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founding

"Proper training." Aye, there's the rub.

This is something I feel is lacking in my own groping towards Stoic ... wisdom? enlightenment? I don't even know the right term.

You have spoken of your dream of creating a school of Stoicism. I've wondered why that couldn't take the form of a collegiate major in Stoicism, one that could be replicated across many institutions and even be made available to folks like me who have long since left academe behind.

It has also crossed my mind that "modern" Stoicism, especially given its affinity with CBT, lends itself to a quasi-religious model (and I use the term with all sorts of caveats) in which like-minded prokoptons could meet regularly (weekly?) in a spirit of fellowship, ideally under the guidance of a latter-day Epictetus, to deepen their understanding of Stoic philosophy.

Of course, this notion is rife with risks. Who would shepherd these "congregations"? I have sampled several of the wannabe Stoic leaders and you are the only one with who I'm feel entirely comfortable.

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author

Kelly, thanks for the kind words. To address your specific suggestions: I'm trying to do my (little) part.

I do teach a college level course in Stoicism at the City College of New York, but to set up an entire major is a task beyond my administrative chops.

I also do try to foster a community, on and offline. That's why I organize at least three in-person workshops / retreats every year, usually two in Europe (often Rome) and one in New York (Hudson Valley).

It would be nice to be able to do more, but I would have to be doing it full time and with a certain amount of funding, neither of which, at the moment, is an option.

I hope someone else will, though!

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A very edifying reading. Citizens of the US could learn much from Stoicism rather than responding at every roadblock in life, including death, with profuse anger or resistance.

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We could all use more Stiicism, but especially the people you are talking about.

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Often think this is the best short story out there, not to knock Chekhov, Carver, Trevor or any other master of the form!

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😆

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founding

Listening to this is so inspirational and only brings a smile. It’s like the excitement we get from a protagonist who is the underdog of a dramatic film or book, who chooses the best action in a circumstance that seems surprising to us, all within healthy frame of mind that we are tad bit envious of Envious because how many of us would react so supremely to such a situation? Sometimes I think we have an inner voice that implores or importunes you to find a solution where you will be upset and rant and complain. These “inner voices” of old ways not the best of us need to fade. Absolutely inspirational and a joy to hear. Powerful. My smile transcends down through thousands of years. 😊

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Mike, much appreciated, thank you!

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Beautiful passage. I just didn't understand what is the meaning of "returning what is not our own". It's not clear to me in the passage. Thank you

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Ana, the phrase refers to the fact that we don't really own anything. What we "have" is actually on loan from the universe, and the universe, in the form of fate or fortune, can call back the loan at any time.

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Ok, thanks.

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I kinda prefer lunch myself. Don't want to die; know I'm gonna; prefer not to spoil lunch by dwelling on the inevitable.

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Ed, right, the idea is not to dwell on the inevitable. It is simply to accept it, since it is, in fact, inevitable, and move on, go to lunch and enjoy your friends and family.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

The right life philosophy!

Call it “”Accepto Life”?

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

Better? “Accepto and Amor Life”?

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

One moment, one step, one meal at a time...😊

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Camus on Sisyphus: “Imagine Sisyphus happy!” “Amor fati”?!

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Yeah, but I really can't imagine Sisyphus happy. His fate was really, really crappy.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

As was Camus’ fate. Realism - not fiction, not fantasy? I agree!

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

And “Thy will be done...” Matthew 6, Luke 11

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As long as "Thy" refers to the universe and not some personified "Being" and "will" is interpreted loosely, I agree. Which maybe means I don't agree. Makes life interesting, disagreeing does--if done right.

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Yeah, no being for the Stoics. The reference is to the cosmos, which they called god or Nature.

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

I had read of this one and planned to have lunch in Aricia this summer but had to postpone my visit.

Aricia (for the old Romans; Ariccia currently) lies just south of Rome on the Via Appia. Agrippinus had a villa there but it could easily have been on his way to exile: most banishments were to destinations in Greece and Asia Minor and the normal way to get there from Rome is to take the Via Appia (*) to Brindisi and then a boat to Greece.

Aricia is in the Alban hills between two crater lakes, easy to reach by train (**) and close to Ciampino, Rome's low-cost airport. The villages in the Alban hills are green and posh and because of the altitude (>400 m) and the lakes, very nice in summer.

(*) there are four of these roads leading out of Rome: the Via Appia running east is the best known. The Via Aurelia (built much before Marcus Aurelius and, I believe, only linked bc of the same family) runs N/W along the Lazio/Latium and Tuscan coast towards Pisa; the Via Salaria runs north across the peninsula towards the Adriatic and the Via Tiburtina/Via Valeria runs straight across towards the Adriatic in Pescara. The Via Tiburtina starts a short walk from the Termini station and at nr 6, there's one of the best gelateria's of Rome. It probably wasn't there in Agrippinus's day.

(**) you could walk over the Via Appia but there's normally a lot of traffic and it's almost 30 km from central Rome (there are parts of the Via Appia that are nice to walk, though)

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Sep 4, 2023Liked by Massimo Pigliucci

“Accepto fati.” An amazing teaching! And difficult to learn and do.

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