I have posted ten videos at Ask a Stoic. You can view them in a playlist, or individually.
Please remember, that you can submit your own questions either as a comment on a video, or at the main Ask a Stoic sub-page through the form. Thanks!
The first episode of The Cynic Tubcast is up, of which I am a co-host. If you’re interested in the history of Stoicism, and the school which gave it birth, swing on by! Zeno spent some twenty years, if I recall correctly, as a student of Crates in the Cynic school before going on to found the Stoa. Looking back to the Cynics for ideas to inform my Stoic practice is what brought me to have an appreciation for those philosophers like Diogenes, Crates, and Hipparchia.
I hope you enjoy the episode! It’s been quite the adventure getting it out there!
The Cynic TubCast: S01E01.
There’s a crucial difference in appreciating something, and in being so swept up so you lose control of your faculties.
Can a Stoic sing, dance, make art, and fight? Yes, of course. But he or she should do so fully in control of their inner state. The Stoic should be attentive, and mindful, in the manner of prosoche.
Like Epictetus says, if someone gave away your body you would be upset, but every person with an evil word takes our minds and we are not upset.
If we practice against these types of losses, shouldn’t we also be concerned with “good” ones?
Remember the Spartan boy to whom pain seemed more of a good that pleasure, since pleasure can weaken us and our resolve and pain fortifies it.
We are talking about a fundamental shift in viewing the world from the way most everyone else does. Oftentimes the concept of ‘preferred indifferents’ is skewed for new students. They think, wrongly, that since it doesn’t have an apparent moral quality, that they should indulge in all manner of vices.
But this is wrong thinking. Every time we indulge, we train ourselves in indulgence. Our likes very easily become passions. Just as we do in times of trial, saying “this is indifferent” we must also do in times of pleasure. But how much harder is that!
I see a lot of hedonist Stoics (can such a thing truly be?) on the internet. I’d urge you to look at those things which so easily and thoughtlessly enslave the will. Are there contributing to your good? If not…. they’re not a preferred indifferent.
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