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Dala

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“Waste no more time arguing what a good man is like. Be one.” - Marcus Aurelius

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I am so making the Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad my new phone ringtone.

Dala  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dala got "Epictetus' Disources and Selected Writings" as translated by Robbert

Oh man I really hope so. I am going to make an effort to go through the whole thing, maybe that will make it more clear that this is the case.

Dala  ·  61 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dala got "Epictetus' Disources and Selected Writings" as translated by Robbert

And yet he sings high praises of the concept of amor fati in his autobiography, Ecce Homo, calling it "his formula for greatness in man." Of course, what I have read of that book seems pretty absurd, he states that "no one can point to any moment of my life in which I have assumed an arrogant or a pathetic attitude." Full of ourselves much? Never? I am unsure my eyebrow was meant to climb this high up my face. Perhaps I should read the whole thing though, as I only looked it up because of a quote I once saw, I wanted to know where it came from and was like WTF? But mostly it seems like a book full of "everyone else sucks and I am awesome and here's why" and actually it kind of reminds me of the guy in the White House right now talking about "people who didn't even cry when they were babies." Not saying he never had any good ideas, but damn dude LOL.

Also "I'm not arrogant but the next chapter shall be titled 'Why I Write Such Excellent Books'" ....I'm dying over here.

Dala  ·  62 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dala got "Epictetus' Disources and Selected Writings" as translated by Robbert

    Nonetheless, I do think it ultimately depends in how it's applied by the person.

A very good point. Knowing the philosophy and practicing it (and how you do so) are not the same thing.

Dala  ·  62 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dala got "Epictetus' Disources and Selected Writings" as translated by Robbert

You're not wrong. In fact, the sentiment that you brought up about other people's unhappiness being a lack of their own stoicism is touched upon (I don't think he says it quite like that) by Aurelius in his writings, but again, that doesn't stop him from trying to be a good person. I have not yet gotten to read much of other stoic's works (after all, this whole thread came about because I tried but got my book stolen by my husband) so I can't say much for their takes yet. Overall I have found a lot of helpful concepts in what I have read of stoicism, but that can also be said for Buddhist teachings and other philosophies/religions but I guess what we are both getting at here is that none of them are perfect.

Dala  ·  63 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi Club №. 44: The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling Discussion

I liked the way that this was constructed. This feels like a very relevant story for our world today. So many people are unwilling or unable to conceive of other people's mimi but it also would help if we could talk about it more openly. We could all stand to realize that none of us are mind readers and we can't really ever know exactly what another person is thinking/feeling/going through unless we talk to each other. This is something that I have been trying to work on myself and probably failing more often than succeeding.

Dala  ·  63 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dala got "Epictetus' Disources and Selected Writings" as translated by Robbert

I would consider you reading my books great news. I'm sure between our collected books and the library's digital offerings I can find something to read while you work through that.

Dala  ·  63 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dala got "Epictetus' Disources and Selected Writings" as translated by Robbert

I have to respectfully disagree with the two of you. I can come up with a few quotes as evidence, but I think this particular one is a decent illustration of the stoic concept of sympatheia (mutual interconnectedness, or the whole [sometimes capitalized depending on translator] in Aurelius' writing):

    Whether it's atoms or nature, the first thing to be said is this: I am a part of a world controlled by nature. Secondly: that I have a relationship with other, similar parts. And with that in mind I have no right, as a part, to complain about what is assigned me by the whole. Because what benefits the whole can't harm the parts, and the whole does nothing that doesn't benefit it. That's a trait shared by all natures, but the nature of the world is defined by a second characteristic as well: no outside force can compel it to cause itself harm.

    So by keeping in mind the whole I form a part of, I'll accept whatever happens. And because of my relationship to to other parts, I will do nothing selfish, but aim instead to join them, to direct my every action toward what benefits us all and to avoid what doesn't. If I do all that, then my life should go smoothly. As you might expect a citizen's life to go - one whose actions serve his fellow citizens, and who embraces the community's decree.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 10.6 (emphasis mine)

I would point out a couple of things: you could take the "whole does nothing that doesn't benefit it" to say that we should just let whoever is going to die go right ahead because death is a natural part of life but I would argue that the second section of this passage is a pretty strong argument against that. I would also point out that Aurelius ruled during the Antonine plague (it is said that up to 2000 people died per day at the height of it, so I think we can stop calling this time unprecedented now), he and his co-emperor Lucius Verus called Galen in to study and try to treat plague victims. When Aurelius died, his last words are reported to have been "Weep not for me, think rather of the pestilence and the deaths of so many others."

Also RE: attempts at change - I posted this quote a couple of pubskis ago because it seemed fitting at the time:

    Is anyone afraid of change? Why? What can take place without change? What is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature? Can you take a bath unless the wood is set afire and undergoes a change? Can you be nourished unless the food undergoes a change? And can anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Do you not see then that changes in yourself are just the same and equally necessary for the universal nature?

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 7.18

This is also the same guy who "zooms out" and dumps on how everything is the same forever and ever but with a different set of names so I get it, and if you really zoom out it is kind of true, we are born, we live our short lives, we die, and we are soon forgotten. But change comes, sometimes slowly, sometimes in the blink of an eye. If this were not so we might still be wearing toga and riding horses everywhere. (So much poo!) But no matter our current circumstances, we have to stay focused on being good and doing the right thing. I think that the "you shouldn't deal with it/them/self-importance" is perhaps misunderstanding the idea that there is what you control and what you don't control. You can try to help other people but you have to do so with at least a little bit of detachment because ultimately you don't control them/their reaction. We don't control what happens, only how we react. I see how this might be taken as overimportance on the self. In a way it is, but the outcome should be that we direct our action toward the highest good.

I hope I didn't ramble too much.

Dala  ·  64 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dala got "Epictetus' Disources and Selected Writings" as translated by Robbert

Mr. Dobbin would, if a practicing stoic and not just a translator of, say that your mangling of his name is an external and not in his control, and would probably be more pleased that you are enjoying the book than bothered that you goofed his name. Eventually no one will remember any of our names.