Person Who Is Indifferent To Both Pleasure And Pain


Person Who Is Indifferent To Both Pleasure And Pain
‘A person who is indifferent to both pleasure and pain’ is Option C, Stoic.

What is an indifference to pleasure or pain called?

We call someone ‘ stoic ‘ when that person is indifferent to sensations like pleasure or pain.

What’s another word for stoic?

Thesaurus results for STOIC How is the word stoic distinct from other similar adjectives? Some common synonyms of stoic are,,, and, While all these words mean “unresponsive to something that might normally excite interest or emotion,” stoic implies an apparent indifference to pleasure or especially to pain often as a matter of principle or self-discipline.

  1. Was resolutely stoic even in adversity When is it sensible to use apathetic instead of stoic ? The synonyms and stoic are sometimes interchangeable, but apathetic may imply a puzzling or deplorable indifference or inertness.
  2. Charitable appeals met an apathetic response When could impassive be used to replace stoic ? The words and stoic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance.

Specifically, impassive stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression. met the news with an impassive look When can phlegmatic be used instead of stoic ? While in some cases nearly identical to stoic, implies a temperament or constitution hard to arouse. Style MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster “Stoic.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun.2023. : Thesaurus results for STOIC

What is the opposite of Stoicism?

Wisdom The relationship between Stoicism and Cynicism, two of the older schools of philosophy, is a complicated one that has evolved over hundreds of years. In fact, Stoicism descends directly from Cynicism and both of which descend from Socrates, As Juvenal would say in his Satires, the Stoics “differ from the Cynics only by a tunic.” And it should go without saying that the definition of both terms have been brutally mangled by the passage of time—Stoicism doesn’t mean “emotionless” just as the Cynics weren’t “snarky and negative.” The philosophy of Cynicism, as a way of life and thinking was founded by Diogenes of Sinope circa 380 BC, and like Stoicism later on, emphasized the value in living virtuously and in agreeance with nature.

  1. Both schools believed human reason is considered capable of determining what the will of nature is, however they came to different conclusions about what is natural.
  2. The Cynics had a much more basic view of what is natural and therefore lived ascetically.
  3. Unlike Cynicism, Stoicism sees many human constructs like laws and customs as natural and encourages obeying them as part of living naturally.

A Cynic is the opposite, he does not obey anything that he does not consider good or natural. The spirit of Cynicism is best illustrated by its founder, Diogenes, who is one of the most fascinating characters in all of philosophy. Diogenes lived in a tub and owned nearly nothing.

  1. He had no respect for social norms and thought humans should live in the simplest way possible and disdained much of what “civilization” supposedly offers us.
  2. He’d say that “humans have complicated every simple gift of the gods.” If you have ever heard the famous story of a philosopher who had the audacity to tell Alexander the Great to move out of his way because he was blocking his sun? Yes, that was Diogenes.

And the philosopher who purposefully broke one of his only possessions—a cup—after seeing a child drink water with his hands (“Fool that I am, to have been carrying superfluous baggage all this time!”)? Diogenes again. He took his beliefs seriously to the point of public indecency.

  1. He would eat in the marketplace (nobody was supposed to), spit or urinate on people who were rude to him, masturbate in public, and defecate in inappropriate places.
  2. When asked about his public masturbation, he would quip that “If only it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing my belly.” It may be surprising that such a person is called a philosopher, but his intention was to raise a point about the need for social norms.

Humans are animals and lived for a very long time without most of the social norms we take for granted. Diogenes believed that civilization and all its rules had made life worse and all the artificial pleasures it offered take away from our enjoyment and full experiencing of life.

Diogenes was also the teacher of Crates of Thebes, who in turn was the teacher of Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, Zeno taught that morality mattered above all else, like the Cynics, but also accepted that some “indifferents” were preferable and okay to pursue. If they were important to self-preservation, and this includes health and reproduction to some extent, Stoicism did not advise against seeking them.

Another Stoic philosopher, Epictetus, believed that Diogenes was a divine messenger. He was influenced by Cynicism to understand just how little people needed and that happiness could exist independently of possessions and social status. Epictetus thought that because the people who have power and money were often unhappy and Cynics were happy with very little, the sources of happiness must not be what people tend to think they are.

Epictetus said this of Diogenes: “And how is it possible that a man who has nothing, who is naked, houseless, without a hearth, squalid, without a slave, without a city, can pass a life that flows easily? See, God has sent you a man to show you that it is possible.” As the Stoic scholar Massimo Pigliucci would explain, Epictetus’s description of the Cynic lifestyle is “remarkably close to the sort of things the author tells his students throughout the Discourses, but talking as a Stoic.” Diogenes also appears in the writings of another prominent Stoic philosopher, Seneca, who would say this about Diogenes as an example of someone with true self-sufficiency and real wealth: “Diogenes acted in such a way that he could not be robbed of anything, for he freed himself from everything that is fortuitous.

It appears to me as if he had said: ‘Concern yourself with your own business, Oh Fate, for there is nothing in Diogenes that belongs to you anymore.'” Similarly, he’d point out the reaction of Diogenes upon learning that his slave had run away: “But the only slave Diogenes had ran away from him once, and, when he was pointed out to him, he did not think it worthwhile to fetch him back.

  • It would be a shame,” he said, “if Diogenes is not able to live without Manes, when Manes is able to live without Diogenes.” But he seems to me to have cried: “Fortune, mind your own business; Diogenes has now nothing of yours.
  • My slave has run away – nay, it is I that have got away free!” But what is important to note is that the Stoics value society highly and believe that to be virtuous one must participate in public life.

After all, Stoicism is a practical philosophy, one made for everyday use. The rules for interactions between father and son, man and wife, strangers in public, etc. are important to follow. The Stoics believe humans are meant to live in societies and meant to treat each other with respect.

A Stoic wouldn’t break the law or make a scene to prove a point, the way Cynics often did. To do so would be unvirtuous for a Stoic, partly because one can claim very reasonably that nature intended for men to be civilized (because we usually already are). Stoicism is a philosophy that teaches us to accept what is out of our control, including the behavior of others.

While the Cynics may want to break society out of their social norms, Stoicism would counsel us to accept social norms and not take on the impossible task of changing everyone to a different way of life. Cynics withdrew from politics and the chase for wealth that characterizes many people’s lives.

  • Like the Stoics, Cynics believed that too many desires cause problems, but they took it a step further.
  • Cynics didn’t even see the point of having personal possessions, because we can’t keep them when we die, and they cause us stress when we try to get more of them or prevent ourselves from losing them.

This anxiety prevents us from fully enjoying life. This is how Epictetus explained the Cynic’s role: “It is his duty then to be able to say with a loud voice like blind people you are wandering up and down: you are going by another road, and have left the true road: you seek for prosperity and happiness where they are not, and if another shows you where they are, you do not believe him.

  • Why do you seek it without?” The word ‘without’ in this context means in external things, which is where most people seek happiness, as opposed to how a good Cynic or Stoic gets their happiness from within.
  • The solution of the Stoics for avoiding anxiety and excessive desire was to train one’s mind to perceive things in a more rational manner.

Anxiety can be relieved by accepting that a negative outcome might happen, and that this is out of our control. Marcus Aurelius once said, “Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.” Some of the most critical aspects of Stoicism can be summed up by a quote from Epictetus: “Practice, therefore, to say frankly to every harsh appearance: ‘You are just an appearance, and not at all what you appear to be’.

Next, examine it and test it by the measures you have, first and chiefly whether it concerns the things that are within our control or the things that are not within our control. And if it concerns the things that are not within our control, be prepared to say: ‘it is nothing to me’.” As you can see, the key to Stoic practice is the mind.

There is no need to live in poverty to avoid the fear of losing money, because a Stoic can accept losing money, whereas most people would be distraught. Stoicism has the same to say about most good appearances as well, classifying them as “indifferents”.

If one can train their mind to not view wealth or status as particularly pleasant, there won’t be the unbalanced striving towards these things. Thus, a skillful Stoic does not need to withdraw from political life or the business world because they will not fall into the traps that most people do, the traps which cause them to be stressed out and unhappy.

There was no overt recommendation to an ascetic lifestyle, but when Zeno claimed that the sole good in life is virtue, following his teachings ruled out the enjoyment of many luxuries, which are often gotten immorally or sought after so enthusiastically that they detract from virtue.

  1. However, Zeno was his own philosopher, and did not continue the Cynic tradition of advising that one live in poverty to best agree with nature’s will for us.
  2. Seneca added: There is this difference between ourselves and the other school: our ideal wise man feels his troubles, but overcomes them; their wise man does not even feel them.
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Ultimately, Cynicism was an anti-society philosophy and was not one that everyone—or even a significant fraction of people—could follow if society was to properly function. In Cynic times, there was a problem with people dressing like Cynics and performing indecent acts, using the philosophy to disguise their malicious intentions.

  • This is why Cynicism fell way to Stoicism as it is disruptive to society and not everyone can live the way Cynics do.
  • Cynicism is a philosophy for outsiders, whereas Stoicism can be used by anyone to live a more rational and virtuous life.
  • This explains the very different fates of Stoicism and Cynicism.

Stoicism went on to be an influential Roman philosophy that was popular until 300 AD and is making a major resurgence in today’s world. Cynicism was replaced by Stoicism for the most part and is now a philosophy that is rarely practiced by people who know of its origins.

Am I stoic or epicurean?

Wisdom Stoic and Epicurean —two words that do not mean what people think they mean. The image of the Stoic is the unfeeling, emotionless brute and the Epicurean as the pleasure-loving, self-indulgent hedonist, Stereotypes always fall short, but in this case, the common understanding of what it means to be a follower of the Stoics or Epicureanism has dealt two vibrant philosophies a grave injustice.

  • Both philosophies were founded in Athens around 300 B.C as the lives of both Zeno and Epicurus, the founders of the two schools, overlapped.
  • They both counseled that we should avoid excessive pleasure and desires.
  • And to settle an important point early on, Epicureanism did not advocate for excessive self-indulgence the way we may think they did.

(Just as the Stoics were not unfeeling and reject emotions.) One starting point, which might surprise many, is that it is worth noting just how much the Stoics borrowed from the opposing and rival philosophical school. While the Stoic philosopher Seneca did offer a critique of Epicurus in his Letters from a Stoic, it would be unfair not to mention the numerous times he positively quoted him.

  • In one letter, he writes, “My thought for today is something which I found in Epicurus (yes, I actually make a practice of going over to the enemy’s camp – by way of reconnaissance, not as a deserter!).
  • A cheerful poverty,’ he says, ‘is an honourable state.'” In another, Seneca says this to his correspondent, Lucilius, “I’m still turning over the pages of Epicurus, and the following saying, one I read today, comes from him: ‘To win true freedom you must be a slave to philosophy.'” Why was Seneca quoting a ‘rival’ school, you may ask.

This was of course a question he had foreseen: “Quite possibly you’ll be demanding to know why I’m quoting so many fine sayings from Epicurus rather than ones belonging to our own school. But why should you think of them as belonging to Epicurus and not as common property?” Or as he once poignantly remarked: “I’ll never be ashamed to quote a bad writer with a good saying.” But this is true to form for Seneca.

He was looking for wisdom, period. It didn’t matter where it came from. This is something that a lot of fundamentalists— in religion, philosophy, anything— seem to miss. Who cares whether some bit of wisdom is from a Stoic or an Epicurean, who cares whether it perfectly jibes with Stoicism? What matters is whether it makes your life better, whether it makes you better.

It is the same attitude Stoic Emperor Marcus Aurelius had, evoking Epicurus in one of his notes to self in Meditations : “And in most cases you should be helped by the saying of Epicurus, that pain is never unbearable or unending, so you can remember these limits and not add to them in your imagination.” ( Epictetus for his part, one of the other three major Stoic philosophers, does not borrow from Epicurus,

Instead, he “calls him preacher of effeminacy and showers abuse on him,” as Diogenes Laertius would say.) Let’s now examine the differences between the schools: Stoicism claims that living justly and virtuously is the highest good that one can experience, and that pleasure and pain are to be treated indifferently, while Epicureanism claims that we should seek to maximize our own pleasure (mainly by removing pain from our lives).

Pleasure, as Epicurus regarded it, was the “beginning and end of the blessed life.” And you’ve probably also heard of the famous garden of the Epicurean school and its motto as inscribed on the gate: “Stranger, you would do good to stay awhile, for here the highest good is pleasure.” For Epicureans, virtue was a means to an end, that is, pleasure, whereas for Stoics it was their guiding principle and the foundation of their way of life.

  1. As the Stoic philosopher Seneca said, “Let virtue lead the way: then every step will be safe.” As you can probably conclude, although the ways that both philosophies recommend we live are very similar, they ultimately point us towards differing ideals.
  2. They both offer ways to avoid pain in life; in Epicureanism by living very simply and having strong friendships, and in Stoicism by fully accepting the course of nature,

Epicureans claim we can be happy like the gods if we live free of anxiety—especially the fear of death and fear of the gods—and satisfy our basic desires. Epicureans believed in the atomistic theory of the world, and thought that when we died the atoms that made up our soul became disorganized and then we no longer exist.

As Epicurus said, “The most terrible evil, death, is nothing for us, since when we exist, death does not exist, and when death exists, we do not exist.” The Stoics sought to live in accordance with nature —emphasizing living in agreement with what happens, rather than rebelling against and lamenting what we cannot change.

As the Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “We are like a little appendage of Zeus, and who is an appendage to question the plans of the whole body?” Epicureans and Stoics also differ on how to avoid suffering. Stoics believe that all pain stems from our perceptions and that we have the ability to not suffer when things typically considered bad happen to us.

  1. Epictetus again: “Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them.” The Stoics teach that one can be happy no matter what obstacles or tragedies they might face,
  2. By accepting all that happens to us in life and understanding that we are never harmed unless we believe we are, we can avoid suffering and live a joyful life.

Epicureans believe that avoiding pain means not fearing the gods or death, and not desiring things that are not both natural and necessary. Peace of mind should be maintained by living simply and having strong friendships with people you can count on.

Their ideal for life was to withdraw from public life (Epicurus’s principle: lathe biōsas, or ‘live hidden’), often by staying close to home, to avoid all complex desires, and spend a lot of time with close friends. As Epicurus said, “Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.” The Stoic way of life does not involve withdrawing from society at all, however, and it is considered unvirtuous to do so.

The Stoics understand that we have obligations to each other and that public life depends on participation. A Stoic is supposed to fulfill his/her role in society and accept it even if it is a humble or stressful position. Failing to be a good citizen violates one of the four core Stoic virtues, justice.

  • Both Epicureanism and Stoicism recommend not harming others or breaking the law, but for different reasons.
  • Remember, the Stoics value virtue above all else, to the point that they believed that virtue was all one needed to be happy and all else should be viewed with equanimity.
  • In other words, virtue gives meaning to life.

Epicureans view virtue much more practically. Epicurus said that you should not break the law because the fear of being punished would detract from your happiness, claiming that “injustice is not an evil in itself.” However, this fails to consider those who don’t feel bad breaking the law—the people who are most likely to break it.

Epicureans also believed in the importance of the social contract, the agreement not to harm each other, and described morality in terms of this agreement. Treating your friends correctly is important because it is what will make your friends loyal to you as well. As we mentioned earlier, Seneca, in Letters from a Stoic had strong criticisms for the Epicureans, and in particular their idea of friendship, which is one based on mutual self-interest.

“He who regards himself only, and enters upon friendships for this reason, reckons wrongly These are the so-called “fair-weather” friendships; one who is chosen for the sake of utility will be satisfactory only so long as he is useful He who begins to be your friend because it pays will also cease because it pays.” This is in contrast with Stoic friendship, one based on having things in common and admiring each other’s character.

  1. Liking someone genuinely makes one more likely to put the friend’s interests above their own, a vital aspect of friendship.
  2. With virtue being only a means to an end in Epicureanism, it seems that the philosophy is indeed lacking when it comes to one of its primary prescriptions for life, having good friends.
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What about the hedonism and pleasure aspect, you ask? How much of hedonists were the Epicureans after all? Recall that for the Epicureans what is considered good is pleasure. Nature has designed us in a way so that satisfying certain goals brings us happiness, and seeking this happiness is what is good and natural.

  1. However, the pleasures we seek should not be excessive, because of the pain that tends to be the flip side of profound pleasure.
  2. As to avoid this pain, Epicurus divided pleasures into three categories: (1) natural and necessary, (2) natural and not necessary, and (3) not natural and not necessary.
  3. Natural and necessary pleasures are the ones we should always seek, because they are easily satisfied.

Having these alone is enough for peace of mind, a highly valued good in Epicureanism, These include the necessities of life such as eating, drinking, sleeping, shelter, social interaction, etc. Natural but unnecessary pleasures include sex, having children, or being held in high esteem by others.

  1. These aren’t needed for happiness, and we should avoid pursuing these too much to avoid suffering and not overcomplicate things.
  2. And to dispel the myth of the Epicureans as self-indulgent hedonists : There are unnatural and unnecessary pleasures, which are difficult to attain and include the usual vices of alcohol and excessive sexual pleasures.

Epicureanism teaches that we should always avoid these. Epicurus warned, regarding these last two categories, “He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing.” How does this contrast to Stoic philosophy? In Stoicism, virtue is the highest good and having a will that agrees with nature.

It is clearly best to want to happen what will happen anyway. Since it is natural that you will want to get the necessities of life, your urges should be accepted, but in Stoicism, it is equally acceptable for urges such as hunger and thirst to go unsatisfied; if it happens to us, we should accept it.

*** In summary, a simple heuristic to remember the difference between the Stoics and the Epicureans : The Stoics cared about virtuous behavior and living according to nature, while the Epicureans were all about avoiding pain and seeking natural and necessary pleasure.

What is the opposite of a stoic person?

Libertinism is the opposite of stoicism. Libertinism is the embrace of indulgence and a lack of self-restraint and is a radical form of hedonism.

Do stoic people get angry?

20 Stoic Quotes On Managing Anger Anger has the ability to destroy the foundation of who we are, hijacking our emotions and our capacity for reason and, as the Stoic philosopher Epictetus teaches us, drags us down to the level of a wild beast, petty and malignant.

  • To the, anger is an emotion that erodes the fabric of who we are, causing us to behave in ways that do not align with our values, morals and beliefs, and in doing so pushes us away from the person we want to be and the life we want to lead.
  • Often this push is towards unethical, destructive and unvirtuous behaviour.

These thinkers from ancient Greece believed the path to happiness and a good life is found through a life of virtue, reason, and behaviour that is deliberate and in alignment with our morality. Negative emotion, of which anger is one, not only prevents this but acts in contrast to it.

When faced with hardship, adversity or the behaviour of others, the Stoics argued that these events should not be permitted to control our emotions and our thoughts. Instead we should practice self-control, detachment and focus on what we can do to improve the situation, whether that be remove ourselves from the source of pain, or work towards rising above it or passing though it with our peace of mind still in tact.

In general the ancient Stoics saw anger as an irrational and destructive emotion, one that has the ability to destroy a life in seconds, and one that pulls us away from living the lives we want through its ability to ambush and control our emotions and actions.

How does a stoic person think?

WHAT IS IT TO BE STOIC AND WHAT ARE ITS CHARACTERISTICS? – The word stoic, in its modern usage, refers to a person who is indifferent to pleasure, joy, as well as sorrow or pain. Not surprisingly, the dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language (RAE) defines stoic in its first meaning as “Strong, equanimous in the face of misfortune” and the same is true of the Oxford dictionary which defines it as a person who suffers pain or problems without complaining or without showing what he feels.

  1. However, the Stoic doctrine is rather based on being guided by reason and, because you cannot control what happens around you, controlling what you think about what happens,
  2. For this reason, stoicism focuses especially on the emotions, which it refers to as passions, and which it divides into good, bad and indifferent,

The good ones are to be promoted, the indifferent ones are to be ignored and the bad ones are to be dealt with. Stoicism’s reflection on this is that people are not disturbed by the things that happen, but by the opinions they have about those things that happen. Basic pillars of Stoic philosophy. SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Basic pillars of Stoic philososophy

Can stoic people cry?

Yes. Insofar as any Stoic is first a human being, then yes. As Alexander Palmer says, it’s a natural, involuntary, bodily response. To bring up another point from Seneca, consider two of his letters, one to Marcia, and one to his mother Helvia.

Are Stoic people quiet?

Personality Type 5: The Stoic – Stoical people show fortitude, but they neither perceive nor express much emotion. Their feelings are difficult to read. They are generally “strong, silent types”. Difficulties: People find it hard to know them or get close to them.

Do Stoics lack empathy?

3) Empathy – In addition to the conceptual notions of unity and social duty on a large-scale, Stoicism promotes empathy and understanding in our interpersonal relationships. Of chief importance is the ability to listen to others in a way that acknowledges their own values, beliefs, and autonomy.

Marcus Aurelius writes, “Acquire the habit of attending carefully to what is being said by another, and of entering, so far as possible, into the mind of the speaker” (6.53). Such is the power of empathy, or the ability to deeply understand and feel the experience of another human being. By entering the mind of the speaker, you practice a crucial skill that is beneficial to all human relationships.

“In conversation, one should attend closely to what is being said, and with regard to every impulse attend to what arises from it; in the latter case, to see from the first what end it has in view, and in the former, to keep careful watch on what people are meaning to say” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 7.4 While many are just waiting for their turn to talk, the stoic considers not only the words being said, but the thoughts and emotions from which they surface.

This is the art of listening, which fosters understanding and connection between ourselves and others. When faced with people who have behaved unjustly or wrongly in some way, Marcus Aurelius has more advice. “No soul,” he writes, “is willingly deprived of the truth; and the same applies to justice too, and temperance, and benevolence, and everything of the kind.

It is most necessary that you should constantly keep this in mind, for you will then be gentler towards everyone” (7.63). Stoicism once more advises us to turn attention to our own conduct and internal experience, rather than dwelling on the actions of others, over which we have no control.

  1. If others behave unjustly, it is either unintentional or they must harness some anger toward humanity.
  2. It’s important for us not to feel the same animosity toward them as they feel toward others.
  3. As Epictetus would advise, the best revenge against others is not to be like them.
  4. So let us preserve our tranquility, even throughout the turbulences of human interactions and interpersonal relationships.

Doing so will help us better perform our social duties toward others while remembering the stoic truth that our power lies not in the situations we experience, but in our responses to them.

What do Stoic think on heartbreak?

Uncategorized It happens to all of us. We’re happily coupled one day, madly in love, walking hand in hand in a lovely spot as the light dies from the sky and the city is set alight with streetlights and the gentle warm glow emanating from nearby windows.

  • Then there is a spat, a mistake is made, we arrive late one time too many, or circumstances beyond our control result in a breakup.
  • Whatever the reason, whoever made the decision, the fabric of this lovely tapestry we call our relationship is torn.
  • So now what? you may wonder.
  • Now, we heal.
  • But how? By turning to ancient wisdom.

Here’s advice from the Ancient Stoics on how to heal from a break up: “How much more harmful are the consequences of anger and grief than the circumstances that aroused them in us!”— Marcus Aurelius The first rule of holes, goes the adage, is that “if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” This might be the most violated piece of wisdom in the world.

What most of us do when something goes wrong or is inflicted on us, is make it worse—first, by getting angry or feeling aggrieved, and next, by flailing around before we have much in the way of a plan. Seneca ‘s line was “How does it helpto make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?” Try not to add angry or negative emotions to the equation,

Don’t react for the sake of reacting. Stop digging. Don’t call and text them 500 times. Don’t download every dating app and rush to line up someone new. Don’t go on a social media rampage. Remember, we always have a choice: Do we focus on the ways we have been wronged, or do we look for lessons, do we find aspects of the relationship to be appreciative of? Will we wait for someone to save us, or will we listen to Marcus Aurelius ‘s empowering call to “get active in your own rescue—if you care for yourself at all—and do it while you can.” “We cry to God Almighty, how can we escape this agony? Fool, don’t you have hands? Or could it be God forgot to give you a pair? Sit and pray your nose doesn’t run! Or, rather just wipe your nose and stop seeking a scapegoat.” —Epictetus The bestselling author Robert Greene says there are two types of time in our lives: dead time, when people are passive and waiting, and alive time, when people are learning and acting and utiliz­ing every second.

  • Every moment or situation that we did not deliberately choose or control, presents this choice: Alive time.
  • Dead time.
  • During a breakup, every part of us wants to complain about how terrible the situation is.
  • How this shouldn’t be happening to me.
  • How it’s unfair.
  • How we wish we would have done this or that differently.
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But it’s this attitude and thinking that creates dead time we can never get back. It’s easy to be angry, to be aggrieved, to be depressed or heartbroken, to hide under the covers and watch Rom-Coms for weeks. But all the talk of: I don’t want this. I want _.

I want it my way— this accomplishes nothing! Instead, choose alive time! Shift the talk to: This is an opportunity for me, I can learn and grow from this, I will not let this be dead time for me. Don’t be ashamed of needing help. You have a duty to fulfill just like a soldier on the wall of battle. So what if you are injured and can’t climb up without another soldier’s help? — Marcus Aurelius No one ever said you were born with all the tools you’d need to solve every problem you’d face in life.

In fact, as a newborn, you were practically helpless. Someone helped you then, and you came to understand that you could ask for that help. It was how you knew you were loved. Well, you are still loved. There are other soldiers—people who have dealt with the same pain—ready to help you climb out of this.

  1. You can ask for help.
  2. You don’t have to face this on your own.
  3. If you need help, comrade, just ask.
  4. Don’t let your reflection on the whole sweep of life crush you.
  5. Don’t fill your mind with all the bad things that might still happen.
  6. Stay focused on the present situation and ask yourself why it’s so unbearable and can’t be survived.

— Marcus Aurelius When you look back at some of the most impressive, even scary, things that you’ve overcome and endured, how were they possible? How were you able to see past the danger or the poor odds? As Marcus described, you didn’t fill your mind with negativity, you didn’t let the whole sweep of the situation crush you.

  1. A character in Chuck Palahniuk‘s novel Lullaby says, “The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.” Sometimes zooming out and grasping the big picture is important, the Stoics say.
  2. Other times though, it’s counterproductive and overwhelming to be thinking of everything that lies ahead.

So by focusing exclusively on the present, we’re able to avoid or remove those intimidating or negative thoughts from our frame of view. A man walking a tightrope tries not to think about how high up he is or how far the other side is. Like us, he’s better off putting one foot in front of the other.

  • Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not.
  • It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.” — Epictetus “Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will flow well.” — Epictetus Stoicism, first and foremost, teaches us that we can’t control or rely on anything outside what Epictetus called our “reasoned choice”— our ability to use our reason to choose how we respond and reorient ourselves to external events,

Something happened that we wish had not. Which of these is easiest to change: our opinion or the event that is past? The answer is obvious, Accept what happened and change your wish that it had not happened. Stoicism calls this the “art of acquiescence”— to accept rather than fight what happens,

And the most practiced Stoics take it a step further. Instead of simply accepting what happens, they urge us to actually enjoy what has happened—whatever it is. Nietzsche, many centuries later, coined the perfect expression to capture this idea: amor fati (a love of fate), It’s not just accepting, it’s loving everything that happens.

Which brings us to “Hecato says, ‘I can teach you a love potion made without any drugs, herbs, or special spell—if you would be loved, love.'” — Seneca In adversity, it’s so easy to hate. Hate defers blame. It makes someone else responsible. It’s a distraction too; we don’t do much else when we’re busy getting revenge or investigating the wrongs that have supposedly been done to us.

  1. Does this get us any closer to where we want to be? No.
  2. It just keeps us where we are — or worse, arrests our development entirely.
  3. You know what is a better response to something you don’t like? Love.
  4. That’s right, love.
  5. For the parent that let you down.
  6. For the bureaucrat who lost your paperwork.
  7. For the group that rejects you.

For the critic who attacks you. The former partner who stole your business idea. The bitch or the bastard who cheated on you. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Why? Because, as the Beatles put it, “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Think of Martin Luther King Jr., over and over again, preaching that hate was a burden and love was freedom.

  1. Love was transformational, hate was debilitating.
  2. Hate,” he said “is a cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence.
  3. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life.” There is almost no situation in which hatred helps.
  4. Yet almost every situation is made better by love—or empathy, understanding, appreciation—even situations in which you are in opposition to someone.

And who knows, you might just get some of that love back. “While it’s true that someone can impede our actions, they can’t impede our intentions and our attitudes, which have the power of being conditional and adaptable. For the mind adapts and converts any obstacle to its action into a means of achieving it.

That which is an impediment to action is turned to advance action. The obstacle on the path becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius The mind is infinitely elastic and adaptable. Through a breakup, you have the power to use the Stoic exercise of turning obstacles upside down, which takes one negative circumstance and uses it as an opportunity to practice an unintended virtue or form of excellence.

For example: If something prevents you from getting to your destination on time, then this is a chance to practice patience. If an employee makes an expensive mistake, this is a chance to teach a valuable lesson. If a computer glitch erases your work, it’s a chance to start over with a clean slate.

  1. If someone hurts you, it’s a chance to practice forgiveness.
  2. If something is hard, it is a chance to get stronger.
  3. Try this line of thinking and see whether there is a situation in which one could not find some virtue to practice or derive some benefit.
  4. There isn’t one.
  5. Not even in the ending of a relationship you didn’t want to end.

Every impediment can advance action in some form or another. Philosophy is not just about talking or lecturing or reading long, dense books. It is something men and women of action use—and have used throughout history—to solve their problems and achieve their greatest triumphs.

What is pleasure and avoidance of pain?

c. Motivational Hedonism – Motivational Hedonism (more commonly referred to by the less descriptive label, ” Psychological Hedonism “) is the theory that the desires to encounter pleasure and to avoid pain guide all of our behavior. Most accounts of Motivational Hedonism include both conscious and unconscious desires for pleasure, but emphasize the latter.

  1. Epicurus, William James, Sigmund Freud, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and (on one interpretation) even Charles Darwin have all argued for varieties of Motivational Hedonism.
  2. Bentham used the idea to support his theory of Hedonistic Utilitarianism (discussed below).
  3. Weak versions of Motivational Hedonism hold that the desires to seek pleasure and avoid pain often or always have some influence on our behavior.

Weak versions are generally considered to be uncontroversially true and not especially useful for philosophy. Philosophers have been more interested in strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism, which hold that all behavior is governed by the desires to encounter pleasure and to avoid pain (and only those desires).

Strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism have been used to support some of the normative types of hedonism and to argue against non-hedonistic normative theories. One of the most notable mentions of Motivational Hedonism is Plato ‘s Ring of Gyges example in The Republic, Plato’s Socrates is discussing with Glaucon how men would react if they were to possess a ring that gives its wearer immense powers, including invisibility.

Glaucon believes that a strong version of Motivational Hedonism is true, but Socrates does not. Glaucon asserts that, emboldened with the power provided by the Ring of Gyges, everyone would succumb to the inherent and ubiquitous desire to pursue their own ends at the expense of others.

Socrates disagrees, arguing that good people would be able to overcome this desire because of their strong love of justice, fostered through philosophising. Strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism currently garner very little support for similar reasons. Many examples of seemingly-pain-seeking acts performed out of a sense of duty are well-known – from the soldier who jumps on a grenade to save his comrades to that time you rescued a trapped dog only to be (predictably) bitten in the process.

Introspective evidence also weighs against strong accounts of Motivational Hedonism; many of the decisions we make seem to be based on motives other than seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. Given these reasons, the burden of proof is considered to be squarely on the shoulders of anyone wishing to argue for a strong account of Motivational Hedonism.