Ward Farnsworth – The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User’s Manual Audio Book
I enjoy reviewing great works like those of Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Cicero, and also others, as well as have always been interested in the thinking about the Stoics. This book sets out the background and also viewpoint of the Stoics in an absolutely clear as well as easily accessible way, without dumbing down the intricacy. The body of work is presented in an organized, thoughtful framework that is hardly ever seen in this type of publication. I discovered the response to inquiries that I didn’t know I had. Ward Farnsworth – The Practicing Stoic Audiobook Free. I would certainly review much of this material before, in the jobs by the individual writers, yet seeing this synthesis provided me new understanding as well as understanding.
This, too, was a windfall for me. I was browsing through the labyrinthine bookshelves at Powell’s in Portland this previous April as well as discovered this. (There truly is something concerning being able to surf publications literally at a book shop– it permits even more instant connection/recognition, for arbitrary discoveries.) Unlike other books on Stoicism, this essentially collects and also organizes the initial resources (converted, naturally) by motif, in an approximately modern manner to help discovering. So most of the book includes quotes from Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and others (Cicero, Adam Smith, Montaigne, Johnson, as well as various other “descendants” of the viewpoint), with succinct and also superbly handy remarks by the writer to supply context and also explain the principles entailed.
Probably due to the fact that I read this in tandem with Van Norden’s Introduction to Timeless Chinese Viewpoint and having submersed myself in the technique of Buddhism (both Theravada and also Zen), I was able to see SO MANY similarities among 3 extremely different ancients philosophies. I was specifically impressed by exactly how similar Buddhist tenets are to Stoicism– basically, Stoicism plus meditative practice (not the ruminating meditation of Marcus Aurelius, yet the “concentrate your focus on your breathing” type of meditation) would practically equivalent Buddhism (at least as taught by Goenka or Stephen Batchelor): clinging to externals as the source of suffering/misery, the duty of one’s own judgment in developing that extremely anguish, the value of detachment, point of view of brevity, the effort to see truth as it is, the encouragement for concern and also “public life” (which can include simply assisting others), and so on. The exceptional coincidences amongst the three viewpoints– as well as below, I’m counting “classic Chinese ideology” as one, but truly I want Confucius/Mengzi and also Taoism as expounded by Daodejing and Zhuangzi that don’t precisely map onto Stoicism and Buddhism, however nevertheless share some really intriguing similarities– recommends to me something of thoughtful merging, which may subsequently suggest something like reality, or at least an approach or pragmatic viewpoint that works to aid ease human suffering. Forget about why it functions, the concept of it– if a philosophy functions, it works.
As a person that has actually read the works of the Stoics for several years, the property of this “manual” struck me as extremely helpful. The book is prepared into topic-based chapters – “Perspective”, “Need”, “Adversity”, “Death” etc. – with selections of Stoic writers on those subjects prepared with discourse as well as context. This makes guide something that can be usefully read right via, as I have actually just done, yet I recognize it will be one that I will return to as well as seek advice from periodically as those topics develop in my life.
And also this collaborates with the significance of Stoicism, which is not a collection of dogmas or mostly an esoteric system, however a way to (try to) live your life. It fits with the ancient Greek perception of approach not as an epistemology, yet as a way to pursue εὐδαιμονία – a good life, or growing life, literally “good spirit”. I check out Farnsworth’s guidebook while making use of Ryan Holiday and also Stephen Hanselman’s The Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Composing and also Reflection on the Art of Living as well as both complemented each other well. The usefulness of Stoicism, with its workouts, day-to-day reflections and also a sense of a system that you make every effort to utilize even if you never ever totally master, is a strong aspect in Farnsworth’s discourse.
The final chapter, “Stoicism and also Its Movie critics”, was a great way to end guide. Once more, it reveals that Stocism is not dogmatic and is and ought to be open to objection both from within as well as from outdoors. I recently stumbled upon somebody I adhere to and also appreciate on Twitter making some instead defaming remarks regarding the modern renewal of Stoicism, rejecting Stoicism as a viewpoint for “an ethically contented person”. This struck me as an instead strange description – there are many means you can explain the Stoics, but “ethically contented” would certainly not be among them. When wondered about, it turned out he was basing his conception of Stoicism on the reality that it has actually come to be fashionable recently and also preferred with what he called “Davos types”. Why it has ended up being preferred keeping that type I have no concept – I imagine last year they were accepting the Danish concept of “hygge and also next year it will certainly be something else. Yet that doesn’t actually tell us a lot about Stoicism (anymore than its inexplicable fostering by Madonna informs us a lot about Kabbala), given that it’s not simply “Davos kinds” that have a rate of interest in Stocism.
A little even more excavating as well as I located his disdain was based upon some uncertain Roman gossip about Seneca’s business ventures and also a suggestion that he, as a rich man who was additionally a Stoic, was a hypocrite or someone that used his approach to warrant his riches. The Practicing Stoic Audiobook Online. Farnsworth shows that Seneca as well as the various other Stoic’s attitude to wealth was rather much more complicated than that and, when actually comprehended, undermines this criticism totally. To the Stoics wealth is neither intrinsically excellent or poor and whether you have it (as Seneca and also Marcus Aurelius did) or don’t (like Epictetus), the problem is extra how you regard it as well as what you do with it as well as why. This objection of Stoicism through Seneca and some instead petty Flavian damnatio memoriae (he was an adviser to the most hated member of the previous dynasty after all) goes back to Macaulay creating on Francis Bacon in 1837 and because his defaming remarks have to do with all many 19th century gentlemen ever read of Seneca, the mud seems to have actually stuck. Farnsworth goes a long way toward dealing with Macaulay’s sniffy dismissals.