MORE IDEAS FROM Effortless Stoicism - James Pierce
Effortless Stoicism comes to you when you no longer feel the need to control your emotions, when they no longer seem significant.
If we stop reacting to our emotions, then gradually we can develop the perspective to observe the causes of these emotions that we witness inside us. Shedding all illusions, we come to know that all misery and happiness are temporary, and therefore all reactions are unfounded and unjustified.
We live our lives reactively, sitting on the endless roller-coaster of happiness and misery.
A non-reactive existence is possible if one first examines all the assumptions, the false notions that our lives are based on. These beliefs and notions can seem difficult to let go of as they have become a part of us.
‘Living in agreement with nature’ is about behaving rationally like a human instead of randomly (and out of passion) like a beast. In other words, we should always apply our natural ability ‘reason’ in all of our actions. If we apply reason we live in agreement with nature, because we act like humans are meant to act.
The Stoics prescribed the use of “exercises” to strengthen and internalize our intellectual understanding of Stoic precepts, so that we are prepared to meet a range of misfortunes, whether minor irritations or serious adversities, with equanimity.
This helps us to be more present in the world and to be better prepared to support those we love.
Stoicism is made up of conflicting writings, especially around God, determinism vs free will, happiness vs avoidance of pain etc. Today most Stoic fans are practicing a cafeteria approach: picking up the few useful bits, modifying others, discarding the rest.
But it’s important to know that this is what we’re doing. Because to the extent that we’re taking this approach, we’re not practicing Stoicism. We are abandoning it and relying implicitly on different (and often unidentified) philosophic ideas.
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