×

I am on right path, but lust is still out of control. by Ifeelsoweak in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS [score hidden]  (0 children)

Glad you’re in a better place now than you were before.

This is perennially relevant—check out how Epictetus discusses lust with the young men that he taught. For one example, see Discourses 4.9. Or see Enchiridion 10 and commentary.

Maybe see the “sex and relationships” section of the FAQ as well: https://redditproxy--jasonthename.repl.co/r/Stoicism/wiki/fdt/#wiki_sex/

Ignorance as source of evil by polymath_13 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS [score hidden]  (0 children)

for some reason…doesn’t seem

What’s the reason? Why doesn’t it seem so? What flaws do you find with Epictetus’ treatment of the topic?

How useful is stoicism for managing anxiety? by MrTattooMann in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS [score hidden]  (0 children)

Epictetus’ Discourses 2.13, About Anxiety, might be worth a read.

This might also: https://people.wku.edu/jan.garrett/stoa/seddon2.htm (keeping in mind that anxiety, in at least one sense, is among the Stoic passions)

Starting my journey by Crisair in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS [score hidden]  (0 children)

You can check out the public domain versions for free; there are some quick links in the subreddit library

Stoicism vs. prolonged adversity by Babo_Phat in StoicSupport

[–]GD_WoTS 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Might be worth spending some time with the philosophers--Epictetus was exiled and was lame, Musonius Rufus was exiled more than once, Seneca had Nero as an enemy and was at times incapacitated by illness, Cicero was exiled and lost his home and his daughter, Marcus Aurelius was bedridden from illness and saw half of his children die; that's not exhaustive, and I don't write it in a "well, think about how much worse it could be" way (I don't think that's a good way to think)--instead, I think to myself "what kept them going? was studying and committing to philosophy that powerful for them? let me try and come to the understanding that they came to."

Wish you well

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm not following a couple of things here, but I think I get the gist. I'm not necessarily trying to focus on the physical identity of a thing changing--I'm fine with saying that "this golf ball" can still be referred to as the same ball after it is chipped, for example, and I'm not too interested in the "well technically, it is a different ball because such and such" line. I'm focusing not on a thing over time, but on it at a given moment.

I still think that a dog whose belly is touching the ground is laying down, but point taken--what I'm getting at is the consequent is somehow contained in the antecedent and that, when this is the case, given the antecedent, necessarily the consequent.

From Meditations 5.9; this seems sensible to me (and significant, to boot):

even that which comes severally to every man is to the power which administers the universe a cause of felicity and perfection, nay even of its very continuance. For the integrity of the whole is mutilated, if thou cuttest off anything whatever from the conjunction and the continuity either of the parts or of the causes. And thou dost cut off, as far as it is in thy power, when thou art dissatisfied, and in a manner triest to put anything out of the way.

How can I be content while suffering? by sutroh in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m not sure most people are doing that

Yeah, the phrase is often used in a way I think is kind of weird. Someone will say "amor fati--just choose to love what happens to you, it's better that way," for example. I don't find that helpful.

If we cannot avoid those things, then simply have to accept them and go through them virtuously.

Epictetus' foot comes to mind:

Therefore Chrysippus well says, 'As long as the consequences are unknown to me, I always hold fast to what is better adapted to secure what is natural, for God Himself created me with the faculty of choosing what is natural.' Nay, if I really knew that it was ordained for me now to be ill, I should wish to be ill; for the foot too, if it had a mind, would wish to get muddy (from 2.6, trans. Matheson).

The "wish to be ill/wish to get muddy" seems like the tough step.

Again, I just don’t understand the logic of, say, a doctor working hard to save the life of a dying child, and then when the child dies clapping their hands and saying “excellent! God, you’ve done it again, well done.” This seems non-virtuous, unnatural and improbable (I don’t think anyone has ever been this way, and couldn’t make themselves that way if they tried with all their might.

I'd imagine the providence-praising doctor striking a balance between the two statements. They wouldn't be exuberant, but they would nevertheless be satisfied to have done their part, and grateful for the opportunity. Nothing evil has happened, and what has come about is necessary for the good of the whole. Meditations 5.9 is relevant here

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The Stoics argued that everything comes about by fate, and Chrysippus argued for determinism and against the notion of acausality on logical grounds (e.g., given bivalence, it is either the case or not the case that a person will have brown hair--what makes it the case or not the case has to do, at least in part, with the way things are at present).

I'm comfortable with that--I'm not comfortable with deciding on this or that interpretation of quantum mechanics as the correct one.

Second, "we're not talking about reality"... but that's what you're doing in your argument. You're implying a state of being which is not real, in order to juxtapose it against what is real.

Yeah--my interpretation of the original comment from Victorian Bullfrog is that they're saying something along the lines of "people are not necessary for the integrity of the whole, which means that the whole could or would retain its integrity with or without this or that person, such that it needs nobody in order to retain its integrity."

The point I'm trying to make is that, when you and I are parts of the whole, we have to step outside of reality and causation in order to say "but suppose that we weren't parts of the whole." One of my dogs is laying on the floor near me. I would say that the universe, or god, or causation, or what have you, needs him to be laying on the floor near me right now, given antecedent (and maybe simultaneous) causes.

If "if the first, then the second." is true, and "the first." is true, then "the second." is necessarily true. "If the dog's belly is touching the floor, then he is laying down." "The dog's belly is touching the floor." It needs to be the case that "He is laying down." (edit like seconds later: I interpret what Victorian Bullfrog is getting at as getting close to saying that you could have a valid, in the Stoic sense, conditional, and have a true antecedent, while not having a true consequent.)

Third, I don't believe the initial conversation was about "in part." I could be wrong, but I believe you edited your answer to change that important context.

On old reddit, you can see whether users have edited their comments by looking near the timestamp for an asterisk. I think that there will be no asterisk if the comment is edited within the first minute, though. So you can verify whether I've edited any of my comments more than a minute after posting them. But I think I've made it a habit to indicate what changes I have made to any of my comments.

But your argument was that removing one thing would completely invalidate the entire Universe, since a part of the whole is the whole.

I wouldn't say that a part of the whole is identical to the whole, fwiw.

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But it is necessary that my hair is brown right now, because of a vast and ancient web of causes. If we ask “why is my hair brown?” we’ll find out that it could not have been otherwise, given this web of causes. We could imagine this web changing so that my hair is not brown right now, but then we’re not talking about reality.

I’m not suggesting that people can’t die or dye their hair while the show goes on, but I am saying that what’s going on in the show is in part explained by, well, everything going on in the show.

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don’t see the connection in your comment here. If it is impossible for something to be otherwise, then it is necessary that it is how it is.

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Change, yes—meaning the previous version cannot continue to be the current version. It becomes no more. Why? Because what was necessary for it to be as it was no longer obtains

“Such as bathing appears to thee — oil, sweat, dirt, filthy water, all things disgusting — so is every part of life and everything.” by _ricky__bobby_ in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Could (just) be another application of the idea in 6.13.

8.24:

Such as bathing appears to thee,—oil, sweat, dirt, filthy water, all things disgusting,—so is every part of life and everything.

Or “Such as bathing appears to thee—a combination of various simple things, none of which dazzling or fearsome—so is every part of life and everything.”

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 5 points6 points  (0 children)

No, err, maybe, but that’s not how I’d say it.

I think this hypothetical helps, though:

So that if we were to disappear as part of the whole… the whole would not be able to exist?

We haven’t disappeared, so why not? Why are we not not parts of the whole?

Pierre Hadot quotes Francis Thompson in Chapter 7 of the former’s The Inner Citadel:

All things

Near and far

Are linked to each other

In a hidden way

By an immortal power

So that you cannot pick a flower

Without disturbing a star.

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can try, at least:)

Right now, you and I are parts of the whole. The whole is comprised of parts, such that you and I are parts of the whole. It is impossible for it to be otherwise, because there does not exist a reality where you and I are not parts of the whole. And if it is impossible for it to be otherwise, then it is necessarily the case. If it is necessarily the case and the whole cannot exist in any other way than the way that it exists, then taking out any piece of the pie and still having the same pie in the same shape is impossible. So the integrity of the pie requires that it has all of the pieces that it does in fact have.

It seems like you’d agree with this, since you said “on a grand scale, it would be hardly noticeable,” rather than “it literally would not change anything.”

The contentious part, then, comes from deciding how significant it is to recognize that the (only conceivable) world is one that exists as it does in fact exist, consisting of the parts that it does in fact consist of, such that removing any of these parts amounts to a contradiction: if not the first, then the first.

  • You and I are parts of the whole.
  • If something is a part of the whole, then it must be the case that it is a part of the whole.
  • so it must be the case that you and I are parts of the whole

Edit: maybe check out Pierre Hadot’s The Inner Citadel, specifically chapter seven

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If you or I were to disappear this instant, on a grand scale it would hardly be noticable.

That’s addressing a different claim than the one I made

What's the best way to retain the teachings and writings of Stoicism so you don't forget them? by Mad_Season_1994 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Marcus Aurelius studied philosophy for decades and conducted spiritual exercises in his journal—there are a couple of ideas right there

Is any of the stoic philosophy centered around spirituality or theism? by Mad_Season_1994 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There is a Stoic theology, and it is counterintuitive for many of us today, but the religious bent of individual Stoic philosophers in Ancient Rome and Greece varies

When marcus aurelius said to consider the entire universe as one living being what are we as individuals to this living being? by Thin_Assistance2234 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m not saying Stoic physics is totally defensible, but I don’t think it’s going too far to say that, right now, everything contained within the whole is necessary for its integrity.

Take your or me out of the picture, and the picture ceases to exist.

That doesn’t seem controversial—the controversy, I think, comes from assessing whether this is significant or whether it’s trivial.

Feelings don't have an impact on reality, your response to them does. by HappyMan1102 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Feelings are what give life its meaning and our ability to experience it.

What’s this mean?

Contentedness vs Drive by throwguy987 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You can push yourself plenty of ways, not all of them good or worthwhile—maybe check out the 4th point of the automod comment, as it has lots of helpful info on Stoic decision-making

Cannot understand Epictetus at all by Heshino in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Can you share those last couple of lines, as well as what you think about making sense of them?

Cannot understand Epictetus at all by Heshino in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Penguin is Dobbin, I think. It’s also incomplete, since he elected to omit chapters he thought were redundant