Why did you look at stoicism



Have you ever heard the phrase: “someone did something in the affect”? Have you ever been totally apathetic and couldn't get up to anything? Have you heard someone take something “with stoic calm”? You may have wondered where these terms come from and what they mean.

All of these words have something to do with my school of philosophy, the Stoa. Because I'm a stoic. In this video I would like to introduce you to our philosophy in more detail. You will find out where stoic philosophy comes from and who its most important representatives were. You learn how we stoics imagine the world. And finally you will find out how we want to shape our lives. At the end of the video you can certainly do something with the terms from earlier!

Origin and important representatives of the Stoa

First of all, I would like to show you where our philosophy school comes from. We are in the time of Hellenism - around 300 BC. In Greece, things go haywire: new kingdoms emerge and the city-states go under. Quite an uncomfortable time. The stoa comes from Athens. It was mainly influenced by Plato and Aristotle, who practiced philosophy there earlier. Above all, they thought about what was good for society. That has changed for us, because in our time you can only rely on yourself. We are primarily interested in how we can become happy as an individual. That sounds pretty modern, don't you think?

The founder of the Stoa was Zeno. He and his followers met in a painted hypostyle hall in Athens - the stoa poikile. This is where our name comes from! Zenon had some famous successors: Kleanthes, Chrysipp, Panaitios and Poseidonios, but also the Romans Seneca and Marc Aurel were Stoics. You can see from this that the Stoa existed for a long time.

Conception of the world

But let's get down to business: what is stoic philosophy about, or to put it another way: how do we stoics imagine the world?

First of all: we believe in the logos. The Logos is a divine force that pervades and guides everything. Logos means reason because we believe that everything is reasonable and well ordered. Everyone carries the divine logos within them, including barbarians and slaves. So you have to treat them that way. Because everyone has something divine in them, one also has to do something for the community. We call it vita activa - an active life.

At the same time, the logos determines everything beforehand. For us, foresight is called providentia. Everything that ever happens has been fixed for a long time. Can you imagine that? Because you can't change anything, you have to submit and live according to nature. In Latin this is called secundum naturam vivere.

Stoic rules of life

Let's take a look at what a life like that in nature looks like. Which rules do you have to follow?

First of all, you have to be apathetic. Apathy means freedom from passions such as anger or fear. For us applies: resist your urges and passions - do nothing in the affect! This is the only way to achieve peace of mind, in Latin tranquillitas animi. We think: stay calm and don't let anything shake you! And finally: be enough for yourself. For us, self-sufficiency means self-sufficiency. Will demand: do not depend on anything or anyone! This is the only way to achieve the highest goal, namely happiness - we call it eudaimonia.

But what does that mean in concrete terms? We avoid getting into things like anger, pain, or sadness. We don't mind anything negative - be it bad weather or death. But we don’t give anything on the outside like money without beautiful houses. Does that sound strange to you? I think the topic is pretty topical. Think how many advisors there are today that deal with how to be happy!

Finally, let's listen to what the stoic Marc Aurel has to say about it: “Don't be afraid of death, but of the fact that you have not yet started the real life!”

Think about it! Vale and goodbye!