Welcome to The Stoic School.
At the Stoic School our mission is simple:
To educate as many people on the doctrines and practices of Stoicism and to provide actionable information to aid the practicing Stoic in the modern age.
Whether you are new to Stoicism or a seasoned practitioner, all are welcome.
To Live in Accordance with Nature
To live in accordance with nature means to live with Arete (virtue or excellence) – this is the promise of philosophy and this is what we should strive to achieve.
A person living in nature’s rhythm is one who is invincible against the blows of fortune. They know what they can control and accept what they cannot.
Temet Nossce -
This ancient maxim has been obeyed by the greatest philosophers to walk the earth.
To be able free yourself, to live with virtue, to become who you were put on this earth to be - you must first Know Yourself.
You must take command of your soul and be the master of your mind.
Do not be like the mindless masses who are slaves to impulse, blinded by ambition and tortured by passions.
Know Thyself and you shall be free.
A Firm Grasp on Reason -
The Ruling Centre
Reason is what makes us human; it is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.
It’s our ability to detach and analyse. To think problems through and to override our primal responses.
Reason allows us to be masters of our own mind, instead of being a slave to base impulses and passions.
Each day we must keep a firm grasp on reason, or else lose our minds and ourselves!
CORE DOCTRINES OF STOICISM
Rehearse death: FOR IT WILL COME
To keep death in mind was a cornerstone of Stoic practice.
Fear of death stops us from living. Acceptance sets us free. Familiarity reduces its hold over us.
Nothing is more sobering than death.
Your problems and fears seem like nothing when put next to it.
Ignorance of death makes us waste time we cannot afford to lose.
Be you old or young – do not forget death. For death will not forget you.
Take away fortune’s power by preparing for whatever may come your way.
What you prepare for cannot take you by surprise. It cannot shock or shake you.
When things do go wrong, you know what to do, you are calm, you are ready and you can navigate what fortune throws at you with ease.
As the old saying goes: if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.
The Cardinal Virtues
The embodiment of the cardinal virtues leads to what Cicero called - 'Summum Bonum' - 'The highest good'.
This is what a Stoic should strive to achieve.
Virtue only comes to those who are schooled and trained in relentless practice. You must value virtue highly, and the rest as little.
Every moment in life, good or bad, is an opportunity to practise virtue.
it must be the beat of the drum to which you march.
The Inner Citadel
In Meditations we are told that ‘The mind is a mighty citadel'.
Within its walls sits our most previous treasure.
Our ruling centre.
Seneca said we must lay siege to the Gods and shake the world to the core. But each day, fortune and every-day events lay siege to our minds and, on the contrary, try to shake our ruling centres to the core.
We must build an inner citadel for ourselves to retreat into.
To find peace and calm and not be overcome with base emotions and pulled by passion. Regardless of what life may throw at us.
To love one’s fate is the idea that we must accept our human lot.
We must love both the good and the bad and embrace not only the beauty of the rivers and mountains, but the turbulence and storms life brings; and, not only embrace it, but thrive and excel because of it.
Or as Marcus Aurelius put it:
‘Nature, everything is fruit to me that your seasons bring’.
A view from above
There is a deep magic in the stars, for thousands of years they have inspired us. It is hard to put into words the effect those pin pricks in the night sky have had on emperors, artists, generals, philosophers, poets as well as ordinary men and women. They have guided and comforted we have sought prophecy from them. The Stoics instructed us to follow them, and see the world as they do.