Intro 2: Our Thoughts create our Unhappiness

It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.

In last month’s post we saw how it is hard to retain happiness and how this concept might be even misleading; how trivial things can spoil our life and finally how our own thought process  can help us to get closer to our goals and to a life worth living.

In this post we will continue our conversation and will look at one of the most famous Stoic quote:

“It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgements concerning them.”

Epictetus

This short sentence is one of the cornerstones of Stoic philosophy, let’s see how:

Continue reading “Intro 2: Our Thoughts create our Unhappiness”

Intro 1: How to Create a Life that Flows Smoothly

It is safe to say that you – at least once in your lifetime – have experienced something that you can refer to as happiness. 

How long did it last? Not long, I imagine. Perhaps, you uneventfully transitioned to something that resembled ‘normality’, or worse, other issues came up immediately and spoiled your mood.

Even though happiness didn’t last long, it does not stop you from seeking more of it.

But what kind of happiness are you seeking? The immediate kind? Fuelled by sex drugs and rock and roll? Happiness as a reward for your hard work and sacrifice? Maybe by obtaining an object of desire, such as a new house, job, car or spouse? Or are you just, “kinda-okay” – happy to sit and wait?

The choice seems to be between obtaining happiness now, later, or not seeking it at all. With the first, you will be happy immediately and miserable later, with the second, you will be waiting agonic until your goal materialises, and maybe, in the long run, you will feel happier. With the third, you are not even trying.

These are the options, are you ready?

If you haven’t chosen to give up already, maybe there is a better option. Let’s see what ancient Greece and Rome thought about this topic! 

Continue reading “Intro 1: How to Create a Life that Flows Smoothly”

Introduction to Stoicism – pamphlet

Not to merely know, but to live philosophically

PDF version of this intro can be find here:

“It isn’t the events themselves that disturb people, only their judgements about them”

Epictetus

“If it is not right don’t do it, if it is not true don’t say it”

Marcus Aurelius

“Through my efforts, I gain the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”

Secular serenity preyer

­What is Stoicism?

In today’s English, we refer to stoicism as: the ability or the predisposition of a person to endure pain or hardship without the displaying of feelings.

However, that is not Stoicism!

Stoicism is a philosophy, a school­ of thought founded in Athens about 2300 years ago by a man named Zeno of Citium. Zeno started his school by standing on a porch in the market and talking to anyone who happened by. The word for porch in Greek is stoa, and the followers of Zeno were known as Stoics.

Stoicism became the preeminent philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome; it penetrated all sectors and classes of the society such that two of the most important Stoic authors are the slave Epictetus and the emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Stoicism flourished for nearly 500 years, until the fall of the empire. It re-emerged occasionally in many philosophers and thinkers during the Renaissance when people returned to reason to find answers about how to live.

However, only recently has it been rediscovered as a philosophy to live by!

Continue reading “Introduction to Stoicism – pamphlet”

Marcus Aurelius: The Philosopher Emperor

Marcus Aurelius: The Philosopher Emperor

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2019, 7:00 PM

CB2
5-7 Norfolk Street Cambridge, GB

11 Members Went

Our next meet-up will focus on the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius, in conjunction with the publication of the newest book of Stoic writer Donald Robertson: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius (https://amzn.to/2TDP4rE). Marcus was the last emperor of the so called ‘Five-Good-Emperors’ period of the Roman E…

Check out this Meetup →

The next session will focus on the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius, in conjunction with the publication of the newest book of Stoic writer Donald Robertson: How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.

Marcus was the last emperor of the so called ‘Five-Good-Emperors’ period of the Roman Empire. He spent 12 years of his reign fighting the Germanic tribes on the border of the Empire (the same as seen at the beginning of the film Gladiator).

And, at nights in his tent, he wrote his most famous work Meditation (or ‘to himself’). Consequently, this book is a sort of diary and philosophic text. It contains an amazing recollection of the most important Stoic teachings plus the internal discussion of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, resulting in the most intimate, lonely and rational diary that you will ever encounter.

Arête: How to be your best self and be happy!

In the life-long search for eudaimonia (happiness) the Stoic tell us to focus on three aspects of ourselves:

  • what we think (thought),
  • how we react (feeling) and
  • how we act (behaviour).

Arête: How to be your best self and be happy!

Monday, Mar 25, 2019, 7:00 PM

The Waterman
32 Chesterton Road Cambridge, GB

13 Members Went

In the life-long search for eudaimonia (happiness) the Stoic tell us to focus on three aspects of ourselves: • what we think (thought), • how we react (feeling) and • how we act (behaviour) In this meeting, I want to discuss with you, how can we act. in this case, the Stoics will refer to the concept of arête! In English, this is commonly transl…

Check out this Meetup →

In this meeting, I want to discuss with you, how can we act.

in this case, the Stoics will refer to the concept of Arete! In English, this is commonly translate as virtue. However, a better translation would be “excellence of character”, implying that we have to be better version of ourselves.

In particular they would focus on four cardinal virtues:

  • Courage of facing reality
  • Justice or fairness
  • Temperance or self-control
  • Practical wisdom

In our meeting we will discuss how can be better version of ourselves and how by being virtuous we can be happy and more satisfied with our life.

Recommended books:

Videos:


The stoic fellowship:

https://stoicfellowship.com/stoicism-resources.html

As always feel free to bring notes or topic you want to discuss!

Second Cambridge Stoics meet-up

What is the promise of Stoic philosophy?

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019, 7:00 PM

The Waterman
32 Chesterton Road Cambridge, GB

18 Members Went

Since antiquity, all philosophers have tried to answer the fundamental questions, providing what they consider to be the true “truth of existence”. Despite that, a question is left: What kind of advantages can the study of philosophy bring to me? especially in my daily life? Can I turn knowledge into power? The philosopher Epictetus, promises us, t…

Check out this Meetup →

Since antiquity, all philosophers have tried to answer the fundamental questions, providing what they consider to be the true “truth of existence”.

Despite that, a question is left:
What kind of advantages can the study of philosophy bring to me? especially in my daily life? Can I turn knowledge into power?

The philosopher Epictetus, promises us, that the study of Stoicism can deliver us practical and useful tools, that we can apply in our life, to reach what the Greeks called eudaimonia, in English happiness (or serenity of the spirit).

In this new meeting we are going to discuss these tools and how can we reach the ultimate goal of Stoic philosophy: Happiness!.

Intro for the first Stoic event in Cambridge

This is a transcription of my introductory speech for the first Stoic meeting of the Cambridge Stoa

Introduction

So, we are going to divide the meeting in the following parts:

  1. I want to explain to you, who am I; why I decide to create this meet-up; I want to give a short intro an what is Stoicism and what it means to me and possible to you.
  2. I want to hear from you, what is your experience with Stoicism? Do you know it? Who of you ever heard about Stoicism?
  3. Here with me I have many books, I thought we can start by discussing one of the main topics of the Stoicism, the duality of control, reading from Epictetus. If you want to discuss a specific topic, we can discuss it, or better we can discuss next time.

Why this meeting?

For what concern me. I encountered Stoicism for the first time, like many in school, but in more recent time, it started appearing in my podcasts then in and some videos on you tube. I wandered what was all that fuss about and, in the last year started or so I start having an increasing interest in stoicism.

I started reading the books, Donald Robertson, Pigliucci, etc. I also went to a Stoic conference in London, the “Stoicon”.

There three-hundred people gather to discuss and listen about stoicism. There again I met people from the Stoic Fellowship, an international organization that promote the spread of Stoicism. I have joined them and decide to start and seek people with this interest.

Continue reading “Intro for the first Stoic event in Cambridge”

First Cambridge Stoics event

At the beginning of the year I have decide to create a meet-up event in Cambridge open for who is interested in the philosophy of Stoicisms.

Philosophy can be seen as dull and useless for the average man. However, Stoicism is nothing like that, it’s practical teaching and methods to coping mechanisms are aimed especially to who live a stress-full and chaotic life and Stoicism is becoming an important part of my life.

Therefore I personally invite everyone who is interested in coming at the coffee area of the Waterman Pub in Cambridge at the 19:00. For all infos and signing-up follow this link: https://www.meetup.com/The-Cambridge-Stoics/events/257821976/