it is my unshakeable belief that when . . . two intrinsic values—the total acceptance of death as a natural condition of life, and the total acceptance of an absolute moral code—are combined, the Warrior becomes invincible.
The next great trick is the one that allows you to eliminate anxiety about the present and the future. That can be done by separating your worries into things you can control, and things you can’t. Some people worry endlessly about politics and world events – so much that it affects their ability to lead a happy life, even when in reality, world politics barely even affect their lives here in the cushioned and prosperous rich world! The Stoic solution to this is to realize that politics and the actions of other countries are completely outside of your circle of influence – so you can breathe easily and completely drop all worry about them. There is a smaller subset of these events that you CAN influence – who you vote for, and possibly where you donate your money or time. To eliminate the rest of your worry, make the votes and take the local actions, and then you can be 100% worry free.
Moving from the mental to the physical, Stoics actually enjoy experimenting with Voluntary Discomfort. As a contemporary Stoic, you might make a point of seeing how long you can leave the air conditioning off on a summer day, or try hiking in bare feet instead of shoes occasionally to feel the land and force your feet to adapt to tougher conditions than a moisture-wicking merino wool hiking sock. It sounds absurd by modern standards, until you realize that by doing this, you are actually broadening your comfort zone, even while you eliminate your fear of discomfort. Thanks to the practice above, you are now able to enjoy yourself in a much broader range of temperatures, and appreciate the comfort of shoes when you do have them. Meanwhile, a person with the extreme opposite philosophy might become irritated if he ever has to travel in less than a first-class airplane seat or stay in less than a five star hotel or drink sub-$500-per-bottle wine. By experimenting with voluntary discomfort, we learn to appreciate far more of our life, and can be content with a much simpler and more wholesome one.
Think of living with boundaries as managing your investments – your time and energy investments. If you give all your time and energy away to ancillary purposes or unhelpful emotions (e.g. anger, resentment, worry), you’ll have nothing left for the central vision and people in your life. Maybe Grok didn’t worry about a central vision, but he also didn’t field the eight zillion inputs, tasks and notifications that we do in a day. If it’s a contest of who is more at risk of mis-living a life, I’m going to vote for the modern every time.
Consider which relationships and endeavors sustain your equanimity, foster your well-being, serve your overarching vision in life. Invest in these. Let the rest go, or mindfully give budgeted amounts to other interests and circles as you reasonably can. There’s nothing wrong with selectivity. No person can or should be responsible for everything and everyone in the universe. To be a useful presence in the world, we need to be balanced people. We can’t become or sustain that by being at the whim of others’ demands, judgments or suggestion.
Jesse wrote:Honestly it shares the mindset of many different types of religious warriors. However the difference between someone that would happily kill others to gain servants in paradise and someone who would happily and without thought for themselves run towards the sound of gunfire to do whatever it takes to save someone else...that difference is extreme. It comes down to what religion you're following.
jimlang wrote: Bunch a burpee lovin' dorks...
Jesse wrote:Doesn't bother me one way or the other. I stand by the statement.
I'm not trying to start something, but the observation is not untrue. There are parallel ideas in common both in stoicism and christianity. I am a "fundamental christian" and that has led me to move overseas and spend my life helping the disabled and others in another country. I can't tell you what I would do in a crisis, because I haven't been in one. I haven't seen the elephant so to speak. However, I have trained to protect myself, my family, and the innocent. The people I look up to are those who have run toward gunfire to protect those around them and I want to be the kind of person that would also...and that's a direct outflow of my religious beliefs. "Fundamental christian" just means that you hold to the fundamentals of the faith and that...firmly so that they have directly influenced your life and actions in a noticeable way. You then look at "fundamental muslims" and you find a boatload of terrorists and imams with knives in their hands during their sermons.
Oh wait what about Hitler and the crusades? What about people who have committed atrocities in the name of Christianity. Seriously? Someone using a twisted messed up interpretation in order to justify being thugs and worse does not in any way change the original message. The message itself is what matters and the direct fruits are obvious.
jimlang wrote: Bunch a burpee lovin' dorks...
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