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Epictetus on How the Stoic Sage Loves

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  • Richard
    Epictetus on How the Stoic Sage Loves                                                  Copyright © 1996,
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 1, 2013
      Epictetus on How the Stoic Sage Loves                                                  Copyright © 1996,
      William O. Stephens
       


      «... Epictetus says that family affection (τὸ φιλόστοργον) and fondness (στερκτικόν) are natural human feelings which are compatible with what is reasonable,[12] and so he does not consider them to be ‘passions’ (πάθη).  The Stoic is not supposed to be devoid of these natural, positive feelings which Epictetus evidently would include among the classic ‘good feelings’ (ευ̉πάθειαι) of orthodox Stoicism,[13] but should be devoid only of the over-intense emotions or passions which destroy his imperturbability (α̉ταραξία; εύροια) and α̉πάθεια. ...» 

      http://puffin.creighton.edu/phil/Stephens/OSAP%20Epictetus%20on%20Stoic%20Love.htm

      Boy I wish I had some Stoic wisdom when I first had my heart broken! :-)

      Question:
      What roles does Agape Love play in Stoicism? It seems to have been a cornerstone of early Christian thought and I'm guessing of Buddhist Philosophy too.
      "You don't have to believe everything you think",

      Regards, Richard
    • JIM GODDARD
      Thanks for posting this. I have often been struck by the contrast between the image that some have of Stoicism - as cold, clinical, supremely rational and
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 1, 2013
        Thanks for posting this. I have often been struck by the contrast between the image that some have of Stoicism - as cold, clinical, supremely rational and emotionless - and the examples of warmth and human affection that one repeatedly comes across in the writings of the Stoics. One could pull many passages from Epictetus, Seneca, Musonius Rufus (slim as his writings are) and Marcus Aurelius in support of this point. I am constantly surprised by the capacity of people to confuse a belief in restraint, caution and judgement in emotional matters with a rejection of emotion per se. 

        Regards,

        Jim 

        --- On Fri, 1/3/13, Richard <pmsrxw@...> wrote:

        From: Richard <pmsrxw@...>
        Subject: [stoics] Epictetus on How the Stoic Sage Loves
        To: "Stoics" <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Friday, 1 March, 2013, 14:27

         


        Epictetus on How the Stoic Sage Loves                                                  Copyright © 1996,
        William O. Stephens
         


        «... Epictetus says that family affection (τὸ φιλόστοργον) and fondness (στερκτικόν) are natural human feelings which are compatible with what is reasonable,[12] and so he does not consider them to be ‘passions’ (πάθη).  The Stoic is not supposed to be devoid of these natural, positive feelings which Epictetus evidently would include among the classic ‘good feelings’ (ευ̉πάθειαι) of orthodox Stoicism,[13] but should be devoid only of the over-intense emotions or passions which destroy his imperturbability (α̉ταραξία; εύροια) and α̉πάθεια. ...» 

        http://puffin.creighton.edu/phil/Stephens/OSAP%20Epictetus%20on%20Stoic%20Love.htm

        Boy I wish I had some Stoic wisdom when I first had my heart broken! :-)

        Question:
        What roles does Agape Love play in Stoicism? It seems to have been a cornerstone of early Christian thought and I'm guessing of Buddhist Philosophy too.
        "You don't have to believe everything you think",

        Regards, Richard

      • Richard
          «But how can the Stoic maintain his relationships with other people without being unfeeling, and yet without becoming upset when those whom he cares about
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 1, 2013
           
          «But how can the Stoic maintain his relationships with other people without being unfeeling, and yet without becoming upset when those whom he cares about suffer or are lost»

          I see Ken Keyes 8th Pathway as on target here -

          From my Google Search:

          « I have helped myself with "The 12 Pathways to A Higher Consciousness" by Ken Keyes Jr.  The one that comes to mind is the 8th pathway which states, ==>
          "I feel with loving compassion the problems of other's without getting caught up emotionally in THEIR predicaments that are offering THEM messages that THEY need for THEIR growth."

          Compassion combined without getting emotionally upset; Kindness with a touch of Stoic Apathy.
          "You don't have to believe everything you think",

          Regards, Richard
        • Richard
          Jim: Thank you for YOUR post. Whe I mentioned to a buddy about adapting Stoicism to my life he was shocked! Reputations are often charicatures! The follow up
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 1, 2013
            Jim:
            Thank you for YOUR post. Whe I mentioned to a buddy about adapting Stoicism to my life he was shocked! Reputations are often charicatures!

            The follow up question I have
            Does this article point to a kind of Aristotelian Golden Mean -which btw is a question I posed a while ago on another issue.

            It seems perhaps that the Sage does not completely resist emotion, rather he resists the Passions associated with them. He can be kind, and fond, while remaining internally detached. He acts from a place of emotional freedom, and not from "neurotic" obsession.


            "You don't have to believe everything you think",

            Regards, Richard
          • JIM GODDARD
            Thankyou Richard, Most people I have introduced to Stoicism have been a little more receptive. Indeed, a friend of mine who I d introduced to Epictetus said
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 1, 2013
              Thankyou Richard,

              Most people I have introduced to Stoicism have been a little more receptive. Indeed, a friend of mine who I'd introduced to Epictetus said his thoughts had really helped a friend of hers who was grieving for a lost husband. 

              On the 'Golden Mean' question, I think I'd best defer to others on this Forum who are doubtless much more familiar with Aristotle than I am. 

              It is possible your words may mean the same, but my own reading of the Stoics on emotions is that we should use our independent judgement to examine which emotions are 'appropriate' and 'proportionate' before we assent to them. The implication is that our emotional life needs to be regulated by our reason, but certainly not done away with or suppressed. 

              Regards,

              Jim 

              --- On Fri, 1/3/13, Richard <pmsrxw@...> wrote:

              From: Richard <pmsrxw@...>
              Subject: Re: [stoics] Epictetus on How the Stoic Sage Loves
              To: "Stoics" <stoics@yahoogroups.com>
              Date: Friday, 1 March, 2013, 16:18

               


              Jim:
              Thank you for YOUR post. Whe I mentioned to a buddy about adapting Stoicism to my life he was shocked! Reputations are often charicatures!

              The follow up question I have
              Does this article point to a kind of Aristotelian Golden Mean -which btw is a question I posed a while ago on another issue.

              It seems perhaps that the Sage does not completely resist emotion, rather he resists the Passions associated with them. He can be kind, and fond, while remaining internally detached. He acts from a place of emotional freedom, and not from "neurotic" obsession.

              "You don't have to believe everything you think",

              Regards, Richard

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