I’ve been practising aspects of Stoicism for a few years now, although I feel that for a long time I was just scraping the surface and I’m sure that in years to come I’ll look back on my current practice as a pretty “lightweight” effort. I’m a cognitive-behavioural therapist and I feel it’s important for me to try to put into practice as many of the things I use with clients as possible. However, CBT is largely designed for use with people who have specific mental health problems, clinically severe anxiety or depression, etc. It helps people with certain problems but it has no clearly-defined goal for us to pursue in relation to life in general. I felt that I needed a broader philosophical framework, therefore, in order to apply these therapeutic strategies to my own personal development. (I wrote my book on the subject partly to help me reconcile the techniques I liked from modern therapy with the kind of philosophical system I liked: Stoicism.)
I wanted to share some personal reflections, for a change. Hopefully this will encourage other students of Stoicism to talk about their experiences during Stoic Week and beyond. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Stoic way of life but maybe some of these comments will inspire thoughts from others and help fuel a bit of discussion.
@Stoicweek #Stoicweek Do you have any questions? Are you encountering any obstacles? Do you have any thoughts or observations to share with others?
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Please comment below and share your experiences with Stoic Week.
Do you have any questions?
Are you encountering any obstacles?
Do you have any thoughts or observations to share with others?
Good news! We only set up the Twitter account a few days ago and already have nearly 100 followers @Stoicweek and #Stoicweek. We’ve also had nearly 350 votes on our online poll “Who is your favourite Stoic?” Cast your vote to see the results so far.
Who then is free? The wise man who is master of himself, who remains undaunted in the face of poverty, chains and death, who stubbornly defies his passions and despises positions of power, a man complete in himself, smooth and round, who prevents extraneous elements clinging to his polished surface, who is such that when Fortune attacks him she maims only herself. Can you lay claim to a single one of these qualities? – Horace
Post your reflections, observations, share advice and discuss any passages in Stoicism you have found particularly helpful, all in the thread below!’ Please post here anything related to Living the Stoic life today, whether in the comments or, if you would like, via your own Youtube video diary! [Feel free to publish under pseudonym if you prefer!]
If you intend to take part in Stoic week, please can you spend a few minutes (less than 10 in all ) helping us by filling in three questionnaires. You can do this by visiting the following three pages.
Anyone completely new to Stoicism who is going to follow the Stoic Week may want to read some ancient Stoic texts but not know where to begin. For the purposes of this project I would recommend two texts: The Handbook of Epictetus (cited a number of times in the booklet) and Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life. Both of these texts are short, accessible, and to the point. Reading them and reflecting on their ideas would itself form a productive exercise during the week. I have made copies of both available online, and they should display reasonably well on mobile devices.