 pm

Risto wrote:"Control" is the lesson of Tuesday.

"Stoics believe that all of us can and should work at taking forward our own ethical development by learning how to act virtuously and by broadening and deepening our relationships with other people. This is something that is 'up to us' or 'within our power' as rational beings. But there are many things we cannot determine by our own actions, such as whether we become rich or famous, whether we get ill or whether close family members die."
Thanks, Risto, for that quote from p23 of the Handbook. Seems that the main distinction is that we should prioritize the value of Virtue, of developing our own character over 'material' or external events. The latter 'indifferents' being health, property or social class.

If I've understood this correctly, then I would have to disagree that we should be indifferent to the value of health. We can and should have a degree of control over this - at a personal, social and global level. OK we don't have World Power and we all accept that there are limitations to action but this doesn't mean we have to be indifferent to it.

We can only do our best...if this is what is meant by developing Virtue, then I can go along with that. But what is best for me, might not be seen as such by some other virtuous character.

I note that later it states: Stoic Serenity comes from accepting reality or the facts but not giving up...

Also, we can form plans with a 'reserve clause'.

If nothing prevents me, I will...

Reminds me of D.V. Deo Volente - God willing.

marjoram_blues
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by marjoram_blues » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:26 am

Practising being a Stoic, as per Stoic Week. Tuesday: Control

The trouble with words :roll:
Like 'indifference'. Anyone got a Stoic dictionary?
I found some clarification here:

http://www.livingthestoiclife.org/2013/ ... rence.html
The Truth about Stoic Indifference
I wanted to offer a brief explanation of the concept of Indifference in Stoicism, as there seems to be a lack of clarity around the issue. First of all, Stoics (as in people who practice Stoicism) are NOT called to be 'indifferent'. We are not asked to adopt an indifferent (uncaring) attitude towards anything.

There are a couple of concepts that seem to be rolled into the common use of the word 'indifference', neither of which are correct. First there is the concept of an 'indifferent', which include things like money, life, health, death, family etc. Unfortunately, many have taken the wrong meaning from this, and believe that we should not concern ourselves with these things (the ancient Stoics taught that we should be responsible, even grateful, for the conditions and people in our lives.) What the ancient Stoics meant by a thing being 'indifferent' is that it had no intrinsic moral value. Money is neither good nor bad, it is not inherently virtuous or vicious, but rather completely neutral. It can be used either virtuously or viciously, but in itself it has no moral value. In my Stoic classes, I use the term 'morally neutral' instead of 'indifferent' to avoid this confusion.

The second is the Stoic concept of 'apatheia' which is also often confused with 'indifference'. Stoic apatheia isn't about apathy. Apatheia means 'no irrational emotional states', with the emphasis on 'irrational.' Stoics encourage the experience of rational emotions, such as joy, serenity, caution, love etc. as these are born of a rational understanding of the events around them.

The key is to remember that Stoics DO involve themselves with externals. We use them, gain them, let them go, develop relationships and even care for and cherish them. What we DON'T do is allow their presence or absence determine whether or not we are virtuous. They are morally neutral, and therefore do not cause us to behave well or badly, or force us to succumb to irrational passions, lust, anger, jealousy, etc. It is our beliefs about them that lead to irrational passions.

Posted by Michel Daw at 1:02 PM

[my added emphases]
Well, that's the theory of what an ideal Stoic should be doing...and I guess Stoic Week was a means of practising it by various daily meditations and exercises.

How has it been for you, Risto - or anyone else?

Risto
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Re: Stoic Week 2015

Post by Risto » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:08 pm

marjoram_blues wrote:
Well, that's the theory of what an ideal Stoic should be doing...and I guess Stoic Week was a means of practising it by various daily meditations and exercises.

How has it been for you, Risto - or anyone else?
Yes, I agree with that. A Stoic is not indifferent nor unemotional, but one knows what one can control and which emotions are healthy and which are not. I think that the handbook has been quite successful in clarifying some terms.

This is a very helpful blog: https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.com/ and this is a very helpful list of terms: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/681 ... ywords.pdf

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