Stoicism and life's adversities

Stoicism is generally understood to be detached and non-reactive towards any of life’s adversities.

In the words of the philosopher William Irvine, the ultimate goal of Stoicism is ‘tranquillity’ or the avoidance of ‘spikes’ in one’s state of mind. The things that are in our control are not something to be worried about. The things that aren’t in our control, we can do nothing about, so it is no use worrying about them.

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The Most Important Question

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It is a stoic practice in which one deliberately imagines how things could be really bad, much worse than they are now. It is a visualization of one’s biggest fears. It is a kind of psychological trick that lowers your expectations and makes reality look better.

According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, apart from embracing the negative emotions, one needs to maximize the positive outlook and learn how to feel real joy.

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Seneca

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing."

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  • Being happy for a reason is a trap, as then throughout our lives, we keep on looking for a reason to be happy, or to celebrate.
  • Real, everlasting joy is found within us, when the soul discovers it by itself through a deep dive inside.
  • We all have the capacity to have a personal religious experience, beyond dogma and preachings, by looking deep within us.
  • Mystics who have experienced this describe a blissful state of pure consciousness.

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