Although it enjoys a selected recognition right here within the twenty-first century, the rigorously equanimous Stoic worldview involves us by way of the work of three figures from antiquity: Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius. Epictetus was born and raised a slave. Seneca, the son of rhetorician Seneca the Elder, turned an advisor to Nero (a place that in the end compelled him to take his personal life). Marcus Aurelius, essentially the most exalted of the three, really did the highest job himself, ruling the Roman Empire from 161 to 180 AD. He additionally left behind a textual content, the Meditations, that stands alongside Epictetus’ Enchiridion and Seneca’s many essays and letters as a pillar of the canon of Stoicism.
It’s from the Meditations that this sequence of six movies from Youtube channel Einzelgänger attracts its knowledge. Every of them introduces completely different points of Marcus Aurelius’ interpretation of Stoicism and applies them to our on a regular basis life right here in modernity, presenting methods for staying calm, not feeling hurt, accepting what comes our means, and not being troubled by the actions of others.
Although the significance of those goals could be illustrated any variety of methods, their achievement depends upon accepting the notion central to all Stoic thought: “the dichotomy of management,” which dictates that “some issues are in our management and others aren’t.” When life hurts, “it usually implies that we care about issues we’ve no management over, and by doing so, we allow them to management us.”
All of the Stoics understood this, however for Marcus Aurelius, “being unperturbed by issues outdoors of his management allowed him to deal with the numerous duties and challenges he confronted as an emperor, and to concentrate on the duty he believed he was given by the gods.” He knew that “it’s not the skin world and the occasions that happen in it, our our bodies included, that harm us, however our ideas, recollections, and fantasies concerning them.” To indulge these fantasies means to reside in perpetual battle with actuality, and thus in perpetual, and futile, grievance towards it. The stronger our judgments about what occurs, “the extra susceptible we turn into to the whims of Fortuna, the unpredictable goddess of luck, likelihood, and destiny,” forces that ultimately get the higher of us all — even when we occur to have the world’s mightiest empire at our command.
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Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by way of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.