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[deleted] t1_iz8w5jw wrote



TheEarlOfCamden t1_iz90oqh wrote

But why do anything if your only goal is for things to happen as they will?


reboot_my_life t1_iz95j4m wrote

>But why do anything if your only goal is for things to happen as they will?

Acceptance wasn't the goal of Epictetus and the Stoics. Acceptance is a useful tool, but if used to it's own end, rather than a tool for pursuing virtue, it is more appropriate for a doormat than a philosopher.

The Stoics sought to live a eudaimonic life -- that is to say, a life worth living. Most of their philosophy is centered on what makes a good human -- one who lives in accordance with human nature, and they observed that the human was a rational animal who thrived on society. Thus the conclusion of stoicism, in order to live a life worth living, we must treasure reason and pro-social action.

To build this kind of character, and thus to live a good life, is independent of station in life, the whims of Fortuna, and in a word, anything external to the mind (even the body). One can be rational and pro-social if they are a slave with a broken leg, or if they are a Roman emperor.

This leads to the understanding that we should not be disturbed by acts of Fortuna, because they are external to our character and indifferent to the pursuit of virtue. In fact, any act of fortune must be seen only as an opportunity to practice virtue, and neither good nor bad in the real sense. This is not to say that one situation cannot be preferred over the other, but it cannot be rationally desired.


d4nu t1_iz9b41x wrote

A wonderful summary, thank you.


brutinator t1_iz9osfu wrote

Sorry if this is semantic, but what is the difference between "preferring a situation/outcome" and "(rationally) desiring a situation/outcome"?


reboot_my_life t1_izanwmc wrote

if you were given the choice of receiving ten million dollars or becoming a paraphalegic, I think it is obvious that you would prefer the ten million dollars, and rationally would do what is in your control to receive it. However, you must recognize that in the real sense, both outcomes are indifferent to your ability to cultivate virtue, and thus should not be approached with desire or aversion, because they are neither good nor bad.

It is only rational to desire true goods, and the only true good is virtue.


Casudemous t1_iz9uctw wrote

It is not semantic, it has different meaning. The difference is that preference are passion, thus are heteromous. I.g they happen to you. The rationally refer to reason and thus is autonomous i.g. you "make" them happen. (eddit was missing info)


Casudemous t1_iz9v73f wrote

Rationally desire is an oxymoron one is tied to the logos and the others to the pathos but you can for exemple rationally conclude but not desire


btas83 t1_iz9g8qw wrote

Happiness isn't the goal. It's the reward.


William_Dowling t1_iz9w3q5 wrote

> the human was a rational animal

1 out of 2 isn't bad, I suppose


simplySalad1234567 t1_iz98hu6 wrote

When you say external to the mind, but in that set of external things list the body, is that to say stoics believed the mind and body to be separate? Have there been attempts to adjust the philosophy in light of what we think we know about the mind being tied to the body/brain?


UncleGizmo t1_iz9am1k wrote

I think it’s more, “irrespective of your physical situation”, e.g., if you had a broken leg, or if you were born with a deformity, this wouldn’t necessarily restrict you from pursuing a life worth living.


kfpswf t1_iz9ad5d wrote

I'm not sure about Stoicism, but in Advaita Vedanta, which does have a striking similarity to Stoicism, the mind and the body are considered separate identities operationally, but are considered one entity. The mind affects the body, and the body affects the mind.


commonEraPractices t1_iz9lnqy wrote

In philosophy, this is called mind-body dualism, and it is famously well articulated by Descartes.


reboot_my_life t1_izapqh0 wrote

Most likely the stoics (the classical stoics) had a plurality of beliefs related to mind/body dualism -- some believed in a pneuma or soul, some did not. All believed that we -- whether mind or body, were part of an ordered universe, one giant machine of matter and logic, so even if body and mind were believed to be separate, they are still both part of logos.

Whether the mind exists out of the body's matter notwithstanding, Epictetus considers the body as external and not under our control, he says it right on page one of The Enchiridion actually. Despite your best intentions and efforts, you could be effected by cancer or be in an accident, for example. Neither situation is in your control, or prevents you from cultivating virtue, so to be emotionally disturbed by such events is irrational.

I think what the modern stoic must acknowledge, moreso than neurobiology, is that we now know that in some cases it may not be possible to control our own mind and we may lose our faculties of reason. Dementia being the most clear example but someone may fall victim to psychological disorders as well. This is tough to come to terms with and I personally am not sure I have a solution.


Tenderhombre t1_izcw260 wrote

Honestly stoicism has always felt a little like fatalism to me. Also a major problem I have is the not desiring an outcome. It's great when you are a class of people that enjoys privilege but kinda shifty for those of a lower strata.


simplySalad1234567 t1_izcagpy wrote

Thank you.

I just wondered if knowing what we now know of how the brain (physical) affects the mind if an updated version of stoicism would reflect the fact that even our minds don't seem to be fully under our control or exempt from fate/fortune.


yargotkd t1_iz9gp5y wrote

"Who thrived in society" "are a slave" hmm


reboot_my_life t1_izardgi wrote

Yes, a slave with a crippled leg, who's lessons were compiled into one of the most influential texts on ethics of all time, and who's legacy underpins the bulk of modern psychotherapy 2000 years later.

He lived a life in pursuit of virtue, with reason and pro-social action at its core. Does being enslaved or crippled have anything to do with cultivating either?


yargotkd t1_izasv6t wrote

Sorry, I didn't make my point clear. I don't like the idea of not being disturbed by Fortuna. I think one should actively fight and work against bad societal situations such as slavery, rather than learning how to live with it. I think thoughts like that lead to people not unionizing or not fighting for their rights. I didn't mean slaves could not be virtuous.


reboot_my_life t1_izautsy wrote

yes, and the stoics would say that you are morally required to take political action (if your intention is rational and pro-social), this is a core component of stoicism and what differentiates it from epicurianism (which is not the pure hedonism that many people think).

The stoics would say that you simply shouldn't have desire or attachment to the external result of your actions, rather than your intentions and actions themselves. They simply are not disturbed if their actions do not work out, instead they take fulfillment in being a person who pursues justice.

The layman often equates the meme comic with the dog in the room on fire saying "this is fine" with stoicism. If the dog were actually a stoic, he would be calmly but efficiently doing everything within his control to put out the fire.

wrt slavery specifically. In the Greco-Roman times slavery was thought of much differently than we do now. Many have wrote about this topic (mostly a lot of theologians and apologists) rationalizing slavery in the ancient times, but the truth is I just don't think we can simply relate to it. Obviously we've moved on and any rational person considers slavery horrible. But thinking about history begs us to question what do we think is OK nowadays, that future generations will think is horrible. I'm certain there is something.


kfpswf t1_iz92okv wrote

Because even with your best intentions and preparations, things will often not go your way. When you're detached from wanting certain outcomes, you're free from strife. It doesn't mean that you stop doing anything at all.

This is the same advice Krishna gives to Arjuna in Bhagvad Gita.


TheEarlOfCamden t1_iz93sni wrote

I guess I am struggling to see on what basis one would do anything (except perhaps the immediately gratifying) if one had no desires about future states of the world. Unlike Arjuna I can’t just ask a god what I should do!


angryherbalist t1_iz958tg wrote

its about attaching to an outcome, which causes suffering both if the outcome doesnt happen, or a delusion of control if it does.

it’s setting goals, having intentions, making choices, and instead of saying ‘i want this to happen’ you say ‘let’s see what happens’.

it’s curiosity, which ends in acceptance. acceptance that all of this shit is really random.

if you’ve ever done everything right and ‘failed’ then you can understand a bit easier.


TheEarlOfCamden t1_iz96681 wrote

What is a goal if not a desired outcome?

Is the idea that you say ‘I am working towards x, but I am indifferent as to whether x happens.’?


demo01134 t1_iz9aa2f wrote

I think the conflict causing the confusion here is that stoicism is meant to correct for the emotional mind, and acknowledges that humans are flawed and require over correcting. Stoicism doesn’t say that feelings are bad, but rather are something we can not directly control, and therefore we shouldn’t let them be involved in the rational thoughts of our day to day. A better way of phrasing your quotes is “I would personally prefer x to happen, but I know emotion prefers that outcome over logic, so instead I will pursue y, and will accept whatever outcome happens as fact”.


angryherbalist t1_iz99uwq wrote


attachment is the lack of acceptance.

you set goals, visions, dreams.

you identify all the things that could make that true.

you set out to accomplish all of those things.

and whatever happens, happens.

you can be disappointed, but your pain will be temporary. suffering lasts for as long as we remain attached to an outcome, and often grows in intensity

here’s a simplification: ‘i want my parents to live to their 80s’ your dad dies at 50.
it is painful.
you then spend the rest of your days wishing he were still alive, and that he made it to 80. from 30-50, you spend your time attached to the idea that you want him to live until 80. worry, anxiety is the natural thing.

a dramatic example of our illusion of control.

while true we have more control in our lives than if/when someone dies, it’s not by much.


patientpedestrian t1_iza9ilg wrote

Attach your passions to the journey, not the destination. Do your best according to your current understanding of things, but know that your current understanding is incomplete and delight in the “surprises” of failure that allow you to improve that understanding.


Xabikur t1_izaidyv wrote

Others have said it really well, but what it boils down to, in every day parlance, is "hope for the best, prepare for the worst".

So certainly work towards your goals, but be prepared to find you don't reach them (incidentally, being resilient like this makes it more likely to reach your goals).


brownshoez t1_iz9dnwu wrote

You still set goals and try to achieve them (learn the piano for example). But if the outcome isn't what you set out for (you don't play Carnegie Hall) you don't lament it, but appreciate that you learned piano. Then set a new goal.


kfpswf t1_iz9562t wrote

>I guess I am struggling to see on what basis one would do anything (except perhaps the immediately gratifying) if one had no desires about future states of the world.

It's not that you can't work towards an aim, but just detach yourself from the expectation of outcomes. It's ok to want to become rich, so that you can help your near and dear ones, and work hard towards it. But always be aware that the outcome of your effort need not be plentiful always.

>Unlike Arjuna I can’t just ask a god what I should do!

You can read the Bhagvad Gita.


MetaDragon11 t1_iz94pje wrote

Your action contribute to things happening as they will, as does everyone else.


Enfants t1_iz9147a wrote

Stoicism sounds nice in theory, and perhaps to an extent it is, but in practice I find "bear with every suffering and try to control your emotions" to not be fruitful. One shouldnt try to surpress everything and at times should be angry or hateful. Tailoring your personality to be "ok" with everything feels very hollow. Who are you as a person at the end?


mvdenk t1_iz94fzk wrote

That's one form of stoicism, but it can also be different. For me, accepting my emotions is part of accepting the world, so stoicism is not necessarily about controlling them by subduction (even though it is often practiced or explained this way).

Stoicism is more about yourself not being controlled by your emotions.


Enfants t1_iz9cj66 wrote

Doesnt controling your emotions by its very nature mean to subdue them?

Say if someone honking at me pisses me off, if my natural reaction is to get angry and want to flip them off, and I try to control myself and say "Oh its ok, there are just pissed drivers in the world, I shouldn't be angry", then I am subduing my natural emotions. And clearly, to an extent that isnt a bad thing. Otherwise we wouldnt have any self improvement.

However, if say relationships arent working out for me, or I cant seem to make friends and feel lonely, and if I have to tell myself "This is ok. This is a natural part of life. I should be content", etc I find that very damaging as it is really just a lie. I feel sad, angry, lonely etc on the inside as much as I tell myself that I am not, I just become far removed from understanding myself.

I feel that in end I end up as a person whose "ok with everything" and no personality. Negative emotions are just as important as positive ones.


brutinator t1_iz9yzd8 wrote

So not philosophy, but in therapy you are taught to:

  • Recognize your emotion and label it.
  • Validate and feel your emotion.
  • Then formulate how you act or react.

Using anger, its important to recognize that thats a "secondary" emotion, as in its not truly the emotion you are feeling and is merely the way you are responding to said emotion. Anger usually stems from places like fear, shame, stress, and being hurt. In your example, you arent angry that someone honked at you. You are startled by the sudden stimuli (a fear response), you are feeling stimulus overload after avoiding a potentially dangerous situation (fear), you are ashamed that you did something thatd cause someone to honk at you (shame).

So to follow the steps:

  • You get angry at being honked at, because you swerved into another lane after the car in front of you abruptly stopped.

  • You recognize, examine, and label it the true emotion you are feeling.

  • You validate that feeling and feel it. Its important in this step to avoid imperitives like 'should' and 'need'. Don't focus on next steps to lessons to take away, just the moment you are in. So if you avoided a potentially dangerous situation and someone honked at you, you would say to yourself "They are reacting to the method I chose to protect myself. I am safe now. My adrenaline is pumping right now and my heart is racing, but I am currently safe."

  • Now you can formulate your response to being honked at, which would likely be ignoring it and working on clearing your stress, whule continuing to your destination.

Notice that this doesnt suppress or subdue your emotions. Outwardly, it makes you less reactive and volatile, but at no point are you saying "I shouldnt feel this, I am not allowed to be angry, Im not upset at all and everything is hunky dory". You are simply taking the next step after having an emotional response and addressing it. If anything, not addressing the true emotion and simply saying "Im angry" is as much suppression as saying "Im not upset" and not addressing the root emotion.

I dont think that would make you have no personality or be okay with everything.

I would also challenge you to examine why you feel that someone choosing to not react with anger, fear, sadness, etc. and instead processing their emotions and working through them would make someone less of a person, or a less interesting one, it why someone being reactive to their negative emotions make them more interesting and "more" of a person.

To use a topical example, look at how many people are experiencing lonliness, a sense of nowhere to belong, and instead of examining it are saying "Im angry" and allowing that to blind them and get wrapped up in the incel movement, terrorist (domestic or otherwise)pipelines, or otherwise hateful ideologies. (NOTE: Not trying to say that these people are intetesting and therefore what you are talking about.) Does getting angry and lashing out at a demographic of strangers really address that sense of lonliness? If you took an incel and gave them a "perfect" woman by their definition, would that really resolve the underlying state they are in and reacting to?

Part of why the "monkeys paw" is such a powerful trope is because rarely what we think we want is truly what we want, its just merely a reaction to something triggering our fright, flight, or freeze response.


Enfants t1_iza7189 wrote

I think what you are talking about is tangential to what I am saying.

I dont have anything against therapy, if your natural reactions are indeed causing you issues then as I said, one has to try to control their feelings in order to improve, but what I am saying is that there is no need to achieve being a perfectly virtuous being.

In the context of stocist philosophy, the ultimate goal is to achieve a peace and calm through all misfortune by recognizing that such events are a natural part of life, typically outside our control. Say if one experienced an earthquake that led to a loss of loved ones and ruined their fortune, the ultimate stoic response would be to say "This was a natural event I could not do anything about. There is nothing to feel angry or spiteful about".

Or if you were wronged, youd try to understand that the person who wronged you is a human being whose acting out of their biological impulses, and instead of being angry youd try to be understanding and and subdue your natural distateful resctions.

While this a completely logical course, my argument is that the practice of constantly trying to subdue such feelings, in my experience, is in itself harmful.

I am arguing that such a practice goes against your natural will as a human being. That it isnt necessarily good to always be logical about things and it is good at times to let out your natural reactions of being fearful, angry, spiteful, hateful.

I find being trying to be logical about everything to be a surpressment of myself as a human being. I took this view after reading Nietzche.

I no longer feel need to be ok with everything and everyone. There are things and people I hate and I feel much more at peace with myself expressing that.

To respond to your, why do I think it makes for someone being uninteresting. Uninteresting, isnt the right word, its more like you feel a sense of dullness. But Imagine that we all achieved this perfect state of being, everyone would be the same person with no defining personal characteristics.


brutinator t1_izavpm7 wrote

I dont feel like what you are describing is stoicism though.

> Or if you were wronged, youd try to understand that the person who wronged you is a human being whose acting out of their biological impulses, and instead of being angry youd try to be understanding and and subdue your natural distateful resctions.

As we covered, "Anger" isnt a primary emotion, its a phsyiological response. You process the underlying emotion you feel (like Anxiety, Fear, Shame, Guilt, Envy, Jealousy, Sadness, and Contentment), which then informs you of the action to take.

That doesnt mean you need to neccesarily forgive them or pretend everything is fine and provide them no consequences for their action. If your mother constantly makes racist remarks towards your partner, a stoic wouldnt say to just "let it slide because its not a big deal". Someone you care about is being hurt, and while its a complex situation, the right answer isnt not address it. But at the same time, are you going to accomplish anything by shouting over your mother? Would it bot be better to address WHY you are angry (Guilt for subjecting your partner to the experience, Shame that your mother is so hateful, Fear because you need to stand up to an authority figure, etc.) and then respond to those emotions, like "Mother, I won't be spending the holidays with you until you can accept Jill and apologize to her. I am ashamed that someone I care so much about is being so hateful to someone else I care for deeply, and I will not subject her to this treatment. Jill, I apologize, I did not realize that my mother could be so hateful. I will not ask this of you again until she has been able to examine her feelings."

Nothing in that is not stoicism. You are establishing a boundry and you are communicating how you feel. All without resorting to fight or flight reactions. Thats not harmful at all, and is healthier than just not trying to understand why you are angry at all. In that case its pretty obvious, but what about when someone bumps i to you and you lash out at them. Was that simply "not suppressing your emotions", or was that taking them out on someone who didnt deserve that response?


thegooddoctorben t1_izczfw2 wrote

>Anger" isnt a primary emotion,

Just to make clear, anger can be and often is a primary emotion. If someone is rude to you or treats you unfairly or harmfully, anger is a primary (and justifiable, within bounds) emotional response.

It's sometimes a secondary emotion, too, if it arises because you don't know how to handle a different primary emotion, as you point out.


brutinator t1_izd32l1 wrote

Primary and secondary isnt a value judgement, and Im not saying anger is not a justifiable emotion. But anytime you are angry, youre not REALLY angry, an emotion is triggering your fight, flight, or freeze response If someone is rude to you, the primary emotion you are likely feeling is shame, if someone is treating you unfairy it might be envy or jealousy, if someone is harming you then its fear. Anger exists to keep you safe, it just unfortunately loses a lot of effectiveness in modern society.

Again, its not a value judgement. Theres nothing wrong with, say, feeling envious of someone who isnt being bullied like you, who is innocent and unconnected to your current situation. It becomes wrong when you lash out at them.


thegooddoctorben t1_izcz200 wrote

>While this a completely logical course, my argument is that the practice of constantly trying to subdue such feelings, in my experience, is in itself harmful.

It's not about "subduing" or "controlling" emotion. It's about accepting them. In other words, you don't stop your feelings - you let them run their course. BUT you grow your awareness of them so that your feelings don't immediately result in bad choices and harmful behavior. That's what stoics meant when they talk about the passions ruling you. It's not that the passions themselves (the feeling of them) rules you, it's that you let them dictate your behavior.

Instead of reacting to your feeling of anger by physically attacking something or someone, you pause and say to yourself "wow, I'm truly angry" and focus on processing that emotion. You acknowledge and analyze your feelings. The more you practice this, the more you're capable of riding the emotional roller coaster of life without jumping off or being paralyzed by fear.


Mudcaker t1_iz9hunr wrote

I don’t know about stoicism, but controlling them could also mean using them as a tool in pursuit of a goal.

I think for your second example, loneliness should sting a little to act as motivation and provide a direction to seek change. But it’s not for wallowing in.


_far-seeker_ t1_iza6iyv wrote

>However, if say relationships arent working out for me, or I cant seem to make friends and feel lonely, and if I have to tell myself "This is ok. This is a natural part of life. I should be content", etc I find that very damaging as it is really just a lie. I feel sad, angry, lonely etc on the inside as much as I tell myself that I am not, I just become far removed from understanding myself.

In this particular case, stoicism would tend to motivate you to change the situation for an entirely different reason. The fundamental definition of a human being to nearly all stoic philosophers was along the lines of "a rational animal that exists/thrives in a society". So stoicism developed to be innately pro-social, to a certain extent, and the basic stoic concept "living the good life" includes having meaningful relationships with other people. In otherwords, to a stoic philosopher persistent isolation and loneliness for a human being would be fundamentally unnatural conditions that need to be rectified just as much as the inability to control one's own anger.

However, beyond that I think you still aren't quite understanding what the stoic perspective on emotions. To them emotion *is not intrinsically wrong, as feeling emotion is a part of human life. What they did believe was wrong is when emotions control one's thoughts and actions. Yet, even that doesn't mean emotions cannot serve as prompts to rational decisions. For example, it would be entirely acceptable to a stoic for someone to use the feelings of disappointment, frustration, etc... of not achieving an end as an impetus to rethink how one is trying achieve that end and/or reconsider if that end is worthwhile. They would probably would view it as similar to a situation like somone's aching muscles while carrying heavy things from one side of a warehouse to another causing them to decide to use a cart or wheelbarrow. In both cases even though the irrational feeling starts a chain of events, there is a rational decision that governs it. That is what they mean by "reason over emotion".


Enfants t1_izaahd0 wrote

Yes, however what I am saying is that constantly persuing to put "reason over emotion" leads to a dulled sense of yourself and emotions to the point that you may not even realize/understand what youre feeling.

Imagine for example that you did have many friends. But over time one by one, you lost those friendships. And at every time, you said "This is ok, it happens." And when you had no friends and had trouble making them you said "this is ok, It happens. I can do everything alone!" And so on. You wouldnt immediately feel this deep sense of loneliness, youd have adapted at each point to be reasonable about the outcomes. See the reasonable thing is to always be ok with something. So imagine you were a perfect Stoic from birth, would you be any different from a robot?

You have to be in tune with your emotions to recognize and change them, but I find that hard to do if I always put reason first.


_far-seeker_ t1_izaazxd wrote

>Imagine for example that you did have many friends. But over time one by one, you lost those friendships. And at every time, you said "This is ok, it happens." And when you had no friends and had trouble making them you said "this is ok, I can do everything alone!" And so on.

I would think the rational response eventually would be to question "why do I keep losing friends?" regardless of if there is acceptance of each individual loss of a friend. If anything, stoicism should promotes Intellectual examination of one's life instead of such apathy.

Edit: >And when you had no friends and had trouble making them you said "this is ok, I can do everything alone!" And so on.

I already explained why this conclusion doesn't really fit well with the foundations of stoicism, to them humans are social animals.


Enfants t1_izaga15 wrote

>I already explained why this conclusion doesn't really fit well with the foundations of stoicism, to them humans are social animals.

So is the principle to put "reason over emotion" or to follow the original stoics?

Regardless, substitute lonlineness for another situation outside of humans being social animals and we arrive at the same thing


_far-seeker_ t1_izai317 wrote

>So is the principle to put "reason over emotion" or to follow the original stoics?

Why in this case would there be tension between the two? The original stoic philosophers came to the conclusion about humans being social animals through a rational argument.

>Regardless, substitute lonlineness for another situation outside of humans being social animals and we arrive at the same thing

You are missing what I stated about emotion being a valid impetus for rational analysis. So the eventual questioning and self-examination should happen for any such hypothetical, regardless of the specific situation one has to repeatedly experience. In stoicism acceptance and reason over emotion are just tools; means to an end, not the end itself. The end is "living the good life".


mvdenk t1_izah3vq wrote

There is a difference between "how you feel" and "how you act". A stoic wouldn't argue to not feel, or force themselves to feel everything as okay. Rather, they would investigate why they feel this way and try to find the root cause and think of the most fitting action. Therefore, they make their emotions constructive rather than destructive.


shelf_actualization t1_iz93fe3 wrote

A lot of philosophical traditions (and related religious traditions) have this problem. Spread the ideas widely enough, and you have a populace striving to just bear whatever is done to them.


MTBDEM t1_iz8zpe4 wrote

>“Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will flow well.”

What's the difference between wishin for it to happen as I want it to, and wishing for it to actually happen? I'm struggling with this quote


LoneWolf_McQuade t1_iz908qf wrote

I think it is essentially about fostering acceptance


MTBDEM t1_iz91exi wrote

I think the word "wish" is a bit loaded in my head which is why I struggled with that proverb. You can't "wish" for something to happen "as is" - Isn't that the opposite of the point of the wish? If I buy a lottery ticket, "I wish I win it" rather than proactively "wish the things happen the way they happen" - because they will "always happen the way they happen" irregardless of whether I wish for it or not. Now not being dissapointed by the outcome and our relationship with reality is where I think it is, but the word Wish just doesn't resonate with me.

I get what you and /u/hxub are saying, it's more of a "Dissapointed wishes are seeds for grudges" I guess


ShalmaneserIII t1_iz920n0 wrote

The idea is that having a desire for things that don't happen is sure to cause you unhappiness. "Wish" is maybe a bit of a bad term to use there, but it also works- don't hope for things to happen, just accept what happens.

You can still work to make things happen, of course, but don't put any emotional investment into one result. Maybe you try to make your favorite dinner and get it. Great. Maybe you try to make it and the stove breaks and you can't. Okay. If you focus on the difference between the thing you wanted and the thing that happened, you'll just make yourself miserable.


LoneWolf_McQuade t1_iz92n1v wrote

I understand what you mean. Remember that these were written in Ancient Greek/Latin , sometimes something doesn’t translate well or is interpreted in a confusing way.


ammonium_bot t1_izej8ms wrote

> happen*" irregardless of

Did you mean to say "regardless"?
Explanation: irregardless is not a word.
^^I'm ^^a ^^bot ^^that ^^corrects ^^grammar/spelling ^^mistakes. ^^PM ^^me ^^if ^^I'm ^^wrong ^^or ^^if ^^you ^^have ^^any ^^suggestions.


hxub t1_iz90jth wrote

It's not wishing for it to actually happen. It's wishing that everything happens as it actually will. In other words, not wishing the thing you were wishing for in the 1st place, but for whatever life throws at you


void-haunt t1_izah1wk wrote

Stoicism is self-tyranny - Nietzsche

“You desire to LIVE ‘according to Nature’? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine to yourselves a being like Nature, boundlessly extravagant, boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as a power—how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live—is not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring to be different? And granted that your imperative, ‘living according to Nature,’ means actually the same as ‘living according to life’—how could you do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary stage-players and self-deluders! In your pride you wish to dictate your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature ‘according to the Stoa,’ and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see it otherwise—and to crown all, some unfathomable superciliousness gives you the Bedlamite hope that BECAUSE you are able to tyrannize over yourselves—Stoicism is self-tyranny.”

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, “Beyond Good & Evil”

LuaC_laFolle t1_iz93u78 wrote

I just thought how "finding happiness" shouldn't feel so distant, the thing is this whole world telling you to find it, as you don't have it, as is something else, hard to reach, almost intangible. Is like this propaganda to sell something, you will not buy something if you already have it.

Life is hard, but as I see, dispair is something politics and marketing is feeding on from us. We are not living life, we are living inside an implanted message.


kfpswf t1_iz9bbye wrote

>Life is hard, but as I see, dispair is something politics and marketing is feeding on from us. We are not living life, we are living inside an implanted message.

Rightly so. You can't mobilize an ideology if everyone is content. You have to drum up discontent, feed lies, and push propaganda down the throat of society to make them feel threatened.

In a way, the article was discussing just this. How the desires of the powerful have been shaping the world.


LuaC_laFolle t1_iz9ddzq wrote

What is the most frustrating for me is watching almost everyone sinking in this quicksand trap, inteligent people also, believing they're miserable, growing in a self preservation selfshness, paralized agaist real issues because people feeling they are in such treats can't adress another peoples problem/society problems. Is the perfect scheme to control the masses.

Is so sad and enfuriating.


kfpswf t1_iz9oei2 wrote

>What is the most frustrating for me is watching almost everyone sinking in this quicksand trap, inteligent people also,

Intelligence is a vast category of human skill. Just because someone is good at one subject doesn't mean that they will be good at others.

The main issue with humanity is, and always will be, tribalism. This is embedded in human psyche just as much as belief in god is. Dealing with this issues requires the art of self-contemplation, being able to see your own flaws and pitfalls of reasoning and beliefs. Now that is something vast majority of humans are not ready for as that will literally efface any cocoon of an identity you may have built throughout your life.


soulstriderx t1_izby97r wrote

Self-contemplation is pivotal as you mention, but paradoxically in these narcissistic times where you are encouraged to "live your truth", "find yourself", etc; people just move further and further away from any real attempt at cracking open their own shells.


ficiousconscious t1_izahnro wrote

I’m with you. It should be noted that tribalism may precede hierarchies, especially narratives claiming divinity being at the top. However, I get your point. In addition to tribalism, specialization and individualism are also corroding human well-being.

Specialization has uprooted human autonomy, which means people become completely reliant on this toxic socio-economic system for their basic necessities. You start to contribute and perpetuate, with taxes, to cultural hegemony as you are shackled to a system that ignores biological tendencies and evolutionary psychology, which is dressed up as “progress”, forever ambiguous and vague.

Individualism is a metaphysical truth that emerged through desperation not progress. With 8 billion humans saturating every waking moment, an ideology had to manifest that allows such a horrendous population to persist. The sanctity of human life had to be a first principle shared by everyone, yet in reality, individualism makes little sense for any mammalian creature, as primary groups are how identities are naturally built, whereas algorithms and advertisements bolster manufactured identities in a system that isolates and alienates humans for profit.


thegooddoctorben t1_izcxdzp wrote

>The main issue with humanity is, and always will be, tribalism. This is embedded in human psyche just as much as belief in god is. Dealing with this issues requires the art of self-contemplation...

It requires not only an individual response, but a commitment to building a society that actively educates for knowledge, tolerance, and common humanity.


kfpswf t1_izdwkgh wrote

Agreed. But such a community will not be conducive for the wealthy, powerful, and demagogues. Hence the current state of affairs of the world.


Minyun t1_izati16 wrote

Once aware, the best you can do is manage it.


TheoreticalSpace t1_izb7raf wrote

Reading something that has me thinking this critically on reddit really caught me off guard.

Appreciate the food for thought


thalesjferreira t1_izbvuvf wrote

The fact that social medias are there to slap happiness in your face everyday just contributes to the problem.


x3n0n89 t1_izmb4kx wrote

This idea of a "pursuit of happiness" to begin with seems problematic to me?

A pursuit for meaning would be the ethical choice I would rather want to decide on. If it creates unhappiness than okay, contemplation can lead to necessary suffering.

Acknowledging happiness as a byproduct has been a liberating experience and made me contempt in realizing that it is okay to not be happy all the time. If my "pursuit of happiness" would mean I'd have to choose ignorance to preserve the mentioned cocoon than I'd rather want to face a painful truth than a comfortable lie.

Does that notion make sense to you?


cutelyaware t1_iz8t8cs wrote

Fashionable? That seems like an odd label. For myself I want to know why everyone seems to agree that happiness is the goal. When did that happen, and why don't we ever rethink it? I like happiness the same way I like sweets, and I don't think it's good for us. Happiness comes and goes unpredictably, so even when you catch some, you can't make it stay. For me there are much more important things than happiness. I prefer contentment. That's something you can work towards and hold. I find it much more satisfying than happiness.


lemons_boardgames t1_iz8ueci wrote

Whenever this discussion comes up, I get the feeling that 'happiness' must be defined beforehand. I say this because you seem to be talking about two forms of what may be called happiness. There is happiness as in joy, excitement, pleasure; and then there's happiness as in mirth, fulfillment, contentment, peace. The interviewee touches on this extremely briefly:

>There are two types of happiness: lowercase and uppercase.

He goes on to say

>But since the 18th century we have become aware of another kind, a social, public happiness, the only one in which we can agree, which leads us to ask: in what model do we want to live?

So he's addressing mostly this third kind of happiness, and hence why he does not cover the distinction you're addressing. It's this 'social happiness' that has become trendy in his opinion.

He's not saying anything remotely new, by the way. He's basically echoing Augustine, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and so on down the existential tree...


shelf_actualization t1_iz94b61 wrote

He goes on to say the following:

> That is what makes it a very conflictive society. The fact that happiness has become fashionable is catastrophic, because everyone is being told to think about their psychological happiness and the relationship of happiness with justice, with ethics and with public happiness, is broken. It is a return to narcissism. The individual is being shut in their own happiness and breaking the bond with social happiness.

I haven't read his work, but it seems he's saying that forgetting the relationship between social happiness and psychological happiness in favor of overemphasizing the latter in isolation is the problem.


cutelyaware t1_iz8vus9 wrote

That helps, thanks.

And yes, the categories make sense, though I'd move mirth to the first one. And I agree the 3rd is the most important. Society over the individual. Normally that aligns with the 2nd, and it sucks to live when it doesn't.


lemons_boardgames t1_iz8ya0v wrote

>I'd move mirth to the first one

Interesting. I'm not a native English speaker and the word mirth came into my vocabulary via G.K.Chesterton (Christian thinker) where it is most definitely in the second category. But looking at the dictionary, yeah, I think you're right. Must be a particular use of the word in Chesterton.


Valzemodeus t1_iz8xfrg wrote

May you live to see what you strive for.

A lengthy lifetime without happiness.

(Edit: It's been a long week. I apologize for this. Hopefully we all find what we are looking for in unironic ways.)


cutelyaware t1_izbqumh wrote

Good luck holding onto happiness


Valzemodeus t1_izcuxwn wrote

Good luck holdin onto anything.

All is transitory.

That said, there is a movement that encourages people to forgo happiness for obligation. There are times to do so, and there are times not to. Happiness is ultimately a gauge by which one can measure how much others have fulfilled their obligations.

When one feeds a system without reciprocation, one ultimately feeds a parasite.


ShalmaneserIII t1_iz927nf wrote

> For myself I want to know why everyone seems to agree that happiness is the goal.

Saying happiness is the goal isn't a problem. Saying that not being happy is some sort of failure or problem which must be remedied as soon as possible definitely is.

Life has ups and downs, and in the end you die. Bearing the burden of unhappiness with equanimity is part of a good and wise life.

Which is why a lot of good advice isn't "How to be happy" but "How to handle that."


ElGrandeWhammer t1_iz98t7a wrote

Agreed. In life, the path for future success often lies in denying immediate gratification. I think a superior pursuit is not happiness but contentment.


cutelyaware t1_izbqi30 wrote

But why deny gratification for the hope of some capricious fleeting? Why not do it in the expectation of something better?


[deleted] t1_iz8u3fd wrote

Second rate minds want to always be happy, first rate minds want to know why


Larks_Tongue t1_iz8z631 wrote

This is, hands down, the most pretentious remark I've ever read.


[deleted] t1_iz8zm5w wrote

It's a statement of fact, there isn't a single first rate mind that is born that way, they're all built and developed over time. Perhaps my wording was off, and that mature and immature minds would be more fitting.


Expresslane_ t1_izc8qks wrote

The Dalai Lama seems like a good counter example.


[deleted] t1_izdj9ya wrote

You are right, I shot it off the hip and I stand corrected


ktreddit t1_iz9dhmo wrote

I’m not sure why he doesn’t just say, everyone being selfish/greedy (highly prioritizing personal happiness over happiness of the community) is a problem. He does criticize narcissism, but I’m not sure why he’s couching any of this in terms of happiness in the first place.


uselessconcentration t1_izack36 wrote

Does he not say that? Would being more direct be beneficial? Topics this encompassing seem to require circumambulation.


[deleted] t1_izaplvv wrote



uselessconcentration t1_izariyk wrote

It seems that would turn the argument into merely a moral condemnation.

Differentiating a bad happiness as being a "happiness at the expense of others" seems to just put forth another tired scape goat on which some can happily rest their laurels.

My takeaway is that the issue is cultural right relation to happiness, which doesn't have such simple answers.


SooooooMeta t1_iza9ks5 wrote

> We Westerners are not recognizing the great achievements and there is an excessive distrust in the system that connects with the nostalgia for a strong leader.

He talks a lot about happiness in the abstract and how we’re not appreciating the great accomplishments of our current system, but at least from an American’s perspective the big thing he’s not mentioning is capitalism and how these days people just seem to feel squeezed. If you need to work more and more hours at a crappy job with an aggressive boss in order to afford the same amount of food and a crappier place to rent and you can’t afford a family or leisure time and you have all this anxiety around your future being worse than your present, it’s a big deal. And add to that a sense of unfairness at wealth inequality, and a ruling class rigging thing for themselves and critical under-addressed issues like climate change and all the headlines about violence, and corporations spying on you and trying harder and harder to milk you for profit … I mean at some point life just stops being fun. And when that happens it casts a shadow over our philosophical meaning-making and our sense that using our rational mind to play the game that society sets out before us is the winning strategy

His only mention of suffering is a random line in passing “This is why wars always work the same way: I want to destroy you, I suffer and I want revenge.” He doesn’t seem to perceive rational people existing in the current world as sufferin; he just thinks of them as ungrateful.


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bigcatinthesky t1_iz9itun wrote

the article flits from idea to idea delivering soundbites but never truly investigating or interrogating that much. kind of annoying. I suppose one has to buy the book to get any deep answer?


Sindarus t1_iz8yjxf wrote

His book sounds vert interesting but I can't read spanish unfortunately :/


k-mysta t1_izbrz60 wrote

Good time to learn? Been a few years for me


generalT t1_izbg9td wrote

happiness? hell, i'd be content with mental stability.


MeowWow_ t1_iz9zz02 wrote

Here comes the stoic fetishists.


roadflipping t1_izdkqta wrote

A comment about a couple of tangential points.

First, I find reducing all developments in history due to just desire too narrow. Honor or duty don't fit well there. Fear or lack of imagination either. Also, isn't calling the social agreement 'social happiness' a bit too forced?

Also, the statement that the west is not aware of what China represents as a different sociopolitical model is surprising. Why would he say that? Actually, what does he mean? What is he implying western countries should be doing?


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linqua t1_iza5wed wrote

Happiness is overrated


shamur123 t1_iza98vv wrote

Its not fashionable its just people think they should be more happy because of all the social networks, stories and movies about how people are happy, and watching of other people pretending to be happy on instagram. We only experience our own happines so only problem (if it is a problem) is that people are constantly comparing with others.


onestrangetruth t1_izadvlq wrote

This doesn't seem to be a critique of happiness itself, but selfish individual happiness at the expense of collective relational happiness between individuals in a society. Happiness is not zero-sum and, as such, should not be pursued in a selfish individualized approach. Instead, it should be pursued collectively with a focus on relationships and collective experiences.


DeathMCheese t1_izaj1g3 wrote

Happiness is not something you can achieve, the pursuit of happiness is a lie. Happiness is an emotion and emotions are like the ocean’s waves, they come and go. Nobody in the world can be permanently happy. Its not something you can achieve. We can do things that bring in those waves. But those Waves can vanish as quicky as they come.


zombieonejesus t1_izbm50s wrote

Does anyone know if the book will be translated to English?


tleevz1 t1_izbwxxa wrote

JAM is correct. It seems to be partially a manufactured goal reinforced by unquestioned consumerism and the attendant 'keeping up with the Joneses' and FOMO effects. Sneakily laying fear and insecurity as the ground these desires are built from.


soulstriderx t1_izbxdlk wrote

As Zizek once said:

"If you want to remain happy, just remain stupid. Authentic masters are never happy; happiness is a category of slaves."


Pudgeysaurus t1_izcamuj wrote

Probably happening because happiness is a damn hard sell in a world that constantly throws depressing news at the people in it.

The people who are genuinely happy are those who don't experience common worries


Bigleftbowski t1_izcj5ra wrote

"Better Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied."


rol-6 t1_iz9nyun wrote

Father, let this cup pass me by, but Thy will be done and not mine.


00000000000000000099 t1_iz9v83j wrote

"Q. Even Hitler and Putin?"

guess how fast I discounted anything this book advertisement post was offering


NecessaryLab t1_iz939ck wrote

very soft and cuddly. Does not question "western power" or anything else really. Just the sort of "philosopher" that might get promoted: ie toothless, questions nothing important, reinforces all the banal pressuppositions of our rotten society.
The breakdown in trust is real and merited- and so it is time to question again everything and build properly. But vested interests are more interested in pushing this sort of muddleheadedness


mvdenk t1_iz95o7o wrote

Which article did you read? I read someone that does actually question our current motivation, kind of a fundamental question don't you think?


NecessaryLab t1_iz9z9a2 wrote

No. As far as western power is concerned it gets a complete pass. The people of the west are no doubt lacking all motivation, in no small part becasue "philosphers" like this guy sell them irrationality/and there's nothing you can do about it nonsense like this. The western elite are not irrational though and are as cold-blooded about reality and their interest in it as any of the (all too typical) bogey-men mentioned in the article. A de-motivated and lost populace that thinks for example that a part fo their own brain is guiding them and there is nothing they can do about it, coincidently suits their purpose: no eyes on them (or reality). You may talk- but never about anything important!


mvdenk t1_iza9skt wrote

I still have a feeling that we read a completely different article...


NecessaryLab t1_izadle5 wrote

it's typical of modern thought to suggest that our thinking has an irrational basis (freud and marx are the two big ones). But what about THAT thought? But anyway, what this does is simply look at motives rather than what is said. WHY did he say it- not what did he say- is he correct etc. This means you just diagnose your opponent- instead of arguing with him. Meanwhile only those that understand this can have a legitimate voice...

Anyway, more speicifically he says (paraphrasing), there was a booming period for democracies but now a certain distrust has come in (why?) now people go for trump bolsonaro, they are drawn [irreovcably, emotionally) toward the strong man to solve their problems.

I shall translate: western govt gave power to their people (aren't they nice?) but people are perverse and are throwing it away

If you believe this version of events...


mvdenk t1_izaf90x wrote

That's a complete misinterpretation of what he actually says in the book (or the interview). I'll stop arguing with you, it will not lead anywhere.


NecessaryLab t1_izap1w5 wrote

you did not actually ever begin to argue with me to be fair


Amphy64 t1_izab5p7 wrote

>reinforces all the banal pressuppositions of our rotten society

Depends, from the UK he sounds like a far right lunatic, and I'd vouch for France on that too.


IvanTSR t1_iz8zuco wrote

hahahahahaha everyone is on antidepressants