Ah, existential questions. Those rising, dreadful things that strike at you in the dark moments of tragedy or introspection and strip away the fleeting illusions of life revealing the truth of absurdity.
The Stoic philosophers of Greece and Rome proposed a great many practices that were meant to be folded into one’s life to help them reach the ideal states of equanimity, fortitude and wisdom that was the goal of the Stoic Sage.
From the dawn of philosophy, the division of the mind and the body has formed one of the classic dualisms. Many philosophers have focused their attention on the importance and superiority of the mind while ignoring the impact the body has on our general being.
For the longest time, I thought I was the lone fuck-up in a world of over-achieving do-gooders. I thought everyone’s life was an unbroken string of success and that the charted trajectory of their experience was the steady, upward climb of progressively improved living.
Throughout the storied and colorful history of philosophy, it has made many attempts at defining the good life. With these varied attempts, some common themes began to emerge, and a set of general models grew out of the disparate threads of definition that philosophers attached to their specific ideas of what the good life should look like.
When I talk to people about philosophy the conversation is inevitably steered towards the practical value of it. Why does it matter if we engage in deep philosophical inquiry into our lives?