Stoicism focused on understanding the creative force. God being the spirit that moves through all reality giving animation. By understanding the pneuma or soul, they could understand the intention or truth behind any form. If you understand the process of the dialogue with the hegomon/logos/god, you can avoid all misfortune, but you cannot avoid misfortune if you defer to desire. If you don’t seize the situation with reason, and see the reason in any event, they basically say you are choosing your poison.
“When I see a man in a state of anxiety, I say, What can this man want? If he did not want something which is not in his power, how could he still be anxious?” Epictetus
“The mind in itself wants nothing, unless it creates a want for itself; therefore it is both free from perturbation and unimpeded, if it does not perturb and impede itself.” Marcus Aurelius
“The soul should know whither it is going and whence it came, what is good for it and what is evil, what it seeks and what it avoids, and what is that Reason which distinguishes between the desirable and the undesirable, and thereby tames the madness of our desires and calms the violence of our fears.” Seneca
In Stoic philosophy the way of a reasonable life is foremost, and they value universal reason over human reason. They say that poor moral conduct is an error of ignorance, but they don’t define morality in a religious sense. They do have a sort of dualistic view of the world, but it isn’t materialistic. They see passive matter, and then an active fort they call reason or fate, and feel that people need to adapt to the force of this “fate”. They don’t feel one can avoid evil, but they do say that you can be free even in evil… Seek More
Stoicism is a school of philosophy from ancient Greece, and it is not fully understood in modern thinking today. In the age of the Greek philosophical schools, they weren’t just a belief system. They were a way of life, and philosophers were very serious people like our scientists today. Science even started with them, and it was called natural philosophy. Stoicism is sort of interesting in how it differs from other Greek schools. We get the word school from the Greek word schola. The Stoics were known as that because they met at a public “porch”, maybe like the term “armchair”… Seek More
There is a missing element that modern Stoics don’t usually embrace. The Hegemon, or logos, is still alive and aware in the world. The world is itself possessed of intelligence in the original Stoic view. They saw life as a constant dialogue, a “debate” if you will, with that intelligence. They did believe in adhering to a moral code, but they didn’t attribute this to God. It was seen as a human adaptation, an insight based on observation of the actions of the logos. They knew the actions of the logos as “fate”, but they were contrary to modern fatalist… Seek More
Stoicism did have ’enlightened’ Stoics. The goal of a Stoic was to become a Sage. A Sage was someone who sees reality clearly, and is troubled by nothing. He is thus empowered to impart this knowledge to others, as well as always being able to take the right action. They did in a sense have monks who engaged in an ongoing process they called “askesis”. A constant ongoing inquiry, and minimizing any activity that isn’t inquiry. In dialogue with others? Oh yes, the Stoic wasn’t a hermit, neither was the Cynic though people wished they were. The difference between the Stoic and the… Seek More