Every November, a group of psychologists and philosophers based at the university of Exeter in England run an experiment and online study course called Stoic Week. These same folks maintain the fabulous Blog, Stoicism Today. The 2015 Stoic Week theme focused on one of my favorite philosophers, Marcus Aurelius.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Stoic Philosophy, The Stoic School began with Zeno of Citicum in Greece and moved West to Rome where it was popular in the first few centuries A. D. The Stoics, including Zeno, Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and others developed a practical philosophy for increasing happiness and virtue, which they called The Art of Living.
Stoic thought is currently enjoying a modern revival as some of the core practices align with those of cognitive behavioral psychology, as well as various elements of Eastern thought which resonate with modern readers. Stoic Week is an experiment of sorts where this pragmatic philosophy is applied through daily practice to see if it makes the participants happier and more content with their lives.
I participated in Stoic week last month, and it was a great experience. Here are the top five lessons that I have learned from this 2300 year old philosophy:
This week's post is a new resource. This quick, illustrated guide provides an overview of ancient Stoic wisdom and an introduction to the Stoic point of view on ethics and personal growth. Classical Stoics used an applied philosophical technique, loosely known as Stoic Reflective Practice, with the goal of developing an excellent and virtuous character. The info-graphic explains what Stoic ethical philosophy is about, and why it is relevant in modern life.
The four Stoic virtues consist of courage, moderation, justice and wisdom. The Stoic emphasis on moderation or appetites and control of the emotions, is somewhat similar to Buddhist philosophy. Both enjoy a growing appeal with western audiences.
Stoics do not consider philosophy to be to be something intellectual or separate from life. Philosophy, or love of wisdom, is very much an applied art that the practitioner works on each day, using techniques like Stoic Reflective Practice. Stoics focus on self-improvement each night by ruminating on what they could have done better, and using it as motivation to improve their personal conduct.
This guide is a brief introduction to the topic. Please check back soon for more posts about Stoic ethics and personal growth!
Growing in Goodness
Welcome! If you are new here you may want to subscribe by RSS or email:
Most Popular Blog Posts:
5 Ways to Avoid Being Manipulated and Dumbed Down by the Media
Personal Growth Resources:
Use this in-depth questionnaire to learn more about your faults and subconscious motivations.
Common Sense Ethics At A Glance: