UNDERSTANDING THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS…

January 10th, 2018

As Picliucci begins to erect his scaffold for being a Stoic in the 21st century, he first focuses on two ideas: understanding the nature of the world and the nature of human reasoning:

The theoretical framework of Stoicism is the idea that in order to live a good (in the sense of eudaimonic) life one has to understand two things: the nature of the world (and by extension, one’s place in it) and the nature of human reasoning (including when it fails, as it so often does). p. 21

From How To Be A Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy To Live A Modern Life by Massimo Picliucci

I think anyone could spend several lifetimes achieving either of those two goals. We all think we know the answers, but I would suggest that thinking so is a sure sign that we don’t. Take something as simple as a book. Several years ago I embarked on a project to read deeply rather than reading voluminously. Each year I select one book—this year it is the four volume set: The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell—and read that book in a continuous loop. On average I have read each book about five times—I may need to make the current reading a multi-year project, but I’ll see.

My point is that I am no longer the person I was yesterday and I am not yet the person I will be tomorrow so Picliucci’s points may only be relevant in the moment. Can that work?

Previously…

Found in my electronic chapbook.

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