Stoicism

 

Greek and Roman Hellenistic Philosophers (300 BCE - 200 CE)   

Stoics, Epicureans, Cynics, Skeptics, Aristotelians, Platonists, Sophists 

A Hypertext Notebook Containing a Reading Guide, Notes, Bibliography, Contextual Information, Quotations, Philosophy, Resources, Rambling, Reconnoitering, Hellenistic Research, and Miscellanies. 


Stoicism:    Bibliography     Quotations     Fiction     Stoic Spiritual Exercises

A Recommended Reading List for Learning about Stoicism     Chronology of Stoic Philosophers    


Research by Michael P. Garofalo
Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove, Red Bluff, California


Happiness and Virtues     How to Live a Good Life     Philosophy     Equanimity  

Key Stoic Ideas     Buddhists     Taoists     Hedonists     Epicureans   

 

Cloud Hands Blog    

 

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus
26 April 121 – 17 March 180 CE

 

 

 

Stoicism

Bibliography, Resources, Links, Information

 

 

A


Advice from Wise Persons: How to Live a Good Life.  Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo. 


Ancient Greek Philosophy


Aristotle (384–322 BCE)   Information on Aristotle:  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  


Aristotle.  The Basic Works of Aristotle.  Edited with an Introduction by Richard McKeon.  New York, Random House, 1941.  1487 pages.  VSCL. 


Aristotle.  Nicomachean Ethics  Translated by Terence Irwin.  Introduction, notes, references.  Hackett Publishing, 2nd Edition.  392 pages.  Kindle Edition.  ISBN: 978-0872204645.  VSCL. 


Aristotle, Kant, and the Stoics: Rethinking Happiness and Duty.   Edited by Stephen Engstrom and Jennifer Whiting.  Cambridge University Press, 1998.  324 pages.  ISBN: 978-0521624978.  


Art and Experience in Classical Greece  By J. J. Pollitt.  Cambridge University Press, 1972, 1999.  Index, bibliography, 208 pages.  ISBN: 0521096626.  VSCL. 


The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy.  By John Sellars.  Bristol Classical Press, 2nd Edition, 2009.  240 pages.  ISBN: 978-1853997242. 


The Art of Happiness.  By Epicurus.  Translation, introduction, and commentary by George K. Strodach.  A foreword by Daniel Klein.  New York, Penguin Classics, Reissue edition, 2012.  Index, bibliography, notes, 251 pages.  ISBN:  978-0143107217.  "The teachings of Epicurus—about life and death, religion and science, physical sensation, happiness, morality, and friendship—attracted legions of adherents throughout the ancient Mediterranean world and deeply influenced later European thought. Though Epicurus faced hostile opposition for centuries after his death, he counts among his many admirers Thomas Hobbes, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, and Isaac Newton. This volume includes all of his extant writings—his letters, doctrines, and Vatican sayings—alongside parallel passages from the greatest exponent of his philosophy, Lucretius, extracts from Diogenes Laertius' Life of Epicurus, a lucid introductory essay about Epicurean philosophy, and a foreword by Daniel Klein, author of Travels with Epicurus."   VSCL. 


Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness  By Epictetus.  An new interpretation, rephrasing, reorganization, and interpolation by Sharon Lebell.  Harper One, 1997.  126 pages.  ISBN: 978-0061286056.  VSCL. 


Art in the Hellenistic Age   By Jerome J. Pollitt. Cambridge University Press, 1986.  Index, notes, bibliography, 329 pages.  ISBN: 0521276721.  VSCL. 


Asceticism.  Wikipedia


Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury  (1671-1713)


Ataraxia   A lucid state of robust tranquility.  A calm and tranquil state of mind cultivated by the Skeptics and Stoics. 

 

 

Aurelius, MarcusMarcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; 26 April 121 CE – 17 March 180 CE) was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. 'He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus' death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.  During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East: Aurelius' general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, although the threat of the Germanic tribes began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.  Marcus Aurelius' Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration."


Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE)   Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Marcus Aurelius: A Life  By Frank McLynn.  Da Capo Press, 2010.  720 pages.  ISBN: 978-0306819162. 


Marcus Aurelius: A Biography.  By Anthony R. Birley.  Roman Imperial Biographies Series.  Routledge, 2nd Edition, 2000.  320 pages.  ISBN: 9780415171250.


The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius  By Pierre Hadot.  Translated by Michael Chase.  Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1998.  Index, notes, 351 pages.  Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Series.  ISBN:  978-0674007077.  VSCL. 


Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Antoninus Aurelius.  Translation and commentary by A. S. L. Farquharson.  2 Volumes in 1944.  Everyman's Library, Reprint Edition, 1992.  280 pages.  ISBN: 9780679412717.


Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius.  Translated by George Long.  Online free version. 


Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius.  Translated by James Moor, 1780.  Online free version. 


Meditations.  By Marcus Aurelius.  Translated by Martin Hammond.  Illustrated by Coralie Bickford-Smith.  Introduction by Diskin Clay.  Hardcover Classics.  New York, Penguin Classics, Reissue Edition, 2014.  General index, index of quotes, extensive notes, 416 pages.  ISBN: 978-0141395869.  VSCL.  Written by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Koine Greek around 160 CE.


Meditations: A New Translation.  By Marcus Aurelius.  Translated by Gregory Hays.  New York, Modern Library, 2002.  256 pages.  ISBN: 978-0679642602.  Kindle Version.  VSCL.  Written by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Koine Greek around 160 CE.


The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: A Study.   By R. B. Rutherford.  Oxford Classical Monographs, 1989.  Clarendon Press, 1991.  304 pages.  ISBN: 9780198147558. 


Marcus Aurelius, Project Gutenberg


Awaken the Giant Within.  By Anthony Robbins.  Free Press, 1992.  Index, 544 pages.  ISBN: 98-0671791544.  VSCL. 

 

B


The Blackwell Guide to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.  Edited with an introduction by Richard Kraut.  Wiley-Blackwell, 2006 pages.  396 pages.  ISBN: 978-1405120210. 


Bibliography   The Stoic Library   Books, articles, websites, themes, history, bibliography, reading lists.  The Internet Archive Wayback Machine.  A number of the referenced links are no longer active.


Broadmindedness, Openess.  Quotations, Sayings, Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.


Buddhism 

 

 

C


The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Skepticism.  Edited by Richard Bett.  Cambridge University Press, 2010.  392 pages. ISBN: 978-0521697545. 


The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle.  Edited by Johathan Barnes.  Cambridge University Press, 1995.  434 pages.  ISBN: 978-0521422949


The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy  Edited by Anthony A. Long.  New York, Cambridge University Press, 1999, 2006.  Index, bibliography, index of passages, 427 pages.  ISBN: 0521446678.  VSCL. 


The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism.  By James Warren.  Cambridge University Press, 2009.  356 pages.  Cambridge Companions to Philosophy.  ISBN: 978-0521695305. 


The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics.  Edited by Brad Inwood.  Cambridge University Press, 2003.  450 pages.  Cambridge Companions to Philosophy Series.  ISBN: 978-0521779852. 


The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics  Edited by Daniel C. Russell.  The Cambridge Companions to Philosophy.  Cambridge University Press, 2013.  380 pages.  ISBN: 978-0521171748.  VSCL (Kindle). 

 

 

Chrysippus of Soli (279 BCE - 206 BCE):  Information:  Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Chrysippus.  Stoic Virtues: Chrysippus and the Religious Character of Stoic Ethics.   By Christopf Jedan.  Bloomsbury Academic, 2012.  244 pages.  Bloomsbury Studies in Ancient Philosophy (Book 60).  ISBN: 978-1441197948. 


Chrysippus of Soli, Project Gutenberg


Chrysippus of Soli.  "We need to recognize from the outset that almost all of Hellenistic literature, principally it philosophical productions, has disappeared.  The Stoic philosopher Chrysippus, to cite only one example, among many, wrote seven hundred works, all of which are lost; only a few fragments have down to us.  We would undoubtedly have a very different idea of Hellenistic philosophy if this gigantic catastrophe has not occurred."
-  Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995, p. 53.

 

 

Cheerfulness   Quotations, Sayings, Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.

 

Cleanthes (330-230 BCE)   Information in: Wikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Diogenes Laertius


Cleanthes (330-230 BCE), Project Gutenberg

 


 

 

Chronology of Stoic Philosophers and Some Related Thinkers 


Plato (427-347 BCE)   Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Aristotle (384–322 BCE)   Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Epicurus (341-270 BCE)  Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia Encyclopedia Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 


Zeno of Citium (334-262 BCE):  Wikipedia Encyclopedia   Founder of the Stoic School of Philosophy

Cleanthes (330-230 BCE), Project GutenbergWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Diogenes Laertius

Chrysippus of Soli (279-206 BCE)  Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Panaetius (185-110 BCE)   Project Gutenberg

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)  Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 

Lucius Anneaeus Seneca, Seneca the Younger, (4 BCE-65 CE)   Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy  

Gaius Musonius Rufus (25-100 CE)   Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Epictetus (55-135 CE)  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE)   Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy  

A Longer List of Stoic Philosophers, Wikipedia

 

 


Cicero
, Marcus Tullius (106 BCE - 43 BCE)  Information:  Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy 


Cicero: Selected Works  Translated by Michael Grant.  Penguin Classics, 1960.  272 pages.  ISBN: 978-0140440997. 


Cicero   On the Good Life.  Translated by Michael Grant.  Penguin Classics, 1971.  384 pages.  ISBN: 978-0140442441. 

 



Cicero (106-43 BCE) 

 

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog by Mike Garofalo


The College of Stoic Philosophers 


Cynicism.  Wikipedia


The Cynic Philosophers: From Diogenes to Julian.  Translated with an introduction by Robert Dobbin.  New York, Penguin Classics, Reprint 2013.  Notes, glossary, 352 pages.  ISBN: 978-0141192222.  VSCL. 

 

 

D


Dao De Jing by Laozi


Daoism and the Tao Te Ching  Compilations and research by Mike Garofalo. 


Determinism and Freedom in Stoic Philosophy  By Susanne Bobzien.  Clarendon Press, 2002.  456 pages.  ISBN: 978-0199247677. 


Diogenes Laertius, (circa 3rd Century CE).  Biographer of Greek philosophers. 

 

 

E


East of Eden.  By John Steinbeck.  Review: Steinbeck and Stoicism 


The Education of the Stoic  By Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935).  Translated by Richard Zenith.  Antonio Tabucchi, Contributor.  Exact Change, 2004.  128 pages.  ISBN: 978-1878972408. 


Ellis, Albert.  The Albert Ellis Reader: A Guide to Well-Being Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.  Edited by Albert Ellis and Shawn Blau.  New York, Citadel Press, Kensington Pub., 1998.  Index, bibliography, notes, 375 pages.  ISBN: 0806520329.  VSCL.  


Ellis, Albert.  A New Guide to Rational Living.  By Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper.  Third Edition, Thoroughly Revised and Updated for the Twenty-First Century.  Hollywood, CA, Melvin Powers Wilshire Book Company, 1961, 1997.  Index, bibliography, 283 pages.   ISBN: 0879800429.  VSCL. 

 

 

Epictetus (55 - 135 CE)  Information:  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Epictetus, 55 CE - 135 CE, "was a Greek speaking Stoic philosopher. He was born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in north-western Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses.  Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control; we should accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline."  The leading student of Epictetus, Arrian, compiled and published his notes from the many lectures of Epictetus at around 150 BCE.  Many of these published works were lost or destroyed over the intervening centuries. 


Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life  By A. A. Long.  Clarendon Press, 2004.  328 pages.  ISBN: 978-0199268856. 


Epictetus, Enchiridion.  Translated by Elizabeth Carter.  Online free version. 


Enchiridion: A Manual for Living.  By Epictetus.  Translated by George Long.  Introduction by Odysseus Makridis.  New York, Barnes and Noble, 2015.  Written by Epictetus around 125 CE.  Endnotes, reading list, 27 pages.  ISBN: 9780760770207.  VSCL.  The leading student of Epictetus, Arrian, compiled and published his notes from the many lectures of Epictetus at around 150 BCE.  Many of these published works were lost or destroyed over the intervening centuries. 


Epictetus   Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness  By Epictetus.  An new interpretation, rephrasing, reorganization, and interpolation by Sharon Lebell.  Harper One, 1997.  126 pages.  ISBN: 978-0061286056.  This interesting and valuable text is unconventionally arranged.  There are no references to the standard numbered sections in the classic texts attributed by Arrian to Epictetus: Enchiridion or Discourses.  It is a useful popular handbook that captures the spirit of Epictetus and Stoic principles.  $8.44 paperback.  VSCL.  The leading student of Epictetus, Arrian, compiled and published his notes from the many lectures of Epictetus at around 150 BCE.  Many of these published works were lost or destroyed over the intervening centuries. 


Epictetus.  Discourses, Fragments, Handbook.  Translated by Robin Hard.  Edited with an Introduction by Christoper Gill.  Oxford's World Classics.  Oxford University Press, 2014.  400 pages.  ISBN: 978-0199595181. 


Epictetus   The Ethics of the Stoic Epictetus.  By Adolf Friedrich Bonhoffer.  Translated by William O. Stephens.  Revisioning Philosophy Series, Volume 2.  Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2000.  335 pages.  ISBN: 978-0820451398. 


Epictetus, Project Gutenberg

 

 

 

                                            

 

 

 

Epicureanism.  A hypertext notebook by Mike Garofalo: bibliography, resources. quotations, notes, summaries.  


Epicureanism.  By Tim O'Keefe.  University of California Press, 2009.  A good introduction to Epicureanism.  Ancient Philosophies Series.  224 pages.  ISBN: 978-0520264717.  VSCL.  Brief chronology.


Epicurus (341-270 BCE)  Information on Epicurus:  Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia Encyclopedia Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia.   Translated by Brad Inwood with an introduction by Lloyd P. Gerson.  Hackett Classics.   Hackett Pub. Co., 1994.  128 pages.  ISBN: 9780872202412. 


Equanimity:  Quotations, Sayings, Poems, Notes.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo.


Equanimity.  Wikipedia.   The Greek stoics use the word apatheia whereas the Roman stoics used the Latin word aequanimitas.

 

 

F


Fiction, Fictional Characters, Stoics in Fiction, Fictional Characters with a Stoic Approach to Life


Friendship: Quotations, Sayings, Wisdom, Poetry, Aphorisms, Virtues.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo. 

 

 

G


Getting Stronger Blog.  The philosophy of Hormetism, based on the application of progressive, intermittent stress to overcome challenges and grow stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. 


God and Cosmos in Stoicism  By Ricardo Salles.  Oxford University Press, 2009.  288 pages.  ISBN: 9780199556144. 


Good Life and Virtues Website.  Quotations, sayings, and notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.


The Gods of Ancient Rome: Religion in Everyday Life from Archaic to Imperial Times.  By Robert Turcan.  Translated by Antonia Nevill.  New York, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2001.  ISBN: 0415929733.  VSCL. 


Greco-Roman World 


Greek Art.  by John Boardman.  Thames and Hudson World of Art, Fourth Edition, 1964, 1996.  Index, bibliography, time chart, 302 illustrations, 73 color, index, 304 pages.  ISBN: 0500202923.  VSCL. 


Greek Religion.  By Walter Burkett.  Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, Reprint Edition, 2006.  512 pages.  ISBN: 0674362810.  Originally written in German and published in 1977; translated by John Raffan in 1985.  A scholarly review of Greek Religion (1200 - 300 BCE).  No illustrations.  VSCL. 


A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy  By William B. Irvine.  Oxford University Press, 2008.  Index, notes, list of works cited, and a brief reading program, 336 pages.  ISBN: 978-0195374612.  VSCL.  In Part One, Professor Irvine, provides reasons for the importance of having a coherent philosophy of life, surveys the numerous private schools of philosophy in the Hellenistic Age, and gives an introduction to the Roman Stoics up to Emperor Marcus Aurelius.  In Part Two, Stoic psychological techniques are thoroughly explained and discussed, specifically:  Negative Visualization: What's the Worse that Can Happen?  The Trichotomy of Contol: Becoming Invincible.  Fatalism: Letting Go of the Past ... and the Present.  Self-Denial: On Dealing with the Dark Side of Pleasure.  Meditation: Watching Ourselves Practice Stoicism.  In Part Three, Professor Irvine, provides "Stoic Advice" on such topics as: duty, communicating and dealing with other people, grief, anger, personal values, fame, luxurious living, changing one's place, aging, becoming a Stoic, being mocked, etc.  In Part Four, he deals with Stoicism for modern lives, and provides insights into his own personal experiences with adopting and trying to live a life grounded in the principles of Stoicism.  William B. Irvine is Professor of Philosophy at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 


Gymnosophists   Ascetics, sceptics, and religious followers (Sadhus) philosophers from India. 

 

 

H


Hadot, Pierre (1922-2010)    Information:  Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  "Pierre Hadot, classical philosopher and historian of philosophy, is best known for his conception of ancient philosophy as a bios or way of life (manière de vivre)."  Translated works in Greek, Latin, and French.  Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, 1995.  The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, 2001.   


Happiness (Eudaimonia)


Hedonism  Enlightened pleasure seeking. 


Hedonism.  A hypertext notebook by Mike Garofalo: bibliography, resources. quotations, notes, summaries.  



The Hellenistic Age (Era, Period) of Philosophy, from around 300 BCE to 200 CE, was a period of time when there were many private schools of philosophy in the Mediterranean cities and towns, and when Greek culture was a strong political, commercial, and intellectual force.  The Koine Greek language was the lingua franca for the authors and intellectuals in the area.  Large libraries held the voluminous writings of the philosophers of that period; however, unfortunately, periodic wars, the widespread destruction of buildings and libraries, and tyrants and Christians deliberately destroying manuscripts has resulted in a great loss of the texts from both the Classical Greek Age and Hellenistic Age.  In both Greece and other large port cities, there were many private schools of philosophy that taught men and women how to live a good life, how to devise an effective and coherent philosophy of life, how to nurture happiness for themselves, how to control their emotions and desires, how to listen critically and argue effectively, how to be a good citizen, and how to reason and have moral wisdom.  The style of teaching was personal and interactive in a Socratic way for adherents, and interested visitors could listen politely to lectures by the masters of the schools.  All tried various ways to be a successful teaching business and attract and keep students and adherents. 

As the power of the Roman armies successfully expanded the "Empire", and as Nicene Christianity (i.e., Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodox Christianity) became a dominant social-political force in Rome, the schools of philosophy went into decline, dispersal, and elimination.  In 85 CE, the dictatorial Emperor Domitian banished all philosophers from Rome.  All the public buildings in Athens were destroyed in 267 CE.  The great library at Alexandria was destroyed by invading Roman forces starting in 40 CE, and Paganism was made illegal by an edict of the Emperor Theodosius I in AD 391.  The Hebrew Old Testament, The Septuagint,  was translated into Koine Greek in 200 BCE, and the New Testament anthology for Christians was written in Koine Greek around 120 CE. 


Hellenistic Period - Wikipedia


Hellenistic Philosphers Index 


The Hellenistic Philosophers: Volume 1, Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary.  Compiled and translated by A. A. Long and D.N. Sedley.  Cambridge University Press, 1987.  524 pages.  ISBN: 9780521275569. 


Hellenistic Philosophy.  Translated and compiled by Brad Inwood and Lloyd P. Gerson.  Hackett Pub. Co., Second Edition, 1998.  438 pages.  ISBN: 97780872203785.  


Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind.  By Julia E. Annas.  Berkeley, University of California Press, Reprint, 1994.  Hellenistic Culture and Society Series, Book 8.  245 pages.  ISBN: 978-0520076594. 


Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics.  By A. A. Long.  University of California Press, Second Edition, 1986.  274 pages.  ISBN: 978-0520058088. 


Hormetism: Getting Stronger


How to Be a Stoic Blog 


How to Life a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo.  


Francis Hutchenson (1694-1746) 


Hypertext Notebooks of Mike Garofalo    Senses, Pleasure, Hedonism, Druids, Stoics, Touch, Tao Te Ching, Taijiquan, Qigong, Walking, Philosophy, Tai Chi Chuan, Poetry, etc.  Mike Garofalo (1945-) and Karen Garofalo live south of the City of Red Bluff, in Tehama County, California.  They live in a rural area, surrounded by almond orchards, at the "Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove."  [Both a real and a imaginary place.]  Our home and gardens are located on the flat, clay/sand rockless soil, in the midland heart of the North Sacramento River Valley.  Mike's writings are published under the Green Way Research banner. 

 

 

I


The Inner Citadel: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius  By Pierre Hadot.  Translated by Michael Chase.  Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1998.  Index, notes, 351 pages.  Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Series.  ISBN:  978-0674007077.  VSCL. 


Intelligent Virtue  By Julia Annas.  Oxford University Press, 2011.  200 pages.  ISBN: 9780199228775.  Virtue is a practical skill that needs development. 


Interdependence, Web of Life, Complexity   Quotes, Sayings, Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo. 


International Stoic Forum


An Introduction to Roman Religion.  By John Scheid.  Translated by Janet Lloyd.  Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2003.  Chronology, glossary, bibliography, index, 232 pages.  ISBN: 0253216605.  VSCL. 


Introduction to Virtue Ethics: Insights of the Ancient Greeks.  By Raymond Devettere.  Georgetown University Press, 2002.  208 pages.  ISBN: 978-0878403721. 

 

 

J


Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)  Information:  Biography, Wikipedia Encyclopedia  President Jefferson said that he was a Stoic. 

 

 

K


Kindness   Quotations, Sayings, Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.

 

 

L


Letters from a Stoic.  By Seneca.  Translated with an introduction by Robin Campbell.  Illustrated by Coralie Bickford-Smith.  Hardcover Classics Series.  New York, Penguin Classics, Reissue Edition, 2015.  Index of persons, appendix, notes, 352 pages.  ISBN: 978-0141395852.  VSCL. 


Lives of the Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laërtius, translated by Robert Drew Hicks, Books 1-X.  Book VII includes Zeno, Cleanthes, and Chrysippus. 


Lucretius: The Way Things Are: The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura of Titus Lucretius Carus.  Translated by Rolfe Humphries.  Bloomington, Indiana, University of Indiana Press, 1968.  Notes, 255 pages.  ISBN: 9780253201256.  Lucretius was an Epicurean Hellenistic philosopher.  VSCL. 

 

 

M


Man's Search for Meaning  By Viktor E. Frankl, M.D., PhD.  Beacon Press, 2006.  First published in 1946.  184 pages.  ISBN: 978-0807014295. 


Meditations  SEE  Aurelius, Marcus Antoninus


Moderation   Quotations, Sayings, Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.


Modern Stoic Literature


Montaigne   The Essays by Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)  Translated by Donald M. Frame.  New York, Everyman's Library, 2003.  I own the complete works by Montaigne in a Kindle digital version for easier reading.  1392 pages.  ISBN: 1400040213.  VSCL.


Montaigne   How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer  By Sarah Bakewell.  New York, Other Press, 2010.  Index, bibliography, notes, 399 pages.  ISBN: 9781590514832.  VSCL.


The Morality of Happiness  By Julia Annas.  New York, Oxford University Press, 1993, 1995.  Index, secondary sources bibliography, cast of characters, 502 pages.  ISBN: 0195096525.  Professor Annas provides a very thorough review and detailed analysis and evaluation of the ethical concerns and viewpoints of Aristotle and the Hellenistic philosophers.   "Ancient ethical theories, based on the notions of virtue and happiness, have struck many as an attractive alternative to modern theories. But we cannot find out whether this is true until we understand ancient ethics--and to do this we need to examine the basic structure of ancient ethical theory, not just the details of one or two theories. In this book, Annas brings together the results of a wide-ranging study of ancient ethical philosophy and presents it in a way that is easily accessible to anyone with an interest in ancient or modern ethics. She examines the fundamental notions of happiness and virtue, the role of nature in ethical justification and the relation between concern for self and concern for others. Her careful examination of the ancient debates and arguments shows that many widespread assumptions about ancient ethics are quite mistaken. Ancient ethical theories are not egoistic, and do not depend for their acceptance on metaphysical theories of a teleological kind. Most centrally, they are recognizably theories of morality, and the ancient disputes about the place of virtue in happiness can be seen as akin to modern disputes about the demands of morality."  VSCL. 

 

 

Gaius Musonius Rufus (25 CE - 100 CE)    Information:  Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Musonius Rufus: Lectures and Sayings 
Translated and compiled by Cynthia King.  Preface by William B. Irvine.  Lulu, 2010.  Pp. 96.  ISBN 9780557335800.   Review


Musonius Rufus and Education in the Good Life: A Model of Teaching and Living Virtue 
By J. T. Dillon.   UPA, 2004.  110 pages.  ISBN: 9780761829027. 


Musonius Rufus, Project Gutenberg

 

 

N


The Nature of Things.   By Lucretius.  Translated by Alicia Stallings.  Introduction by Richard Jenkyns.  New York, Penguin Classics, 2007.  304 pages.  ISBN: 978-0140447965.  Epicurean physics in a poetic format. 


Neo-Stoicism: A Late Renaissance Movement 


A New Stoicism  By Lawrence C. Becker.  Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1998.  Index, bibliography, commentaries, footnotes, 216 pages   Extensive discussion and development of 'normative logic.'  ISBN: 978-0691009643.  VSCL. 


Nietzsche, Frederick Wilhelm (1844 – 1900) - Wikipedia  Nietzsche was a scholar of Greek and Latin, familiar with Greco-Roman culture and philosophy.  He held the Chair Classical Philology at the University of Basel from 1869-1979.  Nietzsche was plagued by poor health all of his short life, he nevertheless wrote many essays and books.  His style of writing is engaging, insightful, bold, persuasive, imaginative, and he has keen sense of the bourgeois German culture of the late 19th century.  His thoughts and opinions can hold us spellbound at times.  The Greek sense of excellence for a persons function in life, free thinking, high standards, enjoyment of life, dignity, will, no gods needed, heroes, work, courage ... sounds like the issues raised by Epircureans and Stoics.   


Frederick Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900).  Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


The Norms of Nature: Studies in Hellenistic Ethics  Edited by Malcolm Schofield and Gisela Striker.  Cambridge University Press, 2007.  300 pages.  ISBN: 978-0521039888. 


Notebooks of an Old Philosopher  By Mike Garofalo. 


Novels, Plays, Characters with a Stoic Attitude or Philosophy

 

 

O


The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph  By Ryan Holiday.  Penguin Portfolio, 2014.  224 pages.  ISBN: 978-1591846352.


Old Philosopher's Notebooks.  By Mike Garofalo. 


On Desire: Why We Want What We Want  By William B. Irvine.  Oxford University Press, 2007.  336 pages.  ISBN: 9780195327076.  VSCL. 


Oikeiôsis: self-preservation, belonging to oneself, orientation, affinity, familiar, home, family, things close to one's heart.  A key term in Stoic developmental psychology.  Also implies working on developing a better sense of interconnectedness with widening circles of beings. 


Outward, Visible, Propriety: Stoic Philosophy and Eighteenth-Century British Rhetorics.  By Lois Peters Agnew.  University of South Carolina Press, 2009.  224 pages.  Studies in Rhetoric and Communication.  ISBN: 9781570037672. 


The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World  Edited by John Boardman, Jasper Griffin, and Oswyn Murray.  Oxford University Press Paperbacks, 2nd Edition, 1986, 2001.  Index, tables, 520 pages.  ISBN: 978-0192801371.  VSCL. 

 

 

P


Panaetius (185-110 BCE)   Project Gutenberg   


Peripatetic School.  Followers of Aristotle (384-322 CE)  A school of philosophy in Athens, Greece, located at the Lyceum during the Hellenistic Age.   


Massimo PigliucciInterveiw in 2015 with Professor Pigliucci.  Rationally Speaking by Professor PigliucciHow to be a Stoic Blog; An Evolving Guide to Practical Stoicism for the 21 Century, by Massimo Pigliucci. 


Philosophy: An Introduction Through Literature  Edited with introductions by Lowell Kleiman and Stephen Lewis.  Paragon House, 1998.  618 pages.  ISBN: 9781557785398.  VSCL. 


Philosophy as a Way of Life: Ancients and Moderns - Essays in Honor of Pierre Hadot.  Edited by Michael Chase, Stephen R. L. Clark, and Michael McGhee.  Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.  340 pages.  ISBN: 978-1405161619. 


Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault  By Pierre Hadot.  Edited with an introduction by Arnold Davidson.  Translated by Michael Chase.  Malden, Massachusetts, Wiley-Blackwell, 1995.  Index, extensive bibliography, 320 pages.  ISBN: 978-0631180333.  VSCL. 


Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations: Ancient Philosophy for Modern Problems  By Jules Evans.  New World Library, 2013.  320 pages.  ISBN: 978-1608682294. 


Plato (427 - 347 BCE)   Information:  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Plato.  The Collected Dialogues of Plato, Including the Letters.  Edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns.  With an Introduction and Prefatory Notes.  New York, Pantheon Books, 1961.  Bollingen Series, LXXI.  14 different translators are used in this collection.  Detailed index, 743 pages.  LCN: 61-11758.  VSCL. 


Pleasure   Quotations, Sayings, Poems, Statements, and Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.


Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy.  By David Wolfsdorf.  Cambridge University Press, 2013.  Index, reading list, 299 pages.  Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy Series.  ISBN: 978-0521149754.  VSCL. 


The Present Alone is Our Happiness, Second Edition: Conversations with Jeannie Carlier and Arnold I. Davidson.  Essays by Pierre Hadot and others.  Translated from the French by Arnold I. Davidson.  Cultural Memory in the Present.  Stanford University Press, 2nd Edition, 2011.  240 pages.  ISBN: 978-0804775434. 


Practical Intelligence and the Virtues  By Daniel C. Russell.  Oxford University Press, Reprint Edition, 2012.  458 pages.  ISBN: 9780199698448.  This book develops an Aristotelian account of the virtue of practical intelligence or "phronesis"─ an excellence of deliberating and making choices. 


Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus  By John M. Cooper.  Princeton University Press, 2012.  Index, bibliography, end notes, further reading list, 442 pages.  ISBN: 978-0691159706.  Stoicisim discussed in Chapter 4, Stoicism as a Way of Life, pp. 144-225.  VSCL. 


Pyrrhonism: How the Ancient Greeks Reinvented Buddhism.  By Adrian Kuzminski.  Lexington Books, 2010.  170 pages.  ISBN: 978-0739125076. 


Quotes about Stoicism - Good Reads


Quotes about Stoicism - Wikiquote

 

 

R


Real Life Stoics:  Marcus Areulius, Cato, Winston Churchill, Cicero, Epictetus, Gandhi, Chris Hadfield, Thomas Jefferson, Nelson Mandela, Seneca, John Sellars, Vice Admiral James Stockade, Zeno.


A Reference Guide to Stoicism: A Compilation of the Principle Stoic Writings on Various Topics  By John L. Bowman.  Author House, 2014.  220 pages.  ISBN: 978-1496900173. 


Riddles, Puzzles, Dilemmas, Paradoxes  


The Rise of Modern Stoicism.  By Joe Gelonsi.  Discussion of Stoic Week activities. 


The Role Ethics of Epictetus: Stoicism in Ordinary Life  By Brian E. Johnson.  Lexington Books, 2013.  216 pages.  ISBN: 9780739179673. 


 

 

                                                                    

 

 

 

S


Self-Preservation and Self-Identity, Oikeiôsis: self-preservati on, belonging to oneself, orientation, affinity, familiar, home, family, things close to one's heart.  A key term in Stoic developmental psychology.  Also implies working on developing a better sense of interconnectedness with widening circles of beings. 

 

Seneca:   Lucius Anneaeus Seneca, Seneca the Younger, 4 BCE - 65 CE, Information:  Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyWikipedia EncyclopediaInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Seneca (4 BCE - 65 CE)  Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known as Seneca the Younger or simply Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature.  "Works attributed to Seneca include a dozen philosophical essays, one hundred and twenty-four letters dealing with moral issues, nine tragedies, and a satire, the attribution of which is disputed.  Seneca generally employed a pointed rhetorical style. His writings expose traditional themes of Stoic philosophy: the universe is governed for the best by a rational providence; contentment is achieved through a simple, unperturbed life in accordance with nature and duty to the state; human suffering should be accepted and has a beneficial effect on the soul; study and learning are important. He emphasized practical steps by which the reader might confront life's problems. In particular, he considered it important to confront one's own mortality. The discussion of how to approach death dominates many of his letters."  


Seneca, Lucius Annaeus.  Letters from a Stoic.  Translated by Robin Campbell.  Penguin Books, 1969.  254 pages.  ISBN: 978-0140442106.  VSCL. 


Seneca   The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters.  By Seneca.  Translated with and introduction by Moses Hadas.  Seneca (4 BCE - 65 CE).  New York, W. W. Norton, 1958, 1968.  261 pages.  ISBN: 0393004597.  VSCL. 

 

 

Serenity, Tranquility (Atraxia), Peace of Mind:  Quotations, sayings, poems, observations.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo.


The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies  By Thomas C. Mcevilley.  Allworth Press, 2001.  768 pages.  Kindle Version.   ISBN: 978-1581152036.  VSCL. 


Simplicity.  Quotations, Sayings, Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.


Socratic Logic: A Logic Text using Socratic Method, Platonic Questions, and Aristotelian Principles, Edition 3.1   By Peter Kreeft, and edited by Trent Dougherty.  South Bend, Indiana, St. Augustine's Press, Third Edition, 3.1, 2004, 2010.  Index, 410 pages.  ISBN: 9781587318085.  VSCL. 


Society of Epiictetus: A Theistic Stoic Organization


Spinoza, Baruch (1632 - 1677)  Information:  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy  


The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers: The Complete Extant Writings of Epicurus, Epictetus, Lucretius, Marcus Aurelius  Edited by Whitney J. Oates.  New York, Random House, 1940.  627 pages.  ISBN: 9780394607450.  VSCL.  This was the first book I ever read about the Epicurean philosophers.  I purchased a used hardbound copy in 1962.  VSCL. 


On Stoic and Peripatetic Ethics: The Work of Arius Didymus (Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities,)   Edited by William W. Fortenbaugh.  Rutgers University Studies in Classical Humanities Series.  Transaction Publishers, 2002.  258 pages.  ISBN: 978-0765809728. 


The Stoic Creed.  By William Leslie Davidson.  Forgotten Books, Classic Reprint 2012.  310 pages.  ISBN: 978-1440070761. 


The Stoic Library   Books, articles, websites, themes, history, bibliography, reading lists.  The Internet Archive Wayback Machine.   A number of the referenced links are no longer active.


Stoic Philosophy  By John M. Rist.  Cambridge University Press, 1969, 1977.  312 pages.  ISBN: 978-0521292016. 


Stoicism.  By John Sellars.  University of California Press, 2006.  219 pages.  Ancient Philosophies Series, Book 1.  ISBN: 978-0520249080.


Stoicism.  Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  General introduction. 


Stoicism.  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  A more detailed introduction.


Stoicism  St. George Stock.  Leopold Classic Library Reprint, 2015.  126 pages. 
ASIN: B00YORYKOM


Stoicism.  Wikipedia.  General Introduction. 


Stoicism - Amazon   A number of the titles listed are very short self-published books, Kindle ebooks, under 50 pages - so caveat emptor.   


Stoicism and the Art of Happiness.  By Donald Robertson.  New York, McGraw Hill, 2013, 2015.  Index, bibliography, notes, 245 pages.  Series: Teach Yourself: Philosophy and Religion.  ISBN: 139781444187106.  VSCL. 


Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Ancient Stoic Philosophy and Modern Psychological Therapy.  By Donald Robertson.  This is a very informative blog about Stoicism, philosophy, and psychology.  Mr. Robertson is a psychologist, philosopher, and author.  Essential reading for those studying and practicing Stoicism. 


Stoicism and the Art of Happiness Blog.  By Donald Robertson. 


Stoicism: A Practical Philosophy You Can Actually Use  By Ryan Holiday. 


Stoicism Today Blog   University of Exeter, England, Patrick Ussher. 


Stoicism Today: Selected Writings.  By Patrick Ussher.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014.  202 pages.  Volume 1.  ISBN: 978-1502401922.  VSCL. 


The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers: The Complete Extant Writings of Epicurus, Epictetus, Lucretius, and Marcus Aurelius  Edited with an introduction by Whitney J. Oates, PhD.  New York, The Modern Library, Random House, 1940.  Glossary, 627 pages.  ISBN: 9780394607450.  VSCL.  This was the first book I ever read about the Epicurean philosophers.  I purchased a used hardbound copy in 1962.  VSCL. 


The Stoic Life: Emotions, Duties, and Fate  By Ted Brennan.  Oxford University, Clarendon Press, 2007.  352 pages.  ISBN: 978-0199217052. 


Stoic Philosophers List - Wikipedia   Each name is linked to an article in the Wikipedia Encyclopedia.  Philosophers from 360 BCE - 200 CE. 


Stoic Six Pack 4: The Sceptics  Create Space, 2015.  216 pages.  Kindle Version.  ISBN: 978-1514895436.  Includes:  Pyrrhonic Sketches by Sextus Empiricus, Life of Pyrrho by Diogenes Laërtius, Sextus Empiricus and Greek Scepticism by Mary Mills Patrick, The Greek Sceptics: from Pyrrho to Sextus by Norman MacColl, Stoics and Sceptics by Edwyn Bevan, Life of Carneades by Diogenes Laërtius. 


Stoic Spiritual Exercises  By Elen Buzare.  Lulu Press, 2012.  96 pages.  ISBN: 978-1446608135. 


The Stoics  By John M. Rist.  Univesity of California Press, 1978.  304 pages.  ISBN: 978-0520036758.  


The Stoics  By F. H. Sandbach.  Hackett Pub. Co., 1923, 1994.  192 pages.  ISBN: 978-0872202535. 


The Stoic's Bible & Florilegium for the Good Life.  Edited by Giles Lauren.  Sophron, Second Edition, 2014.  692 pages.  ISBN: 978-0985081102.


The Stoics Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia.  Translated and edited by Brad Inwood and Loyd P. Gerson.  Indianapolis, Hackett Pub. Co., 2008.  Index, glossary, sources, index of passages translated, introduction, notes, 256 pages.  Includes introduction, lives of various philosophers; chapters on logic and the theory of knowledge, physics, and ethics with extensive quotations from a variety of Hellenistic sources; and, selections from the later stoics.  On excellent resources for philosophers, scholars, and serious students of Stoicism.  Very well organized with extensive citations, footnotes, and references.  IBSN: 978-0872209527.  VSCL. 


Stoic Studies  By Anthony A. Long.  University of California Press, 2001.  325 pages.  Hellenistic Culture and Society, Book 36.  ISBN: 978-0520229747. 


Stoic Theology: Proof for the Existence of the Cosmic God and of the Traditional Gods  By P. A. Meijer.  Eburon Publishers, Delft, 2008.  272 pages.  IBSN: 9789059722026.


Stoic Virtues: Chrysippus and the Religious Character of Stoic Ethics.  By Christoph Jedan.  Bloomsbury Academic, 2012.  244 pages.  Bloomsbury Studies in Ancient Philosophy.  ISBN: 978-1441197948. 

 
Stoic Week 2015, November 2 - November 8th, 2015.   "The course guides you through all the basic ideas of Stoicism. Each day has its own theme, exercises to practise,  and reflections from original Stoic texts to consider. It has been written by the Stoicism Today team, an interdisciplinary group of academics and psychotherapists. You are also encouraged to take wellbeing surveys before and after the week, so we can measure the effectiveness of the course.  To take part in Stoic Week 2015, follow us on social media and subscribe to the blog, and you will be updated with all our material, such as the handbook and survey links.  As well as subscribing, follow our Twitter account @Stoicweek or see our Facebook group. See below for further contact details.  You’ll be able to register about a week before Stoic Week begins when we publish the link for the online intake questionnaires."  I participated in this online workshop in November of 2015. 


Sub specie aeternitatis   '(Latin for "under the aspect of eternity"), is, from Baruch Spinoza onwards, an honorific expression describing what is universally and eternally true, without any reference to or dependence upon the temporal portions of reality.  In clearer English, sub specie aeternitatis roughly means "from the perspective of the eternal".  Even more loosely, the phrase is used to describe an alternative or objective point of view.'  See Marcus Aurelius,  Meditations: 6.75. 


The Swerve: How the World Became Modern  By Stephen Greenblatt.  W. W. Norton, 2012.  356 pages.  ISBN: 978-0393343403.  Review.  How a Renaissance book hunter discovered and saved the De Rerum Natura of Titus Lucretius Carus

 

 

Seneca  (4 BCE - 65 CE)

 

 

 

T


Taoism and the Tao Te Ching  Compilations and research by Mike Garofalo. 


The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics.  By Martha C. Nussbaum.  Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University Press, 1994.  Paperback in 1996, 2009 Princeton reprint.  General Index, Index Locorum, Introduction, Bibliography, Notes, 558 pages.  Martin Classical Lectures Series.  ISBN: 978-0691141312.  VSCL.  


Thinking Critically.   By John Caffee.  Wadsworth Pub., 2011.  10th Edition.  Index, bibliography, 592 pages.  ISBN: 9780495908814.  John Chaffee, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at The City University of New York, where he has developed a Philosophy and Critical Thinking program.  VSCL. 


Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot  By James B. Stockdale.  Hoover Institution Press, 1995.  245 pages.  ISBN: 978-0817993924. 


Grudin, Robert.  Time and the Art of Living.  New York, Ticknor and Fields, 1982.  189 pages.  ISBN: 0899197892.  VSCL. 


Tranquility (Atraxia), Serenity, Peace of Mind:  Quotations, sayings, poems, observations.  Compiled by Mike Garofalo.

 

 

V


Virtue Ethics  By Mike Garofalo. 


Virtues and the Good Life Website.  Quotations, Sayings, and Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.


Virtues: A Reading List


VSCL = Valley Spirit Center Library, Red Bluff, California, Library of Michael P. Garofalo

 

 

W


What Is Ancient Philosophy?  By Pierre Hadot.  Translated from the French by Michael Chase.  Cambridge, Massachusetts, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.  Index, chronology, bibliography, notes, 362 pages.  First published in French in 1995.  2004 Belknap reprint edition.  ISBN: 978-0674013735.  VSCL. 


Why Stoics.  By Ben Schneider .  A discussion or Stoicism in the Renaissance Period.  William Shakespeare, Michel De Montaigne, Erasmus, Melanchthon, Ficino, Seneca, Cicero, Castiglione, Elyot, Philip Sydney, Spenser. 


Willpower, Determination, Grit   Quotations, Sayings, Notes compiled by Mike Garofalo.


Yoga.   Valley Spirit Yoga by Mike Garofalo. 

 

 

Z

Zeno of Citium (334-262 BCE):  Wikipedia Encyclopedia


A Summary of Stoic Philosophy: Zeno of Citium in Diogenes Laertius Book Seven  Translated with commentary by Keith Seddon and C. C. Yonge.  Keith Deddon, 2008.  172 pages.  ISBN: 978-0955684401. 


Zeno of Citium, Project Gutenberg

 


Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Zhou, Master Chuang, Kwang-dze)  369—286 BCE   Compiled by Mike Garofalo. 

 

 

 

                                                          

 

 

 

 

Stoicism

Quotations, Sayings, Aphorisms, Clichés, Quips, Quotes, Wisdom, Poetry

 

 

“Does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself?  So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.”
-  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

"You should meditate often on the connection of all things in the universe and their relationship to each other.  In a way all things are interwoven and therefore have a family feeling for each other: one thing follows another in due order through the tension of movement, the common spirit inspiring them, and the unity of all being."
-  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.75, Translated by Martin Hammond

 

"Stoicism is an ancient Graeco-Roman school of philosophy.  It has an emphasis on practical training and lifestyle changes aimed at improving our moral character and psychological wellbeing.  The Stoic school was founded around 300 BCE by Zeno of Citium.  At the core of Stoicism is the idea that virtue, or strength of character, is the most important thing in life. The  central doctrine of Stoicism is that we should ‘follow Nature’.  This means perfecting our own rational nature as human beings, through developing the cardinal virtues: wisdom, justice, courage, and moderation.  It also entails expressing our social nature as human beings,  by involvement in family life and society and by treating all human beings as brothers and sisters. So Stoicism is simultaneously a philosophy of inner strength and outer excellence.  Many people today are interested in Stoicism because of its similarities to modern self-help literature and its influence upon the evidence-based psychological strategies employed in cognitive-behavioural therapy."
Stoicism Today Blog

 

"Life, death, preservation, loss, failure, success, poverty, riches, worthiness, unworthiness, slander, fame, hunger, thirst, cold, heat─ these are the alterations of the world, the workings of fate.  Day and night they change place before us and wisdom cannot spy out their source.  Therefore, they should not be enough to destroy your harmony; they should not be allowed to enter the storehouse of the spirit.  If you can harmonize and delight in them, master them and never be a a loss for joy, if you can do this day and night without break and make it be spring with everything, mingling with all and creating the moment within your own mind─ this is what I call being whole in power."
Zhuangzi, Burton Watson translation, p. 69.; Zhuangzi Section 5, circa 300 BCE. 

 

"The Hellenistic period covers the period of ancient Greek (Hellenic) history and Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC[1] and the subsequent conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year.[2] At this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe, Africa and Asia, experiencing prosperity and progress in the arts, exploration, literature, theatre, architecture, music, mathematics, philosophy, and science. It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration,[3] compared to the brilliance of the Greek Classical era. The Hellenistic period saw the rise of New Comedy, Alexandrian poetry, the Septuagint and the philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism. Greek Science was advanced by the works of the mathematician Euclid and the polymath Archimedes. The religious sphere expanded to include new gods such as the Greco-Egyptian Serapis, eastern deities such as Attis and Cybele and the Greek adoption of Buddhism."
Hellenistic Age - Wikipedia
 

 

"Do not act as if you were going to live for a thousand years … while you are alive, while it is still possible, become a good person."
-  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 

"The term "Stoicism" derives from the Greek word "stoa," referring to a colonnade, such as those built outside or inside temples, around dwelling-houses, gymnasia, and market-places. They were also set up separately as ornaments of the streets and open places. The simplest form is that of a roofed colonnade, with a wall on one side, which was often decorated with paintings. Thus in the market-place at Athens the stoa poikile (Painted Colonnade) was decorated with Polygnotus's representations of the destruction of Troy, the fight of the Athenians with the Amazons, and the battles of Marathon and Oenoe. Zeno of Citium taught in the stoa poikile in Athens, and his adherents accordingly obtained the name of Stoics. Zeno was followed by Cleanthes, and then by Chrysippus, as leaders of the school. The school attracted many adherents, and flourished for centuries, not only in Greece, but later in Rome, where the most thoughtful writers, such as Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus, counted themselves among its followers."
Stoicism.  Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 

 

"We were born for cooperation.  Like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth.  So to work in opposition to one another is against nature; and anger or rejection is opposition."
-  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1, Ch. 1. 

 

"Begin the morning by saying to thyself, 'I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial.  All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away."  
-  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.1

 

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit From pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
-  William Ernest Henly,
Invictus, 1888 

 

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.” 
-  Seneca

 

The modern day philosopher and writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb defines a Stoic as someone who, “transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation and desire into undertaking.”

 

"Equanimity is a central concept in Stoic ethics and psychology. The Greek stoics use the word apatheia whereas the Roman stoics used the Latin word aequanimitas. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius' Meditations detail a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration. His adoptive father Antoninus Pius' last word was uttered when the tribune of the night-watch came to ask him for the night's password — Pius decided upon "aequanimitas" (equanimity)."
Equanimity

 

"Cynicism is one of the most striking of all the Hellenistic philosophies. It offered people the possibility of happiness and freedom from suffering in an age of uncertainty. Although there was never an official cynic doctrine, the fundamental principles of cynicism can be summarised as follows:

Thus a cynic has no property and rejects all conventional values of money, fame, power and reputation. A life lived according to nature requires only the bare necessities required for existence, and one can become free by unshackling oneself from any needs which are the result of convention."
Cynicism, Wikipedia

 

“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won't make us happier.” 
-  Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

 

“For what prevents us from saying that the happy life is to have a mind that is free, lofty, fearless and steadfast - a mind that is placed beyond the reach of fear, beyond the reach of desire, that counts virtue the only good, baseness the only evil, and all else but a worthless mass of things, which come and go without increasing or diminishing the highest good, and neither subtract any part from the happy life nor add any part to it?  A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.” 
Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters

 

“Why should we place Christ at the top and summit of the human race? Was he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Lao-tsze, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death – a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?” 
-  Robert G. Ingersoll, About The Holy Bible

 

"From Maximus, I have learnt the importance of these things]: to be master of oneself and not carried this way and that; to be cheerful under all circumstances, including illness; a character with a harmonious blend of gentleness and dignity; readiness to tackle the task in hand without complaint; the confidence everyone had that whatever he said he meant and whatever he did was not done with bad intent; never to be astonished or panic-stricken, and never to be hurried or to hang back or be at a loss or downcast or cringing or on the other hand angry or suspicious; to be ready to help or forgive, and to be truthful; to give the impression of someone whose character is naturally upright rather than having undergone correction; the fact that no-one could have thought that Maximus looked down on him, or could have presumed to suppose that he was better than Maximus; and to have great personal charm."
–  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 1.14

 

“Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company.” 
- Seneca

 

“Think of your many years of procrastination; how the gods have repeatedly granted you further periods of grace, of which you have taken no advantage. It is time now to realise the nature of the universe to which you belong, and of that controlling Power whose offspring you are; and to understand that your time has a limit set to it. Use it, then, to advance your enlightenment; or it will be gone, and never in your power again.” 
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

 


View yourself as a part, and only a part, of nature.
Accept your fate without complaining. Don't waste time judging.
Don't be surprised that there are offensive people.
Accept that things change, including your body. So accept that you will die.
Things repeat: a life of 20 years may see as much as one of 85 years.
While you're worrying about death, your mind may go. Make the best of it while it's intact.
Some stress is normal. You may be surprised how much you can endure, especially if you realize its for the best that you do so.
We weren't born to feel great, we were born to help others.
Why value that which can't offer you security?

 

Epictetus:

Marcus Aurelius:

-  Source, Stocism: Wikipedia, 2015

 

 

 

Marus Tullius Cicero (106 BCE - 43 BCE)

 

 

 

 

Stoic Principles
Notes by Michael P. Garofalo


Ethics, Personal Behavior, Philosophy of Living, Psychology, Lifestyle, Attitude

Live in accord with nature.
     "Let Nature deal with matter, which is her own, as she pleases; let us be cheerful and brave in the face of everything, reflecting that it is nothing of our own that perishes." (Seneca the Younger, De Provid, v.8)


Virtue is more important than worldly success.
Virtue is the highest goal for a good life.
     "Virtue is nothing else than right reason."   (Epictetus, Encheiridion, 66.32)
     "The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live." (Seneca the Younger, Ep. 101.15)

An individuals ideas and beliefs are a source or cause of positive and negative emotions.   
     "Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them."  (Epictetus, Encheiridion, 5)
     "Men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by the opinions about the things."   (Epictetus, Encheiridion, 5; Trans. George Long)

Stay calm and composed when in adverse circumstances.  Keep calm and carry on. 
Use your time wisely, and don't procrastinate.
Emulate someone that you respect.
Acknowledge failures, accept some losses, and preserver. 

Keep desires and wishes under good self-control.
Don't be ostentatious, a show-off, or a braggart. 
Live simply.
     "Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of men's desires, but by the removal of desire." (Epictetus, iv.1.175)


Carefully distinguish between what you can control or change, and what you cannot control or change.
Be indifferent to what you cannot control.
     "Where is the good? In the will. Where is the evil? In the will. Where is neither of them? In those things that are independent of the will." (Epictetus, ii.16.1)
 

Your life is short, so make the best of it.
Fame and admiration is short lived and fleeting. 
"Or is it your reputation that's bothering you? But look at how soon we're all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us — how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space — and most of it uninhabited. How many people there will be to admire you, and who they are." (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Chapter 4, L.3)
 

Change your beliefs and ideas and you will then change your emotions and reactions.
You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.  Accept your fate without complaining.
You are certain to encounter offensive and evil persons in your daily life.
You may loose your mind from physical or mental illnesses, so make the most of your mind now.
Stress and challenges are a normal part of life. 


You may be surprised at how much you can endure.
Difficulties may spur us on to improvements.   
     "Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also" (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, vi.19)
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”  (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, )


Helping friends is a noble use of your time.
Don't seek much security in the possession of objects. 

Virtue is not grounded in knowledge alone but must reflect our adaptation via reasoning, adapting to nature, our habits, and our behavior. 

 

Logic, Reasoning, Thinking, Judgment, Questioning, Learning, Opinions, Rhetoric

Don't waste your time and energy judging other people.
Take time to reflect each morning and evening.
Read, listen, study, and learn to be able to live wisely.
Be critical and honest in self evaluation.
Continually question how you spend your time.
Our opinions can get in the way of our well-being and equanimity.
Use facts and reasoning to form your opinions.

A philosopher is engaged in continual self-reflection.
    "Virtue is nothing else than right reason."   (Epictetus, Encheiridion, 66.32)

The Stoics emphasize sensory impressions as the source of experience that leads to knowledge and truth.  The vividness, strength, force, and inescapability of our lived sensory experience and feelings are vital to understanding what we call truth.  Concepts are less important to Stoics than personal experience, sensations, images, feelings, etc.  They tend to favor Aristotle's views on logic and concepts, rather than Plato.  (Stoicism, Logic, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

"Pain is slight if opinion has added nothing to it; ... in thinking it slight, you will make it slight. Everything depends on opinion; ambition, luxury, greed, hark back to opinion. It is according to opinion that we suffer. ... So let us also win the way to victory in all our struggles, – for the reward is ... virtue, steadfastness of soul, and a peace that is won for all time."
-  Seneca, Epistles, lxxviii. 13–16

 

Nature, Physics, Science, Universe, Fortune-Fate, Providence

View yourself as just one part of a wider world and Nature.
     "Everything is right for me that is right for you, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late that comes in due time for you. Everything is fruit to me that your seasons bring, O Nature. From you are all things, in you are all things, to you all things return."  (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Chapter 4) 

Many aspects of life repeat themselves. 

"That which Fortune has not given, she cannot take away." (Seneca, Ep. 59.18)

Live in accord with nature.
     "Let Nature deal with matter, which is her own, as she pleases."  (Seneca the Younger, De Provid, v.8)

 

 

 


 

"The term "Stoicism" derives from the Greek word "stoa," referring to a colonnade, such as those built outside or inside temples, around dwelling-houses, gymnasia, and market-places. They were also set up separately as ornaments of the streets and open places. The simplest form is that of a roofed colonnade, with a wall on one side, which was often decorated with paintings. Thus in the market-place at Athens the stoa poikile (Painted Colonnade) was decorated with Polygnotus's representations of the destruction of Troy, the fight of the Athenians with the Amazons, and the battles of Marathon and Oenoe. Zeno of Citium taught in the stoa poikile in Athens, and his adherents accordingly obtained the name of Stoics. Zeno was followed by Cleanthes, and then by Chrysippus, as leaders of the school."
Stoicism, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stoicism in Fictional Works

Also:  Epicureans, Cynics, Skeptics, Peripatetics (Aristotelians) in Fiction

 

Novels, Plays, Television, Movies, Stories, Fables, Poems

 

Novels


Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huys, 1884.  Epicurean. 

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, 1957.  Aristotelian. 

Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab, 1993.  Stoicism. 

Candide by Voltaire, 1859.  Cynicism. 

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, 1951.  Cynicism. 

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, 1960.  Cynicism. 

Dune by Frank Herbert, 1990.  Stoicism.   

Epicurean by Thomas Moore, 1857.  Epicurean. 

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing, 1989.  Stoicism. 

Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, 1929.  Stoicism. 

A Man in Full by Thomas Wolfe, 2001.  Stoicism.

Marius the Epicurean by Walter Pater, 1885.   Epicurean. 

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, 2010.  Stoicism.

The Right Mistake by Walter Mosley, 2009.  Stoicism.   

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, 1981.  Stoicism.

The Stoic by Theodore Dreiser, 1947.  Stoicism.

Ulysses by James Joyce, 1922.  Epicurean. 

 


Characters in Fictional Works or Television Programs or Motion Pictures


Aragorn and Faramir in the novel and motion picture Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien

Cordelia in King Lear by William Shakespeare. 

Andy Dufresne in the motion picture The Shawshank Redemption (1994). 

Maximus Decimus Meridius in the motion picture The Gladiator (2000). 

Luna from the Harry Potter series

Captain Jean-Luc Picard from television series Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994). 

Spock from the original Star Trek television shows (1966-1969).  Stoicism.  (Lacked, however, a strong sense of action; too much reasoning). 

Captain John Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation

Yoda in the motion picture The Empire Strikes Back (1980). 

 


Essays on Stoicism in Literature or Film


Feeling Like a Stoic: Doris Lessing

Movie Characters and the Stoic Trichotomy of Control 

Stoic Characters in Anime

Stoicism, Depression, and Redemption in King Lear

Stoics and TV Tropes

 

 

 

                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stoicism: A Recommended Reading List

Stoics, Epicureans, Cynics, Skeptics, Aristotelians, Platonists, Hedonists, Sophists 


Although the focus of this webpage is on the Stoics, and the majority of the books and essays listed in the above bibliography are about Stoicism, I have also included books and articles about the other Hellenistic philosophies that Stoics were familiar with and even admired.   Since the bibliography is somewhat comprehensive, and includes books that I have not as yet read, I thought it might be beneficial to others if I gave some suggestions as to some of the "best" books that I have read just on the subject of Stoicism.  Persons just beginning to explore the Stoic teachers and Stoicism might find the following books useful to them. 

These paperbound books are also available in digital formats for ebook readers, and from numerous used book sellers. 

 

Here is my first recommendation for a good book to read about Stoicism:

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy  By William B. Irvine.  Oxford University Press, 2008.  Index, notes, list of works cited, and a brief reading program, 336 pages.  ISBN: 978-0195374612.  $12.00 with versions in hardbound, Kindle, and audio.  VSCL.  In Part One, Professor Irvine, provides reasons for the importance of having a coherent philosophy of life, surveys the numerous private schools of philosophy in the Hellenistic Age, and gives an introduction to the Roman Stoics up to Emperor Marcus Aurelius.  In Part Two, Stoic psychological techniques are thoroughly explained and discussed, specifically:  Negative Visualization: What's the Worse that Can Happen?  The Trichotomy of Contol: Becoming Invincible.  Fatalism: Letting Go of the Past ... and the Present.  Self-Denial: On Dealing with the Dark Side of Pleasure.  Meditation: Watching Ourselves Practice Stoicism.  In Part Three, Professor Irvine, provides "Stoic Advice" on such topics as: duty, communicating and dealing with other people, grief, anger, personal values, fame, luxurious living, changing one's place, aging, becoming a Stoic, being mocked, etc.  In Part Four, he deals with Stoicism for modern lives, and provides insights into his own personal experiences with adopting and trying to live a life grounded in the principles of Stoicism.  Strong emphasis on the Stoic lifestyle leading to the daily experience of gratefulness, taking nothing for granted, joyfulness and tranquility.  William B. Irvine is Professor of Philosophy at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 

 

Here is my second recommendation for a good book to read about Stoicism:

Meditations.  By Marcus Aurelius.  Translated by Martin Hammond.  Illustrated by Coralie Bickford-Smith.  Introduction by Diskin Clay.  Written by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in Koine Greek around 160 CE.  Hardcover Classics.  New York, Penguin Classics, Reissue Edition, 2014.  General index, index of quotes, extensive notes, 416 pages.  ISBN: 978-0141395869.  A handy hardbound book with nice binding, but the text is in a smaller typefont.  VSCL.  For easier reading in a Kindle format try using: Meditations: A New Translation.  By Marcus Aurelius.  Translated by Gregory Hays.  New York, Modern Library, 2002.  256 pages.  ISBN: 978-0679642602.  Most print or electronic versions are relatively inexpensive. under $15.00.  There are also free versions online of older translations.  Since the "Meditations" were originally diary entries and reminders from Marcus Aurelius "To Myself," the diary entries tend to be a bit repetitious, disorganized, quick reminders, aphorisms, observations, brief notes, reminders for preparing to be an effective and busy leader, cautions, encouraging himself to uphold Stoic virtues: calmness, tranquility, poise under pressure, restraint, fortitude, reasoning, self-control, diligence, duty, proper demeanor, etc. 

 

Here is my third recommendation for a good book to read about Stoicism:

Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness  By Epictetus.  An new interpretation, rephrasing, reorganization, and interpolation by Sharon Lebell.  Harper One, 1997.  126 pages.  ISBN: 978-0061286056.  This interesting and valuable text is unconventionally arranged.  There are no references to the standard numbered sections in the classic texts attributed by Arrian to Epictetus: Enchiridion or Discourses.  It is a useful popular handbook that captures the spirit of Epictetus and Stoic principles.  $8.44 paperback.  VSCL.  The leading student of Epictetus, Arrian, compiled and published his notes from the many lectures of Epictetus at around 150 BCE.  Many of these published works were lost or destroyed over the intervening centuries. 

 

Here is my fourth recommendation for a good book to read about Stoicism:

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness.  By Donald Robertson.  New York, McGraw Hill, 2013, 2015.  Index, bibliography, notes, 245 pages.  Series: Teach Yourself: Philosophy and Religion.  ISBN: 139781444187106.  A good general introduction to the philosophy of the Stoics.  Includes many suggested exercises, practices, and explorations to expand the reader's understanding of Stoic principles and methods.  Donald Robertson is a psychotherapist who favors the techniques used in Rational-Emotive-Behavorial Therapy (Albert Ellis).  $12.33 paperback.  VSCL. 

Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Ancient Stoic Philosophy and Modern Psychological Therapy.  By Donald Robertson.  This is a very informative blog about Stoicism, philosophy, and psychology.  Mr. Robertson is a psychologist, philosopher, and author.  Essential reading for those studying and practicing Stoicism. 

 

For scholars and philosophers I recommend:

The Stoics Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia.  Translated and edited by Brad Inwood and Loyd P. Gerson.  Indianapolis, Hackett Pub. Co., 2008.  Index, glossary, sources, index of passages translated, introduction, notes, 256 pages.  Includes introduction, lives of various philosophers; chapters on logic and the theory of knowledge, physics, and ethics with extensive quotations from a variety of Hellenistic sources; and, selections from the later stoics.  On excellent resources for philosophers, scholars, and serious students of Stoicism.  Very well organized with extensive citations, footnotes, and references.  IBSN: 978-0872209527.  VSCL. 

 

 

 

 

                                                                

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philosophizing and Stoic Spiritual Exercises


Spiritual Exercises  


Philosophizing: Thinking, Self-Evaluation, Recollecting, Contemplating, Observing, Imagining, Reflecting, Imagining, Acting, Analyzing, Judging, Reasoning, Evaluating, Intuiting, Recreating, Modeling, Reviewing, Creating Analogies and Metaphors, Discussing, Documenting, Accepting or Rejecting, and Personal Planning in order to become a better person, true to my word, wiser, and improved. 

Purpose: Tranquility, Peace of Mind, Integrity, Helping Society, Following "Nature",


Philosophy as a "spiritual exercise" is intended, for Stoics, to reduce the frustrations and worries caused by intense passions, educate the person about how to make good choices, create a mental state of tranquility, improve or better the person, transform the person, produce an authentic self, give a wider and more comprehensive perspective, reduce selfishness, develop viable solutions to solve the practical problems of daily living, help with living a good life, create an understanding of nature, its laws, and the inevitable flow of events, provide a transformative vision, etc.   


"Of first importance is "meditation," which is the "exercise" of reason; moreover, the two words are synonymous from an etymological point of view.  Unlike the Buddhist meditation practices of the Far East, Greco-Roman philosophical meditation is not linked to a corporeal attitude but is a purely rational, imaginative, or intuitive exercise that can take extremely varied forms.  First of all it is the memorization and assimilation of the fundamental dogmas and rules of the life of the school.  Thanks to this exercise, the vision of the world of the person who strives for spiritual progress will be completely transformed."
-  Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995,  p.59. 


 

Spiritual Exercises for a Stoic Philosopher


Attention (prosoche): concentration on the present moment, vigilance of the spirit, focused on the here and now to enable us to decide on a correct and beneficial course of action today, acting consistently on our core principles (procheiron), paying attention, being here and now, grasping the important issues now, responding immediately in a reasonable manner, mental discipline, effectively using your willpower on real issues, living freely and consciously.  Pay attention by keeping open to what is happening now and where you are placing yourself.  Remind yourself frequently during the day to align your good efforts, your performances, your aims with your existence at the present time.  Avoid giving too much attention to your personal past or future.  Carpe diem.  Live mindfully in the present.  Focus on the present.  "Attention to oneself and vigilance at every moment."  Both Stoics and Epicureans practiced this exercise.  (1)


Suspension of belief in or non-attachment to purely personal opinions and judgments (epoche).  Examine situations and conditions carefully, be objective, don't let personal likes and dislikes or personal opinions about good or bad (or common social opinions) unfairly or negatively affect your reasoned judgments about matters of fact.  Train yourself to render fair and reasoned judgments.  Suspend your private beliefs about something before conducting a fair investigation.  This is an investigative principle refined and used extensively by Edmund Husserl and phenomenologists in the 20th century.  For example, can you objectively analyze the consciousness and behavior of persons using hallucinogenic drugs, without allowing your negative opinions about the value of drug usage to distort your analysis?  "Pyrrhonist Skepticism argues that the preferred attitude to be adopted is epoché, i.e., the suspension of judgment or the withholding of assent."  Stoics, Skeptics and Epicureans practiced this exercise of judgment, evaulation, and assent.  (2)  


Try your best to act on a careful examination of nature using your senses and your mind and factual circumstances.  Work to expand one's knowledge of nature via reading, listening, observing, discussion, studying, and contemplation.   A Stoic is a philosopher; a person committed to reasoning, thinking, logic, analysis, understanding, discussion, contemplation, dialogue, sharing knowledge, and wisdom.  Think about your beliefs and opinions; and, these beliefs and opinions should be evaluated, accepted, rejected, or discarded.  Rationally evaluate your habits of living on a regular basis.  Reason about your choices and about what is in your control and what is out of your control.  Give assent to matters of fact that you are sure about.  Speak the truth.  (3) 


Learn and repeat inspirational maxims, quotations, rules, adages, dogmas of the Stoic School, and wisdom sayings.  Repeat these sayings, committing them to memory, developing a toolkit of wisdom sayings that you can use in life's circumstances to help you be a better person.  (4


Daily Contemplation and Direction of One's Judgments, Will, 
Morning:  Walk Through Ahead of Time, Rehearse, Prepare When You Can Control Events of the Day
Evening:  Review successes and failures of the day, are you true to your long-term goals and philosophy of life, did you fulfill social/work duties.   (5


Practice self-discipline, self-denial, a withholding of pleasures, and a reduction of sensory stimulation.  Stick to your rigorous plans to change your life.  Let go of your attachment to things, trivial pleasures, novelties.  Be reserved as needed to accomplish worthy goals.  What can you give up, give away, or loose to obtain more freedom?  Just say "No" as needed to improve yourself.   Control the Senses: Pratyahara.  Simplify and be content with simple and natural behavior.   (6)  


Expand your knowledge, reasoning, and awareness to larger and larger dimensions.  Try to see events sub specie aeternitatis.  Think about the realities of the Big Picture.  Think about many centuries of people, not just your generation.  Think about life in a Third World country over 12,000 miles away.  Think about life two hundred years from now, long after you have died and turned to dust.  Contemplate the vastness of the space-time Universe.  What are the characteristics of the region where you live.  Contemplate interdependence and complexity.  Try to imagine the view from above.  Move from a petty personal perspective to a more universal and cosmic view of matters.  See yourself as a citizen of the world.   (7


Negative visualization techniques.  "In the exercise called praemeditation malorum, we are to represent to ourselves poverty, suffering, and death."  What situations and persons are we going to encounter today that involve negative consequences for ourselves and loved ones; and, more important, how are we going to react and deal with these negative circumstances.  Consider your end, your death; philosophy is a way to train for death.  Reflect on failures, set-backs, and sorrows.  (8


Who are your role models in your life?   Who do you look up to, admire, are proud of, want to be like?   Who are your heroes?  What myths and legends appeal to you?  (9


Fulfill your daily duties to the best of your ability.  Do your job.   Be a reliable, honest, and hardworking fellow.  Don't be lazy or a thief.  Carry out your obligations and goals at work today.  Be the best worker, employee, supervisor, or manager that you can be.  Be of service to your community.  You have social responsibilities and duties to perform to contribute positively to your family, friends, community, and society.  Be reliable and hardworking.  (10)   


Stay calm.   Maintain tranquility and a peaceful state of mind.  Be unruffled.  Be indifferent towards that which you cannot control.  Mind your own business.   (11)

 

Footnotes to Spiritual Exercises for a Stoic Philosopher

 

(1)  William B. Irvine, Guide to the Good Life, 2008, pp. 102-109. 
      Stoic Week Handbook 2013
, p. 9.  
      Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995,  pp. 84-86, pp. 130-135.   
      Bhante H. Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English, 2002. 
      Donald Robertson, Predmeditation, Stoic Week 2015, Guided Audio Meditation 1.
      Pierre Hadot, ibid, 1995, "Only the Present Is Our Happiness," pp. 217-237


(2)  Donald Robertson, Stoicism and the Art of Happiness, 2013, pp. 165-186. 
      Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11,37; 9, 36; 8,7; 9,7; 4,33.


(3)  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11,37;  9, 36;  8,7;  9,7;  4,33. 


(4)  Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995,  p.59. 
      Epictetus, Discourses, 3.24


(5) William B. Irvine, Guide to the Good Life, 2008, pp. 119-126. 


(6)  William B. Irvine, Guide to the Good Life, 2008, pp. 110-118. 
      Controlling the senses and sensory reduction, Pratyahara, is the Fifth Path of the classical Raja Yoga of Pantanjali, 300 CE.  Pratyahara is taking
      your mind away from distractions or from external sensory impressions so as to create peaceful, dignified, contented, mature, positive,
      and tranquil inner impressions. 


(7)  Donald Robertson, Stoicism and the Art of Happiness, 2013, pp. 211-232. 
      Donald Robertson, The View From Above, Stoic Week 2015, Guided Audio Meditation 2.
      Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995,  pp. 182-184.   
      Marcus Aurelius, Meditations: 5,24; 12,24; 9,32. 
      Pierre Hadot, ibid, 1995, "The View From Above" pp. 238-250.


(8)   William B. Irvine, Guide to the Good Life, 2008, pp. 65-84.
       Donald Robertson, Stoicism and the Art of Happiness, 2013, pp. 143-164.
       Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995, p.85 
       Pierre Hadot, ibid, 1995, pp. 93-101. 


(9Stoic Week Handbook, 2015, Monday Meditation: Life is a Project and Role Models
      Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Chapter 1 


(10)  Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11,37;  9, 36;  8,7;  9,7;  4,33. 


(11 The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters, translated Moses Hadas, 1968, "Of Tranquility of Mind", pp. 75-106. 

 

 

 

"Spiritual exercises can be best observed in the context of Hellenistic and Roman schools of philosophy.  The Stoics, for instance, declared explicitly that philosophy, for them, was an "exercise."  In their view, philosophy did not consist in teaching an abstract theory, much less in the exegesis of texts, but rather in the art of living.  It is a concrete attitude and determinate life-style, which engages the whole of existence.  The philosophical act is not situated merely on the cognitive level, but on that of the self and being.  It is a progress which causes us to be more fully, and makes us better.  It is a conversion which turns our entire life upside down, changing the life of the person who goes through it.  It raises the individual from an inauthentic condition of life, darkened by unconsciousness and harrassed by worry, to an authentic state of life, in which he attains self-consciousness, and exact vision of the world, inner peace and freedom."
-  Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995,  p.82. 

 

"To take flight every day!  At least for a moment, which may be brief, as long as it is intense.  A "spiritual exercise" every day —either alone, or in the company of someone who also wishes to better himself.  Spiritual exercises.  Step out of duration ... try to get rid of your own passions, vanities, and the itch for talk about your own name, which sometimes burns you like a chronic disease.  Avoid backbiting.  Get rid of pity and hatred.  Love all free human beings.  Become eternal by transcending yourself.  This work on yourself is necessary; this ambition justified."
-  Georges Friedmann

 

 

"A spiritual practice or spiritual discipline (often including spiritual exercises), sadhana, is the regular or full-time performance of actions and activities undertaken for the purpose of cultivating spiritual development.  A common metaphor used in the spiritual traditions of the world's great religions is that of walking a path.  Therefore, a spiritual practice moves a person along a path towards a goal. The goal is variously referred to as transformation, enlightenment, salvation, liberation, union with God, tranquility, contentment, etc..  A person who walks such a path is sometimes referred to as a wayfarer or a pilgrim Stoicism takes the view that philosophy is not just a set of beliefs or ethical claims, it is a way of life and discourse involving constant practice and training (e.g., asceticism). Stoic spiritual practices and exercises include contemplation of death and other events that are typically thought negative, training attention to remain in the present moment (similar to some forms of Eastern meditation), daily reflection on everyday problems and possible solutions, keeping a personal journal, and so on. Philosophy for a Stoic is an active process of constant practice and self-reminder."  -  Wikipedia

 

Spiritual Exercises: A philosopher's Sādhanā?  Spiritual Exercising is what you do each day when you practice a spiritual exercise.  Spiritual exercises are ideas, models, or options to consider for implementation in practice.  Since "spiritual" and "religious" are often conflated in popular speech, one comment about ancient religion might be in order.  Ancient Stoics seemed to believe in a universe guided within by a God or Zeus, recommended this religious outlook to others, and supported their civic good-will towards others via popular religious rites and seasonal ceremonies.  They gave ample praise to the proper worship and respect for God or Zeus.  Later on, this kind of piety made it much easier for Stoic writers to be preserved by the Christian scholars and librarians.  The Epicureans were skeptics, agnostics, and atheists; religion might have social inconveniences that an Epicurean would need to adapt to, but in private, they thought religion was a waste of their limited time, just nonsense on crutches, did what they wanted to do as much as possible, and minded their own business.  Epicureans and Daoist philosophers downplay the need for governmental regulations and laws, encourage simplicity and tranquility, downplay grand rites, and they are not big on "civic duties" like the Stoics are.  Christian scholars and librarians largely ignored the Epicurean manuscripts.. 

 

"  "Spiritual exercises."  The expression is a bit disconcerting for the contemporary reader.  In the first place, it is no longer quite fashionable these days to use the word "spiritual."  It is nevertheless necessary to use this term, I believe, because none of the other adjectives we could use — "psychic," "moral," "ethical," "intellectual," "of thought," "of the soul" — covers all the aspects of the reality we want to describe.  Since, in these exercises, it is though which, as it were, takes itself as its own subject-matter, and seeks to modify itself, it would be possible for us to speak in terms of "thought exercises."  Yet the word "thought" does not indicate clearly enough that imagination and sensibility play a very important role in these exercises.  For the same reason, we cannot be satisfied with "intellectual exercises," although such intellectual factors as definition, division, ratiocination, reading, investigation, and rhetorical amplification play a large role in them.  "Ethical exercises" is a rather a tempting expression, since, as we shall see, the exercises in question contribute in a powerful way to the therapeutics of the passions, and have to do with the conduct of life.  Yet, here again, this would be too limited a view of things.  As we can glimpse through Friedmann's text, these exercises in fact correspond to a transformation of our vision of the world, and to a metamorphosis of our personality.  The word "spiritual" is quite apt to make us understand that these exercises are the result, not merely of thought, but of the individuals entire psychism.  Above all, the word "spiritual" reveals the true dimensions of these exercises.  By means of them, the individual raises himself up to the life of the objective Spirit; that is to say, he re-places himself within the perspective of the Whole ("Become eternal by transcending yourself.")"
-  Pierre Hadot, Philosophy as a Way of Life, 1995, p. 81; Spiritual Exercises, pp. 81-125. 


Stoicism  A hypertext notebook by Michael P. Garofalo. 


Virtues and the Good Life


Stoic Philosophers and Spiritual Exercises

 

 

Pierre Hadot (1922 - 1910)

What Is Ancient Philosophy?  By Pierre Hadot, 2002. 

 

"These exercises, involving not just the intellect or reason, but all a human being's faculties, including emotion and imagination, had the same goal as all ancient philosophy: reducing human suffering and increasing happiness, by teaching people to detach themselves from their particular, egocentric, individualistic viewpoint and become aware of their belonging, as integral component parts, to the Whole constituted by the entire cosmos. In its fully developed form, exemplified in such late Stoics as Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, this change from our particularistic perspective to the universal perspective of reason had three main aspects. First, by means of the discipline of thought, we are to strive for objectivity; since, as the Stoics believe, what causes human suffering is not so much things in the world, but our beliefs about those things, we are to try to perceive the world as it is in itself, without the subjective coloring we automatically tend to ascribe to everything we experience ("That's lovely," "that's horrible," "that's ugly," "that's terrifying," etc., etc.). Second, in the discipline of desire, we are to attune our individual desires with the way the universe works, not merely accepting that things happen as they do, but actively willing for things to happen precisely the way they do happen. This attitude is, of course, the ancestor of Nietzsche’s “Yes” granted to the cosmos, a “yes” which immediately justifies the world's existence.  Finally, in the discipline of action, we are to try to ensure that all our actions are directed not just to our own immediate, short-term advantage, but to the interests of the human community as a whole.  Hadot finally came to believe that these spiritual attitudes—“spiritual” precisely because they are not merely intellectual, but involve the entire human organism, but one might with equal justification call them “existential” attitudes—and the practices or exercises that nourished, fortified and developed them, were the key to understanding all of ancient philosophy. In a sense, the grandiose physical, metaphysical, and epistemological structures that separated the major philosophical schools of Antiquity—Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Epicureanism—were mere superstructures, intended to justify the basic philosophical attitude. Hadot deduced this, among other considerations, from the fact that many of the spiritual exercises of the various schools were highly similar, despite all their ideological differences: thus, both Stoics and Epicureans recommended the exercise of living in the present."
-  Michael Chase, Remembering Pierre Hadot

 

Stoic Spiritual Exercises.  By Elen Buzaré.  2010.  32 pages.  PDF File. 


Dismantling the Self: Deleuze, Stoicism and Spiritual Exercises.  By Luke Skrebowski, 2005, 18 pages, PDF File.


Philosophical Therapeutics: Pierre Hadot and Ancient Philosophy as a Way of Life.  By Christopher Vitale, Networkologies, 2012. 


Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault  By Pierre Hadot.  Edited with an introduction by Arnold Davidson.  Translated by Michael Chase.  Malden, Massachusetts, Wiley-Blackwell, 1995.  Index, extensive bibliography, 320 pages.  ISBN: 978-0631180333.  VSCL. 

 

 

 

Reminds Me of Stoic Themes

 

"Stoics want us to practice fortitude in the face of blows of fate; they want us to develop self-control especially over destructive and negative emotions;
they want us to improve our moral and spiritual wellbeing; they want us to align our lives with the divine logos permeating all of creation.  They want us to be passionately an joyfully peaceful, as well as wise, courageous, disciplined and just.  They want us to examine our lives and practice daily disciplines ─ spiritual exercises ─ which will become habits of the heart to help us here and now.  They want us to be indifferent to indifferent things, and to concentrate on what we can control and what we can choose, and left go of the things we can't.  They want us to love in harmony and be in a state of happiness, to help each other, and live in love.  Because we are disturbed not by things but by the interpretations our minds put on things, by the views we take of things.  And aren't these ideals worth pursuing, worth having, worth being?  In short, they want us to live more meaningfully and less mindlessly."
-  Patrick Ussher, Stoicism Today: Selected Writings, 2014, p. 16. 

 

"My third maxim was always to try to conquer myself rather than fortune, and to change my desires rather than the order of the world, and generally to accustom myself to believing that there is nothing that is completely within our power except our thoughts, so that, after we have done our best regarding things external to us, everything that is lacking for us to succeed is, from our point of view, absolutely impossible. And this alone seemed to me sufficient to prevent me in the future from desiring anything but what I was to acquire, and thus to make me contented. For, our will tending by nature to desire only what our understanding represents to it as somehow possible, it is certain that, if we consider all the goods that are outside us as equally beyond our power, we will have no more regrets about lacking those that seem owed to us as our birthright when we are deprived of them through no fault of our own, than we have in not possessing the kingdoms of China or Mexico, and that, making a virtue of necessity, as they say, we shall no more desire to be healthy if we are sick, or to be free if we are in prison, than we do to have a body made of a material as incorruptible as diamonds, or wings to fly like birds."
-  Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method, 3rd Chapter, 1637

 

"If we eliminate from ancient writings a few allusions that gave them local color, we shall find the ideas of Socrates, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius absolutely modern and applicable to our times."
-  Paul Dubois, The Psychoneuroses and Their Moral Treatment, 1904, p. 433. 

 

"Recall that epic heroes were judged by their actions, not by the results. No matter how sophisticated our choices, how good we are at dominating the odds, randomness will have the last word…..There is nothing wrong and undignified with emotions—we are cut to have them. What is wrong is not following the heroic or, at least, the dignified path. That is what stoicism truly means. It is the attempt by man to get even with probability…..stoicism has rather little to do with the stiff-upper-lip notion that we believe it means…..The stoic is a person who combines the qualities of wisdom, upright dealing, and courage. The stoic will thus be immune from life’s gyrations as he will be superior to the wounds from some of life’s dirty tricks."
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan, 2010

 

  "True philosophy doesn't involve exotic rituals, mysterious liturgy, or quaint beliefs.  Nor is it just abstract theorizing and analysis.  It is, of course, the love of wisdom.  It is the art of living a good life.  As such, it must be rescued from religious gurus and from professional philosophers lest it be exploited as an esoteric cult or as a set of detached intellectual techniques or brain teasers to show how clever you are.  Philosophy is intended for everyone, and it is authentically practiced only by those who wed it with action in the world toward a better life for all.

     Philosophy's purpose is to illuminate the ways our soul has been infected by unsound beliefs, untrained tumultuous desires, and dubious life choices and preferences that are unworthy of us.  Self-scrutiny applied with kindness is the main antidote.  Besides rooting out the soul's corruptions, the life of wisdom is also meant to stir us from our lassitude and move us in the direction of an energetic, cheerful life.

     Skilled in the use of logic, disputation, and the developed ability to name things correctly are some of the instruments  philosophy gives us to achieve abiding clear-sightedness and inner tranquility, which is true happiness. 

     This happiness, which is our aim, must be correctly understood.  Happiness is commonly mistaken for passively experienced pleasure of leisure.  This conception of happiness is good only as far as it goes.  The only worthy object of all our efforts is a flourishing life.

     True happiness is a verb.  It's the ongoing dynamic performance of worthy deeds.  The flourishing life, whose foundation is virtuous intention, is something we continually improvise, and in doing so our souls mature.  Our life has usefulness to ourselves and the people we touch.

     We become philosophers to discover what is really true and what is merely the accidental result of flawed reasoning, recklessly acquired erroneous judgments, well-intentioned but misguided teachings of parents and teachers, and unexamined acculturation.

     To ease our soul's suffering, we engage in disciplined introspection in which we conduct thought experiments to strengthen our ability to distinguish between wholesome and laxy, hurtful beliefs and habits."
-  Sharon Lebell, The Art of Living, 1997, p 84

 

"Imagination and opinion are pre-eminently to be classed among the things which are within our power. There is a familiar adage: If we can’t get what we like, we must like what we have. The Stoics held the same view, though on a somewhat higher plane. Instead of lamenting because we cannot change our lot, let us learn to love it. Happiness and unhappiness are, to a great extent, matters of imagination and opinion."
-  Charles Baudouin, The Inner Discipline, 1924, p. 45

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Virtues and a Good Life


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This webpage was last modified or updated on October 4, 2016. 

First posted online on August 13, 2015

 

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Pulling Onions.   Over 866 quips, flip-flops, queries, yes sirs, sayings, observations, adages, and remarks by Mike Garofalo. 

Fate deals runs of good cards, runs of bad cards, runs of good and bad cards; but Fate only works part-time as a card dealer, for fun. 

The most complex minds in ordinary bodies enjoy simple pleasures. 

Disorderliness produces anxiety and discomfort, and occasionally fear. 

By decreasing your desires you actually diversify and and increase your pleasures and satisfaction. 

Serenity is often discovered in silence. 

Tending a garden is often a tranquil place of mind. 

Most pleasures grow stale, become taken for granted, and provide lowering levels of satisfaction with the unneeded and excessive repetition of those pleasures. 

The experience of being touched needs elaboration in terms of time, place, participants, wanted intimate behavior, intentions, etc. 

 

 

 

 

Name  Information on Name:  Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,  Wikipedia Encyclopedia,  Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 

 

 

 

 
When you do push ups, don't count immediately. Start counting the ones that hurt (quoting Mohammed Ali). These are the ones, that infiltrate your mind, and want you to stop, but also have the most crucial effect.