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  1. Quote Originally Posted by muscleupcrohn View Post
    Thanks man. As for why I "butted heads" with him, if you read through this thread, which is quite long now, you'll see that he asked several questions, and asked me specifically a few questions, and then when my answers didn't line up with what he wanted to hear, he began insulting and yelling at me and other members, and then saying that none of us are even qualified to be having these conversations. I'd also be remiss if I said that I didn't find it incredibly ironic that a self-proclaimed "Christian" doesn't see anything wrong with repeatedly cursing at and insulting people.

    Some of us were having legitimately interesting and thought provoking conversations (not really even debates or arguments IMO), but then bin-whatever comes in and starts insulting us and saying we're not qualified to have these conversations, likely because the topic moved away from his personal "Christian" beliefs.
    I don't disagree. It's a general chat area and that's what we're doing.
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  2. I have no excuse.. I just like to provoke sensitive people. But hey, the whole idea of this thread was to stop that, right?
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by rascal14 View Post
    I have no excuse.. I just like to provoke sensitive people. But hey, the whole idea of this thread was to stop that, right?
    You're doing them a favor lol
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  4. "If you kiss your child or your wife, say to yourself that it is a human being that you're kissing; and then, if one of them should die, you won't be upset."

    "If you're fond of a jug, say 'This is a jug that I'm fond of,' and then, if it gets broken, you won't be upset."

    I'm not quite following the idea behind these.. The jug I get, as it is something easily replaceable, not a big deal, etc. The wife and child scenario, I don't understand as much. The only way I can interpret it, is that you are not promised a spouse or child, and so having one is somewhat of a luxury you are "loaned", so you know you cannot have it forever, so to be upset when it is gone is foolish?

    Obviously it is not saying to be emotionless, I don't think at least, but I'm struggling on the interpretation a bit. I am not far in the Handbook yet, so that could be it. I got busy and was just able to pick it up this week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rascal14 View Post
    "If you kiss your child or your wife, say to yourself that it is a human being that you're kissing; and then, if one of them should die, you won't be upset."

    "If you're fond of a jug, say 'This is a jug that I'm fond of,' and then, if it gets broken, you won't be upset."

    I'm not quite following the idea behind these.. The jug I get, as it is something easily replaceable, not a big deal, etc. The wife and child scenario, I don't understand as much. The only way I can interpret it, is that you are not promised a spouse or child, and so having one is somewhat of a luxury you are "loaned", so you know you cannot have it forever, so to be upset when it is gone is foolish?

    Obviously it is not saying to be emotionless, I don't think at least, but I'm struggling on the interpretation a bit. I am not far in the Handbook yet, so that could be it. I got busy and was just able to pick it up this week.
    I think you’re on the right track. The lens I view Stoicism from is the statement of “do not worry about things that are out of your control, and do not depend on them for happiness.” If I recall, and I’ll go back and check for more context, it’s sort of emphasizing that we should not become unhappy if we lose something, as it is a “thing.” If your jug breaks, you can get over it by saying “it’s just a thing, I can live without it and still be happy.” So if you practice this same thinking to larger and more important things, I think the point isn’t to say that family is meaningless or replaceable, but only that losing it should not make you unhappy, as you should not depend on things that are not in your power for happiness. Just as you would say it’s silly for someone to become miserable if they lose their jug, you can also say someone should not become miserable at losing their family. That’s not to say don’t enjoy, love, and care for your family, as the Stoics do say you can enjoy and love, and also place strong emphasis on family and duty, but there is a difference in finding happiness in family and DEPENDING on family for happiness. Only in the latter are you by definition miserable if you lose your family.

    TL;DR: I think this is more of an “exercise” to remember not to be reliant on anything that is out of your control, and since it’s easy to say we shouldn’t me miserable if we lose a jug, we can apply the same logic to family; if we should lose them, we can say it shouldn’t deprive us of our happiness.
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by rascal14 View Post
    "If you kiss your child or your wife, say to yourself that it is a human being that you're kissing; and then, if one of them should die, you won't be upset."

    "If you're fond of a jug, say 'This is a jug that I'm fond of,' and then, if it gets broken, you won't be upset."

    I'm not quite following the idea behind these.. The jug I get, as it is something easily replaceable, not a big deal, etc. The wife and child scenario, I don't understand as much. The only way I can interpret it, is that you are not promised a spouse or child, and so having one is somewhat of a luxury you are "loaned", so you know you cannot have it forever, so to be upset when it is gone is foolish?

    Obviously it is not saying to be emotionless, I don't think at least, but I'm struggling on the interpretation a bit. I am not far in the Handbook yet, so that could be it. I got busy and was just able to pick it up this week.
    Sounds like any religious scripture to me. What kind of "guide" is open to interpretation??? Imagine a guide book to repair a computer saying:" If you want to unplug the Ram module, your mind must be clean of thoughts -and no neighboring women should have her period."
    Life is fair it's your expectations that aren't.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by muscleupcrohn View Post
    I think you’re on the right track. The lens I view Stoicism from is the statement of “do not worry about things that are out of your control, and do not depend on them for happiness.” If I recall, and I’ll go back and check for more context, it’s sort of emphasizing that we should not become unhappy if we lose something, as it is a “thing.” If your jug breaks, you can get over it by saying “it’s just a thing, I can live without it and still be happy.” So if you practice this same thinking to larger and more important things, I think the point isn’t to say that family is meaningless or replaceable, but only that losing it should not make you unhappy, as you should not depend on things that are not in your power for happiness. Just as you would say it’s silly for someone to become miserable if they lose their jug, you can also say someone should not become miserable at losing their family. That’s not to say don’t enjoy, love, and care for your family, as the Stoics do say you can enjoy and love, and also place strong emphasis on family and duty, but there is a difference in finding happiness in family and DEPENDING on family for happiness. Only in the latter are you by definition miserable if you lose your family.

    TL;DR: I think this is more of an “exercise” to remember not to be reliant on anything that is out of your control, and since it’s easy to say we shouldn’t me miserable if we lose a jug, we can apply the same logic to family; if we should lose them, we can say it shouldn’t deprive us of our happiness.
    Well, but isn't that your interpretation? Wouldn't it be better the stoics had formulated it like you did?
    Life is fair it's your expectations that aren't.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by hairygrandpa View Post
    Well, but isn't that your interpretation? Wouldn't it be better the stoics had formulated it like you did?
    Epictetus lived from 50 to 135 AD and wrote in Greek. Obviously he wrote as others did in his time which can sound like riddles to us now when we try and interpret it now.
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  9. Quote Originally Posted by Aleksandar37 View Post
    Epictetus lived from 50 to 135 AD and wrote in Greek. Obviously he wrote as others did in his time which can sound like riddles to us now when we try and interpret it now.
    You may be right.
    I read all of Senecas writings when I was young (looking for hints of a Jesus figure, as he lived exactly at the this time) -and I could swear, the meaning of his words were not as "clouded". Here some quotes:

    One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.
    True happiness is... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.
    Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
    By the way, no Jesus was ever mentioned by him.
    Life is fair it's your expectations that aren't.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by hairygrandpa View Post
    Sounds like any religious scripture to me. What kind of "guide" is open to interpretation??? Imagine a guide book to repair a computer saying:" If you want to unplug the Ram module, your mind must be clean of thoughts -and no neighboring women should have her period."
    But it's not "scripture," and isn't intended to be "gospel." As far as what's open to interpretation, even a ton of "religious scripture," which the passage in question is not, is open to at least some level of interpretation. Hell, many scholars believe that much of the Old Testament isn't meant to be taken literally/historically, the events of the Bhagavad Gita don't describe an actual war/battle, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by hairygrandpa View Post
    Well, but isn't that your interpretation? Wouldn't it be better the stoics had formulated it like you did?
    I'm not sure I follow. Of course it's my interpretation of what is being said. But I'm trying to base my opinion on the other works/beliefs/etc of his, not just pulling it out of nowhere. When you view one verse/passage in isolation, it can be hard to truly understand; I'm trying to view it in light of the overarching themes he wrote. So, yes, it's my interpretation, but the only way it wouldn't be is if I were to somehow communicate with Epictetus, or find more writing of him explicitly stating what he meant, which I do not think exists.

    That said, here's some context that helped me arrive at my interpretation:
    Never say of anything, "I have lost it"; but, "I have returned it." Is your child dead? It is returned. Is your wife dead? She is returned. Is your estate taken away? Well, and is not that likewise returned? "But he who took it away is a bad man." What difference is it to you who the giver assigns to take it back? While he gives it to you to possess, take care of it; but don't view it as your own, just as travelers view a hotel.
    If you wish your children, and your wife, and your friends to live for ever, you are stupid; for you wish to be in control of things which you cannot, you wish for things that belong to others to be your own.
    Remember that you must behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you? Don't stop it. Is it not yet come? Don't stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a wife, to public posts, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy partner of the feasts of the gods.
    ...if you are averse to sickness, or death, or poverty, you will be wretched. Remove aversion, then, from all things that are not in our control, and transfer it to things contrary to the nature of what is in our control. But, for the present, totally suppress desire: for, if you desire any of the things which are not in your own control, you must necessarily be disappointed; and of those which are, and which it would be laudable to desire, nothing is yet in your possession. Use only the appropriate actions of pursuit and avoidance; and even these lightly, and with gentleness and reservation.
    Is my interpretation inaccurate? If you believe it is, please explain why.
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  11. Quote Originally Posted by muscleupcrohn View Post
    But it's not "scripture," and isn't intended to be "gospel." As far as what's open to interpretation, even a ton of "religious scripture," which the passage in question is not, is open to at least some level of interpretation. Hell, many scholars believe that much of the Old Testament isn't meant to be taken literally/historically, the events of the Bhagavad Gita don't describe an actual war/battle, etc.

    I'm not sure I follow. Of course it's my interpretation of what is being said. But I'm trying to base my opinion on the other works/beliefs/etc of his, not just pulling it out of nowhere. When you view one verse/passage in isolation, it can be hard to truly understand; I'm trying to view it in light of the overarching themes he wrote. So, yes, it's my interpretation, but the only way it wouldn't be is if I were to somehow communicate with Epictetus, or find more writing of him explicitly stating what he meant, which I do not think exists.

    That said, here's some context that helped me arrive at my interpretation:





    Is my interpretation inaccurate? If you believe it is, please explain why.
    Ok, got it. Your quotes are easy understandable and self explanatory, it were the quotes @rascal14 picked what triggered me, LOL.
    Life is fair it's your expectations that aren't.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by hairygrandpa View Post
    You may be right.
    I read all of Senecas writings when I was young (looking for hints of a Jesus figure, as he lived exactly at the this time) -and I could swear, the meaning of his words were not as "clouded". Here some quotes:









    By the way, no Jesus was ever mentioned by him.
    I don't think Epictetus' work is "clouded," it's just that some of this teachings can be rather "unorthodox" or "strange" to people who aren't familiar with his definitions of good and bad, and of his views of happiness and what is in our power. Just because Rascal has one question about the implications of one teaching/example doesn't mean that Epictetus' works are somehow clouded.

    Also, didn't Seneca live in Rome, while Jesus traveled around the Middle East? That's pretty far.

    I've also done some research on other, "non-Christian" references to and/or mentions of Jesus, and I recall there being a few. I can check what exactly they were, but they seemed to point that Jesus did indeed exist, and that he did have a large following. The distinction I found was that these writers claimed only that his followers CLAIMED that he worked miracles and/or was resurrected, not that he actually was.
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  13. Quote Originally Posted by hairygrandpa View Post
    Ok, got it. Your quotes are easy understandable and self explanatory, it were the quotes @rascal14 picked what triggered me, LOL.
    Haha, it's all good. That's what I was saying; often times, whether it's with philosophy, theology, science, etc, a single passage/verse may be very confusing, or even sound crazy, but it often makes much more sense when viewed in context, both of the surrounding text and the overarching themes of the author. I think that the example rascal asked about was simply an exercise to help people remember the other things he taught (what I mentioned).
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  14. Quote Originally Posted by muscleupcrohn View Post
    I don't think Epictetus' work is "clouded," it's just that some of this teachings can be rather "unorthodox" or "strange" to people who aren't familiar with his definitions of good and bad, and of his views of happiness and what is in our power. Just because Rascal has one question about the implications of one teaching/example doesn't mean that Epictetus' works are somehow clouded.

    Also, didn't Seneca live in Rome, while Jesus traveled around the Middle East? That's pretty far.

    I've also done some research on other, "non-Christian" references to and/or mentions of Jesus, and I recall there being a few. I can check what exactly they were, but they seemed to point that Jesus did indeed exist, and that he did have a large following. The distinction I found was that these writers claimed only that his followers CLAIMED that he worked miracles and/or was resurrected, not that he actually was.
    I cited Seneca mainly because he was a stoic and I know his writings. Yes, he lived in Rome, I hoped I could find some mention of "Christians"-or hints in his texts anyway. Remember, there was no internet, all I had was my fathers library. What "shocked" me most was how coherent he wrote. Reading Seneca was like reading contemporary literature. I was 14 yo when I began my "searching" for truth in religion. Now I'm 50 -and a stone hard atheist, LOL.

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
    -seneca-
    Life is fair it's your expectations that aren't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairygrandpa View Post
    I cited Seneca mainly because he was a stoic and I know his writings. Yes, he lived in Rome, I hoped I could find some mention of "Christians"-or hints in his texts anyway. Remember, there was no internet, all I had was my fathers library. What "shocked" me most was how coherent he wrote. Reading Seneca was like reading contemporary literature. I was 14 yo when I began my "searching" for truth in religion. Now I'm 50 -and a stone hard atheist, LOL.
    I forgot about how recent of an invention the internet is haha; we have more information at the tips of our fingers now than kings of times past could even dream of!

    As for theology, I like to think that Epictetus would say something along the lines of “the existence of God(s) is not in your control. Do not seek happiness from what is not in your control.”

    Marcus Aurelius actually sort of talked about the whole topic of losing a child AND God/prayer:
    40. The gods either have power or they have not. If they have not, why pray to them? If they have, then instead of praying to be granted or spared such-and-such a thing, why not rather pray to be delivered from dreading it, or lusting for it, or grieving over it? Clearly, if they can help a man at all, they can help him in this way. You will say, perhaps, ‘But all that is something they have put in my own power.’ Then surely it were better to use your power and be a free man, than to hanker like a slave and a beggar for something that is not in your power. Besides, who told you the gods never lend their aid even towards things that do lie in our own power? Begin praying in this way, and you will see. Where another man prays ‘Grant that I may possess this woman,’ let your own prayer be, ‘Grant that I may not lust to possess her.’ Where he prays, ‘Grant me to be rid of such-and-such a one,’ you pray, ‘Take from me my desire to be rid of him.’ Where he begs, ‘Spare me the loss of my precious child,’ beg rather to be delivered from the terror of losing him. In short, give your petitions a turn in this direction, and see what comes.
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  16. Sounds like Epictetus could be the father of Apatheism.
    Life is fair it's your expectations that aren't.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by hairygrandpa View Post
    Sounds like Epictetus could be the father of Apatheism.
    Haha, sounds about right. But, if I recall, even the Buddha said that it’s foolish to spend too much time thinking about and discussing abstract theology and what happens after death, as it distracts us from living in this moment, which is all we are ever guaranteed.
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  18. Quote Originally Posted by rascal14 View Post
    Can anyone recommend some of these? I’ve been in a slump of slight depression, low motivation, drinking more than I’d like when I go out. I figured reading is one of the only things I haven’t tried yet.

    I just started Mind Hacking by Sir John Hargrave, not sure if it’s a good one but it sounded interesting and I was able to download it for free. Lol

    I’m not religious so I’d prefer no books directly based on that. I don’t care if the author is as long as it isn’t biased towards a religion.
    Looks like there is a good amount of discussion in here. I'll have to get caught up, as I'm sure there are some great suggestions in here.

    My contribution:

    12 Rules For Life
    The Organized Mind
    Thinking Fast and Slow

    The act of reading singular topics alone will work your brain muscle. Try reading more than 1 book at a time. We can do this with TV shows. We can do it with books. It may take you longer to finish just 1 book but it gives you a good sense of purpose and prolongs those feelings of reward.

    Also, just a tip, try cleaning up your diet to include more nutrient dense foods, maybe a temporary ketogenic diet. There is tons research that show depression has a high correlation with an unhealthy gut microbiome. Be healthy and live, my friend!
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  19. Quote Originally Posted by MySTeek View Post
    Looks like there is a good amount of discussion in here. I'll have to get caught up, as I'm sure there are some great suggestions in here.

    My contribution:

    12 Rules For Life
    The Organized Mind
    Thinking Fast and Slow

    The act of reading singular topics alone will work your brain muscle. Try reading more than 1 book at a time. We can do this with TV shows. We can do it with books. It may take you longer to finish just 1 book but it gives you a good sense of purpose and prolongs those feelings of reward.

    Also, just a tip, try cleaning up your diet to include more nutrient dense foods, maybe a temporary ketogenic diet. There is tons research that show depression has a high correlation with an unhealthy gut microbiome. Be healthy and live, my friend!
    Yeah the first thing I did was start eating better, the correlation between the gut and mental health is really interesting to me and can't wait to see what they find out in the future.

    I'm struggling to read the one book now between work and classes so I will have to wait until the summer to try the multiple book approach! Lol but I will say, I have been doing and feeling better since the start of this thread.

    I will look into those, though. Thanks for the suggestions.
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