As we lead up to Stoicon 2022, held online again this year on October 29 (don’t forget to save the date!), we continue our tradition of publishing interviews with the Stoicon speakers, workshop providers, panelists, and organizers. Our second interview is with Henry Manampiring, who we are happy to have as one of the panelists in the Stoicism Around The World panel!
To see the schedule for Stoicon, or to get your ticket for this event – donations for tickets support the continued work of Modern Stoicism, Ltd – click here and you will be taken to the Stoicon 2022 Eventbrite site.
How would you like to introduce yourself to the readers of Stoicism Today, and to people who might be interested in Stoicon?
My name is Henry Manampiring, from Jakarta, Indonesia. I am the author of Filosofi Teras (Philosophy from the Porch), probably the first Indonesian popular book on Stoicism. I am also a full time Marketing professional for a tech company.
What are you most looking forward to about the Stoicon conference?
Listening to great talks on the future of Stoicism, how it will grow and evolve further, especially in post-pandemic world.
Stoicism has a wide popular appeal right now. Why do you think that is the case?
It has practical AND universal wisdom that can be applied by people of all races, colors, and creeds.
Are there any Stoic practices that you make use of routinely? What effects have you found they have for you?
Questioning impression, especially that leads to unhealthy negative emotions. Giving it a pause to have self-dialogue. Most of time it makes me calmer.
What was your first encounter with Stoicism? What drew you into it early on?
It was mid 2017, I was in the middle of drug therapy for depression, when I came across How To Be A Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci. I was just curious because I have heard of the word, but had only the faintest idea about it. The book drew me further into Stoicism, and it helped me recover from depression faster.
What aspects of Stoicism have become more important or interesting to you as your studies deepened over time? Why did those aspects become more important or interesting?
Stoicism may offer a reconciliation between religion and science. Maybe this is naive. But Stoicism belief that Nature = God can mean respecting Nature (science) = respecting God. Understanding nature’s law through science can be seen as getting more intimate with God. I don’t know, maybe this is just fantasy, hahaha.
If you had to pick just a few things about Stoicism you think people would find most useful, what would you say those things are?
– Stop pursuing the elusive “happiness” (at least in conventional definition). Pursue “betterment” (through virtues) instead, even if it does not lead you to “happier” mood and feel.
– Stop blaming EVERYTHING wrong in your life on other people or events. Check your impression and opinion of them instead.
Some of us get excited about Stoicon every year, but there are always people there ready to say “Stoics shouldn’t get excited”. What do you think about this?
Get a life! We are Stoics, not androids.
One of the questions we raise every year is: Have we reached peak Stoicism? What do you think? Has Stoicism reached its peak when it comes to contemporary interest in it?
Who knows? Now the pandemic is almost world, will people still look for refuge in philosophy? Or perhaps Recession will continue the trend. Let’s just see.