Journal | What I’ve Been Trying to Live Up to.

A Buddist Aims for Serenity by calming one’s mind and to be deprived of all wants, to not hunger for anything and be content with what he has. A Stoic also strives for serenity, but not by deprivation of what the world has to give, but by acting accordingly to the situations within the natural order.

A Stoic is not deprived of emotions. Far from it. A stoic is invited to experience all emotions, but to control how he acts on them. A stoic can be angry, but that anger is never expressed in such a way that logic is impaired. A Stoic will not act out of anger, but may choose to be driven by if the stoic can make reasoned judgements despite it.

A Stoic loves wholehearthedly, but does not make biased opinions to favor those he favors. An intimate relationship is not weighed against the logic of the natural order. A Stoic decides by what is according to nature, by what is fair, by what is balanced. A Stoic does not take sides based on the deepness of the relationship, but by the arguments each side has to offer.

A Stoic believes in God; and not a God to which impossible moral ideals are projected, but by a divine presence that determines the natural order. This natural order is the reason for balance in the world, and disrupting this natural order is the reason for all suffering. The world is one with those that inhabit it, and those who inhabit it are indebted to the world. When the inhabitants of the world take more than they give from the world, the natural order is broken and is followed by chaos.

A Stoic respects the three tenets of the philosophy.

Physics – There exist a God who is one with the universe. This God determines the natural order, the laws that govern the universe. These laws can be interpreted by reason, and it is by reason that a Stoic must live by nature.

Logic – The natural order governs all things. There are two sides to the natural orders, those which are outside the self and what is inside the self. Those outside the self must be treated as such, and cannot be controlled by the Stoic. Attempting to control what is outside ones self is the path towards instability and unhappiness. Those inside the self is what is in the Stoics control, failure to control what is inside ones self is another path towards instability and happiness.

Ethics – In the pursuit of following the natural order, a Stoic lives a life of virtue. Virtue is the only real good, which conforms to the natural laws. The “Wise Man” is a virtuous man, who has adhered to the laws of the universe completely, and must be the ideal to which all Stoics must pursue. The Wise Man is free from all passions, which can deter good judgement. The Wise Man lives according to nature, thus has mastered the laws of the natural order.

 

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