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The Problem With Stoicism

Yogesh Malik
Oct 1, 2018 · 3 min read

Stoicism type of philosophy is good if you are going through real bad time , midlife crisis or in prison. If you are confined, alone and mentally tortured — stoicism brings mental toughness. It is good for you.

But, If you are living in this practical world then Stoicism doesn’t help on how to deal with our times. Buddhism would be a better option as it comes with compassion for others and mind/action control with its Karma concept.

Some of Stoicism is like common sense but very handy to soothe you if you are having a terrible time all the way in your life.

The Problem

The problem with stoicism is that it talks about focussing only on what we can control like thoughts and actions. But we are living in a dynamic world which is full of chaos. Stoicism might not be the right philosophy for our modern world.

“Reason over passion” is a good philosophy if you live alone and can read or code all day. I would say drop it for all practical reasons except for metal toughness. Don’t look at the world through stoic lens.

If you have to read Stoic start with Arthur Schopenhauer. He talks about the futility of desire. Crisis and bad time with emptiness and boredom is simply the human condition. There is no way out.

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Everyone goes through rough patches in life but you should not use the pessimism of Stoicism as your move-ahead-in-life philosophy.

Use Stoicism for increasing your mental toughness as life-hack and get back to something compassionate and life-oriented

Finally, in Nassim Nicholas Taleb words

Stoicism is about the domestication of emotions, not their elimination

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Recommended Readings:-
1️⃣Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
2️⃣Letters of a Stoic On the Shortness of Life by Seneca &
3️⃣Discourses by Epictetus.

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