Why make ourselves worse than little children? When they are left alone, what do they do? They gather up shards and dust and build something or other, then tear it down and build something else again; and so they are never at a loss as to how to spend their time. Am I, then, if you set sail, to sit down and cry because I am left alone and forlorn in that fashion? Shan’t I have shards, shan’t I have dust?
Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (3.13)
Note: the above translation comes from the very fine Daily Stoic newsletter.
It was common to refer to philosophy itself as a medicine or therapy (therapeia) for the psyche, the soul or mind.
Here’s an interesting article from Donald Robertson (cognitive psychotherapist and author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor) on Marcus Aurelius, Stoicism and the roots of cognitive behavioural therapy: Marcus Aurelius in Therapy.
Continue reading “Stoicism and psychotherapy – @DonJRobertson”
Well, possibly not. But here, at least, is Professor Peterson’s Essay Writing Guide (via his newsletter).
I haven’t yet read it fully, but as you’d expect, it is thorough and drily humorous.
You can also find it directly on jordanbpeterson.com, here.
Worth a read.
We find ourselves in vexed and vexatious times. Let it go.
Stop fretting and stressing over things you can’t control.
It isn’t the things themselves that disturb people, but the judgements that they form about them.Epictetus (c.50 – 135), Handbook (5)
Continue reading “Let it go – ancient advice for modern times”
Kurt’s Cultural Offering adds the mighty Nazareth to his catalogue of Essential Mixes.
What a great band. I saw them, when I was still at school, at the Inverness Ice Rink. They were/are one of the few bands that continued to record very strong cover versions (Beggar’s Day, Love Hurts, Cocaine, Java Blues etc) alongside their own originals: Hair of the Dog (which Guns ‘n’ Roses later recorded), Expect No Mercy, Holiday etc.
Continue reading “Nazareth – a reminder from Cultural Offering”
“Life itself is an exile. The way home is not the way back.”
Colin Wilson (1931 – 2013)
Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash
Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. Our government does not copy our neighbors’, but is an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while there exists equal justice to all and alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty an obstacle, but a man may benefit his country whatever the obscurity of his condition. There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and in our private business we are not suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbor if he does what he likes; we do not put on sour looks at him which, though harmless, are not pleasant. While we are thus unconstrained in our private business, a spirit of reverence pervades our public acts; we are prevented from doing wrong by respect for the authorities and for the laws, having a particular regard to those which are ordained for the protection of the injured as well as those unwritten laws which bring upon the transgressor of them the reprobation of the general sentiment.
Thucydides 460 – 400 BC), Pericles’ Funeral Oration
Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past – let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963), Speech at Loyola College Alumni Banquet, Baltimore, Maryland, 18 February, 1958