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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

Try inward happiness

12/13/2018
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Seneca explains that if our happiness depends on externals, like fame or money, we are in the hands of Fortuna, who could take those things away at any moment. But if we are happy because we are good, then Fortuna is powerless. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:15

Don't judge a pilot by the size of her ship

12/12/2018
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Seneca states very clearly that wealth is an indifferent, in Stoic terms. It can be pursued if it allows us to do good, but it should be avoided if it corrupts our moral fiber, making us greedy toward luxury and power. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:04

It is either extinction or change

12/11/2018
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Marcus Aurelius contemplates whether death is a resolution of atoms or a final annihilation. He doesn't seem bothered by either possibility. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:11

Ambition is not a Stoic value

12/7/2018
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Seneca warns us against ambition, understood not as the will to accomplish things, but as the pursuit of fame, money, and power. Modern politicians should be like Cato the Younger, not Alcibiades. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:03

Avoid busyness

12/6/2018
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Seneca advises us to be careful how we spend our time, and especially how we respond to other people's demands for it. Life is short, surely you won't regret, on your deathbed, not having attended one more useless office meeting... Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:19

Don't be like a dog waiting for another morsel of meat

12/5/2018
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Seneca says that people are like dogs who eagerly await the next tasty morsel from Fortuna, swallow it quickly, then eagerly await the next one. Don't be like a dog, that way lies perennial dissatisfaction with life. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:22

Of sickness and wisdom

12/4/2018
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Seneca says that lacking wisdom is like being sick. Although we can imagine what it would be like to be perfectly healthy, in reality we can be happy if we manage to be less sick than before. That's progress, folks! Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:39

Theory is easy, practice requires effort

12/3/2018
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Epictetus reminds us that one does not become a good carpenter, or pilot, by simply studying the theory of carpentry or piloting. Mindful, repeated effort is needed to see results. The same goes with one's philosophy of life. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:36

Philosophy is a lifelong commitment

11/30/2018
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Seneca makes the startling claim that philosophy is a lifelong commitment that cannot be indulged only in our spare time. He doesn't mean academic studies, but rather practice, just like a Christian or Buddhist would do it. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:29

Instead of conquering the world, conquer yourself

11/29/2018
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Seneca says that he hasn't conquered any enemy but his own greed, ambition, and fear of death. If more people, especially the leaders of the world, were to take that attitude, perhaps there would be no need to conquer enemies. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:31

In order to make progress you have to desire progress

11/28/2018
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The goal of Stoic training is to become a better person, not a perfect one. But the first step, as always in life, is to want to make progress. If you wish to better yourself, the game is afoot, you need to start now. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:18

In a few words: virtue is the only good

11/27/2018
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Seneca provides us with a very short and to the point summary of Stoic philosophy: virtue is the only good, it depends on our ability to reason correctly, and it leads to good judgment. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:03

Be grateful for what you have, but don't get too attached to it

11/26/2018
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Marcus Aurelius reminds himself to be grateful for the things he has, which he would long for if he didn't have them. At the same time, everything is impermanent, so we should be prepared for our losses. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:53

Sagehood is rare, but progress is up to us

11/23/2018
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Seneca tells Lucilius that he himself is far from being a wise person, which is as rare as the mythical phoenix. Nevertheless, we can all be "proficientes," those who make progress. Which is the whole point of Stoic training. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:07

Stoicism is not a "manly" philosophy

11/21/2018
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We hear a lot of nonsense about Stoicism being tough and therefore only for men. But Seneca clearly explains that virtue doesn't make us invulnerable to pain and suffering, and that women are just as capable as men to become virtuous. Go figure. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:01:58

Dining with a tyrant, are you?

11/20/2018
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Seneca gives us another Stoic "paradox": it may be better to be tortured than to sit at the dinner table. Well, not normally, but surely if you are being tortured to protect innocent lives, or sit at dinner with a tyrant. It all depends on context. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:42

No need to be anxious even in front of a king

11/19/2018
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Epictetus explains why king Antigonus was anxious to meet Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, and not vice versa. The king had not yet internalized the fundamental principle of the dichotomy of control: making a good impression on others is not up to us. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:21

Take the view from above

11/16/2018
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A quote from Seneca leads us into a discussion of the difference between Stoicism and modern philosophies of despair. For the Stoic, knowledge of the vastness of time and space is no excuse for nihilism, but simply a way to put things in perspective and get back to the task of living well. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:32

Not just endurance, but tranquillity of mind

11/15/2018
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Seneca tells Lucilius how Cato, after losing an election, went out to play; and how, before taking his own life, he retired to his room to read a book. Stoicism isn't just about enduring things, it's about achieving serenity in the face of ill fortune. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:15

Philosophy is serious business

11/14/2018
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Seneca invites his friend Lucilius to consider that philosophy is too serious a business to be left only to professional philosophers, especially those who engage in clever wordplay and logic chopping just to show how smart they are. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/stoicmeditations/support

Duration:00:02:09