Seneca on Virtue

Stoicism is a doctrine of equanimity. We are in control of our own happiness, and in his 74th letter to Lucilius, Seneca shows how the cultivation of virtue makes this possible. There are two types of experiences: those which we cannot control and those which we can. Virtue allows us to distinguish between the two, […]

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Seneca on Philosophy For Everyone

The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our lives. Our thoughts shape our philosophy; our philosophy shapes our world. To the uninitiated, philosophy can seem daunting. Many hold the belief that philosophy is reserved for the intellectual elite or college classrooms. Often written with a complete lack of prose, and a fumbling and […]

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Seneca on Living Simply

Seneca’s philosophy has survived nearly two thousand years and continues to be a source of wisdom for all those willing to heed his words. Like the great thinkers we have studied so far, Seneca shares the conviction that philosophy is demonstrated through acts, not beliefs. “Prove your words by your deeds.” The highest good of […]

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Seneca on Fear

A common theme recurring in the works of Stoicism is navigating one’s fears. The purpose of philosophy is to learn to live well, and Stoicism teaches that this is found through the cultivation of our virtue on the way to self-mastery. In pursuit of our highest self, we traverse countless fears as we consistently exceed […]

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Seneca on Saving Time

With our study of Seneca having commenced, we examine his very first letter written to Lucilius, On Saving Time. Without a clear purpose for the use of our time, we easily squander our days. Now more than ever, we have with increasing efficiency surrounded ourselves with means to occupy our attention. Candy Crush, Clash of […]

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Introducing Seneca

With our study of Marcus Aurelius having come to an end, we stay in ancient Rome but go back to the first century AD to study the great Stoic, Seneca the Younger. Seneca’s teachings have received wide reception as of late, his essays and letters serve as a great foundation for the practical application of […]

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Summary of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

We have learned much from the private journal of the great emperor, Marcus Aurelius. A pillar upholding Stoic Philosophy, Meditations serves as a manual for living well. In our first post, Marcus taught us about the importance of retreating into one’s self: “Men seek retreats for themselves – in the country, by the sea, in […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Acceptance

So far in our study of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, we have discussed that self-mastery results from mastering one’s thoughts, and that in living according to one’s own nature, our greatest respite from the world becomes turning inward into our own self. The need for equanimity is stressed throughout the Meditations, and we now find that our […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Self-Mastery

If I were stuck on a desert island and had to choose only a few books to help shape my personal philosophy, Meditations would be at the top of that list. The timeless wisdom of Marcus Aurelius reminds us that all is temporary; our bodies, riches, and worldly prestige will soon be dust. He continually […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Living According to One’s Nature

A major theme throughout Marcus Aurelius’s writing is the need to live according to one’s own nature. Regardless of geography or time period, the great thinkers of the past constantly return to this truth. If you are to find peace, if you are to lead a great life, it must be your own. It is […]

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Marcus Aurelius on Retreating Into One’s Self

The Stoics believed that a man’s philosophy is revealed not in what he says but how he lives. A constant theme in the works of Stoicism is the need to be impervious to circumstance, allowing nothing to rob you of your equanimity. In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius reminds himself repeatedly that a sound philosophy is the […]

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Top Ten Books of 2016

I love to read. It one of my most beneficial and enjoyable practices. Each book is a tool for my utility belt, giving me a better understanding of the world in which I live and adjusting my lens with which to better navigate my experience. Reading gives us the gift of learning from the greatest […]

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Introducing Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations

After spending some time in Ancient Greece with Aristotle, we now travel to Rome, Italy, at the end of the second century AD, to learn from the great emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire from 161 AD- 180 AD. Known as the “Philosopher-King,” and considered the last of the “Five Good Emperors,” […]

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Summary of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

The Nicomachean Ethics has proved to be Aristotle’s most popular work on the subject. Aptly nicknamed “The Philosopher”, Aristotle lived from 384-322 BC in ancient Greece, contributing to nearly every major field of study in his time. He studied under Plato for close to two decades before leaving Athens to become the tutor of Alexander […]

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Thanksgiving and the Power of Gratitude

I am thankful that I have a warm, dry place to sleep at night in a safe neighborhood. I am thankful that I live with my best friends and our loving dog Mooki. I am thankful my parents live ten minutes down the road, and despite the constant battle of aging, are relatively healthy. I […]

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