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Re: Quote on Assent

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  • Dave
    ... The term assent (sunkatathesis) has a certain technical meaning in Stoicism. To assent is to agree that something is the case. The rule concerning assent
    Message 1 of 62 , Jun 1, 2013
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      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, "Richard" <pmsrxw@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Dear Dave Kelly:
      > It's pretty easy.
      >
      > Here is a single "dogma" that works for me -
      >
      > Dogma: Since I have suffered enough already, I therefore refuse to cause myself to suffer any more.
      >
      > Practice:
      > I ask myself: Does this thought cause me even more suffering?
      >
      > If Yes - let it go.
      > If No - let it go! :-)


      The term assent (sunkatathesis) has a certain technical meaning in Stoicism. To assent is to agree that something is the case. The rule concerning assent is 'assent to true impressions, dissent from false impressions, and suspend judgment toward uncertain or doubtful impressions'

      If I do something shameful and suffer the feeling of shame, accompanied, or caused, by the judgment, 'I have done a shameful thing', and if I'm interested in perfecting my character and being happy, I should not just let that judgment go, but I should assent to it.


      > Corollary:
      > I am not my random thoughts.
      > Only thoughts I consider as "real" represent me.
      >
      > Illustration:
      > Assent: I feel obliged to pay my taxes on time.
      >
      > Withold assent [let it go]:
      > I feel I should beat myself up because I failed to file on time. For that - I simply refuse to make myself suffer. Of course the IRS may have a say :-)but my guilt and worry are useless and counterproductive, irrational.


      If I have a moral obligation to pay my taxes on time, and I have the thought that I have done wrong by not doing so, it's proper to assent to that judgment and to suffer the appropriate degree of guilt.


      > I have an acquaintance who was an associate of Albert Ellis and also a dabbler in Stoicism and he endorsed my approach as correct, though he felt it was insufficient in and of itself. Yet, for the petty annoyances, it does work.
      >
      > For THE REALLY BIG issues EG Death, then I do "assent" that core Stoic ideals may need to be mustered. EG the classic - Since Socrates died therefore Death is an Indifferent, etc.
      >
      > But one can avoid 95+% of disturbing thoughts by simply steadfastly refusing to annoy oneself.
      >
      >
      > Regards, Richard
      > -----------------------
      > "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self."
      > ~ Aristotle


      Best wishes,
      Dave
    • Richard
      Steve Stoker said it well: An acquaintance of mine had suffered from Agoraphobia. She learned through CBT to challenge her what if thoughts with so what
      Message 62 of 62 , Jun 14, 2013
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        Steve Stoker said it well:

        An acquaintance of mine had suffered from Agoraphobia. She learned through CBT to challenge her "what if" thoughts with "so what" thoughts and was "cured".

        And so I work at "mindfully" noticing thoughts.

        When I feel an uplifting thought EG "What a Beautiful
        Day" I smile and "soak it up" [Assent]

        When I feel a downer EG "what an ugly day" I dismiss it with thoughts like "So what?" Or "Who cares - I can still be Happy". Meaning as a dispreferred indifferent I withhold assent. I either put it completely out of mind or detach from its emotional aspects.

        Many say that this takes a constant vigilance. I find that it gets easier over time.


        Regards, Richard
        -----------------------
        Every definition is dangerous.
        ~ Desiderius Erasmus
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