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Stoic Meditations

Anchor FM

Occasional reflections on the wisdom of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers.

Occasional reflections on the wisdom of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers.
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United States

Networks:

Anchor FM

Description:

Occasional reflections on the wisdom of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers.

Language:

English


Episodes

Self-sufficiency comes from inside, not from externals

8/16/2018
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Seneca challenges the common assumption that someone is self-sufficient if he has enough money, a nice place to live, and so forth. True self-sufficiency requires serenity, which comes from inner strength, not from externals. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:01

Death is like pre-birth: there is nothing to be feared

8/15/2018
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Seneca agrees with Epicurus: death is a state of non-existence, therefore we do not feel anything, and there is nothing to be afraid of. Moreover, it is no different from the aeons before we were born, and we don't regret those, do we? Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:01:59

Practice philosophy constantly, life doesn't stop

8/14/2018
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Seneca tells us that philosophy, understood as a way of life, cannot be relegated to spare moments. Just like someone can't be a Christian only on Sunday mornings, so a Stoic applies her principles at every opportunity, big or small. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:27

Learn from teachers who do, not just talk

8/13/2018
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Seneca advices his friend Lucilius to pay attention to people who act right, not just talk right. When we pick a role model to improve our character, let's pick someone whose actions we want to imitate, they are a better guidance to virtue. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:01:53

Compel Fortuna to play on equal terms

8/10/2018
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Seneca argues that we can force Fortuna, the goddess of luck, to deal with us on equal terms, by not being slaves to external things we cannot control. Cultivate equanimity, and Fortuna will play fair with you. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:16

Pay attention to what others say, inhabit their minds

8/9/2018
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Marcus Aurelius gives some commonsensical advice on how to interact with other people, which leads us to a brief discussion of what counts as "Stoic" advice in the first place.

Duration:00:02:02

Revenge is not justice

8/8/2018
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Epictetus reminds his students that engaging in a wrong act, even one done in response to an unjustice, stains our own character, and therefore hurts us first and foremost. Stoics don't favor retributive justice systems.

Duration:00:02:09

What's the problem with the passions?

8/7/2018
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Seneca reminds us of the distinction between healthy and unhealthy emotions: being overwhelmed by the first ones tears us apart internally, while cultivating the latter ones brings harmony to our psyche.

Duration:00:02:19

No pain no gain, says Musonius

8/6/2018
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Musonius Rufus, in an implicit rebuttal to the Epicureans, reminds us of all the things that is worth experiencing pain to achieve, most importantly being a good, just, and temperate person.

Duration:00:02:30

You should live neither in a place of torture nor in a cafe

8/3/2018
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Seneca gives rare advice on one's abode. It should be a place that does not get in the way of practicing virtue, which means neither too uncomfortable (if we can avoid it) nor too luxurious or distracting.

Duration:00:02:25

Philosophy may be painful or a pleasure, but it's worth it

8/2/2018
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Seneca disagrees with Epictetus: the first says that philosophy is a pleasant medicine, the second that it is a painful one. And yet they agree that it is a remedy that, taken regularly, makes for a wholesome life.

Duration:00:02:58

Is the problem with the place, or with you?

8/1/2018
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Seneca says that more often than we realize we blame our problems on the time and place we live in, without understanding that the fault may be with us, and that we should work on ourselves, instead of finding excuses.

Duration:00:02:11

You want to change the world? Begin by changing yourself

7/31/2018
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Seneca argues that we are born with the ability to reason and to improve our reasoning. We are also naturally social, and prefer virtue over vice. Hard to believe, right? And yet, he's got a point.

Duration:00:02:26

A good life depends not on length, but on our use of it

7/30/2018
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Seneca argues that it is the quality, not the duration, of one's life that is important, and that we often live long when measured in years, and yet too little in terms of what we accomplish.

Duration:00:02:31

What's really important in your life?

7/27/2018
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A straightforward quote by Epictetus allows us to reflect on what a philosophy of life is, and why everyone needs one.

Duration:00:02:36

On the difference between philosophy and logic chopping

7/26/2018
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Seneca says that he'd prefer to be told how to help people, rather than how many different meanings of the word "people" there may be.

Duration:00:01:52

Things themselves have no power to form our judgments

7/25/2018
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Life is hard as it is, says Marcus Aurelius, there is no need to make ourselves more miserable by adding unnecessary opinions that increase our suffering.

Duration:00:02:36

Reflect on the roles you play, and play them well

7/24/2018
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Epictetus introduced a major innovation in Stoic ethics with his theory of roles. We are first and foremost members of the human cosmopolis. But also fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, friends, colleagues. How do we balance the conflicting demands of such diverse roles in life?

Duration:00:03:41

Won't you be my neighbor?

7/23/2018
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Seneca reminds us that we can't live happily if we transform everything into a question of our own utility. We must live for your neighbour in order to live for ourselves.

Duration:00:02:24

What do you think is truly good for you?

7/20/2018
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Marcus provides us three options for what sort of thing is truly good for you, and argues that a person of understanding will go for the third one. Have you reflected on what is good for you, and why?

Duration:00:01:53