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11/26/06 3:02 PM
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DuSmiEthwhi
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Edited: 26-Nov-06
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The belief that enlightenment acheived through controling your emotions. Made popular by the philosipher Zeno the Stoic atempts to not dwel in a state of constat emotion. The classic pharse "Walk it off" comes to mind. Is this life style healthy, is it sensable? Can a life as a stoic benifit a man and bring about a positive change? Now one thing I've noticed in our culture is a lack of self control. Is Stoism related or unrelated to self control?
12/1/06 1:33 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 01-Dec-06
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My first philosophy book ever was "The Handbook" by Epictetus, who was Marcus Aurelius's instructor. It's a great short book, and it was written for the layperson rather than the philosopher, so it's a great intro to stoicism. Since they believed that desire and aversion were the root of pain, the goal is to reduce or eliminate your desires, depending on who you talked to. This way, you would no longer feel pain. I don't think that this lifestyle is particularly sensible or healthy, no. I do think that some of the mental discipline it teaches could be useful for some (very common) behavioral pathologies, but i'm fairly certain any evolutionary psychologist would tell you that eliminating all desire is an unnatural, and unhealthy endeavor. -doug-
12/12/06 1:46 AM
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machavelli
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Edited: 12-Dec-06
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The thought of Stoicism makes me cringe. Emotion, whether it's happiness or sadness, is by far superior to a constant "monotony". Just my opinion.
12/17/06 12:37 PM
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Grimmus
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Edited: 17-Dec-06
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One stoic I know believes that learning to control his emotions may give him the ability to control/manipulate other brain responses, such as pain receptors and muscle response. virgin for life, imo..
12/18/06 11:25 PM
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Seul
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Edited: 18-Dec-06
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I concur with the cringing; i frequently find myself savoring even very bittersweet or sometimes painful experiences in a kind of "so this is what THIS feels like" reaction.... The only part of stoicism that has appeal for me is the measured control over how much your emotion dictates your outward response. I'm frequently accused of being unfeeling because I make an effort to keep my emotions from showing on my face or influencing my actions.
12/30/06 7:34 AM
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Juninho
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Edited: 30-Dec-06
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I think Stoicism gets a bad rap these days - 'Stoic' gets used to refer to anyone who leads an excessively austere lifestyle, where as the philosophy was much more sophisticated than that. There are parallels with both Buddhism and Taoism in their approach - flowing with nature, freeing yourself from attachment in order to rid yourself of suffering, right down to their methods of midfulness meditation & their views on an eternal, universal force/spirit type thing. I think if Stoicism had come from the East it would be enjoying a huge resurgence in the west right now. Unfortunately Ancient Greece and Rome are not mystical enough for many.
12/31/06 4:04 PM
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DonnaTroy
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
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I think that stoicism is the main characteristic a fighter must have.
1/1/07 9:15 PM
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DuSmiEthwhi
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Edited: 01-Jan-07
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"I think that stoicism is the main characteristic a fighter must have." I agree.
1/12/07 8:21 PM
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hekster
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Edited: 12-Jan-07
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Well fighters are generally not governed by thought, so Stoicism is a good philosophy to offset their natural dispositions. Which makes the point I was going to make. Stoicism is for people that have problems controlling their emotions. To make someone that easily controls their emotions a stoic, would result in an overly insensitive person. Or as someone else put it here, unfeeling. I believe that the stoics were also believers in moderation, so if you have a gradiation of emotional to 'stoic', then moderation is somewhere inbetween...
1/13/07 5:01 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 15-Jan-07 11:30 AM
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You have to learn a bit more about stoicism. I am all about the stoic mindset but some parts of their philosophy are very off compared to what is believed these days. And even more so. The whole idea of a philosophy SUITING someone is to me a bit strange and for stoics it would be repulsive. A philosophy is either true or not...there is nothing to choose there.
1/29/07 1:04 AM
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DuSmiEthwhi
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Edited: 29-Jan-07
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Yeah, Stoicism is appealing to a guy like me in this overtly faked emotional climate we live in. Guys crying and sing for not reason, girls screaming and trying to be tough but just coming across bitchy. Emo as a sub culture really grinds on my nerves. Stoicism would be an good backlash.
1/29/07 3:38 AM
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Indrek R.
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Edited: 29-Jan-07
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Read my post again. Philosophy is not an outlook on life you can choose...
2/10/07 12:33 PM
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TheScottishlion
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Edited: 10-Feb-07
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vermonter which translation of the handbook did you read? Looked online there are a few different translations. Stoicism looks a lot like Buddhism to me.
2/11/07 4:18 PM
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vermonter
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The one from Hackett publishing, translated by White. -doug-
2/11/07 4:40 PM
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TheScottishlion
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Edited: 11-Feb-07
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Thanks Doug
2/12/07 12:37 PM
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vermonter
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NP. Yeah it has a lot of similarities to Zen philosophy (or at least my understanding of it). -doug-
11/12/08 11:51 AM
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owlfeeder
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eliminating desire does not equate to eliminating emotions or being unfeeling in any way.

quite the opposite in fact. as you eliminate desires (ie, stop feeding them), ones sensitivity and enjoyment of life increases. desire is looked at by the stoics as a kind of chain to some thing of which you have no control. in doing this you are led around by life, taken up and down, and give up control of your own happiness.

the stoic is able to find happiness in Any situation. when you give up desires you fully inhabit the present (what IS), which is the only place to find true happiness.
12/13/08 5:34 AM
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thesleeper
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That hekster guy makes some insightful comments.
12/13/08 5:59 AM
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MobutuHari
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TheScottishlion - vermonterwhich translation of the handbook did you read? Looked online there are a few different translations. Stoicism looks a lot like Buddhism to me.


Alexander the Great when he went to India in 365BC brought some Indian scholars, teachers, gurus back to Greece. There is well known evidence of intermingling of ideas between Greece and India, and the reverse also could've happened where Greece did the same for the Indian subcontinent. I had many discussions of history and philosophy professors about this because they sounded so eeringly similar.

Of all things, Indian mythology does sound a lot like Greek mythology. That's another thread in itself.

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