Stoicism: How To Be Free

I finished this short book about Stoicism. As I have been meditating for over a year, I am interested in ways to keep learning and improving my quality/health of mind. I like feeling fit in my body, and my mind.

After watching some short videos about Stoicism, I liked the ideas and felt they can fit in my way of thinking.

Most of the times, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius are the most common figures mentioned about Stoicism so I tried something written from them.

I went to the “How To Be Free” as the main source from Epictetus. I learned that he was a Greek born slave from the Roman times who earned his freedom and became a philosopher. Who more entitled to write about freedom that a slave? And I didn’t know that the stoicism had started some centuries earlier, around 300BC in Greece. As well, the “Encheiridion” was actually written by Arrian (I read a book about Alexander The Great and didnt know about his philosophy side) that was one student of Epictetus.

The book centres in what it is under our control and what is not. Things that we control are just inside us, and they are the ones that makes free (and content). As soon as you start to give away that control to outside things, you are doomed to suffering. It can be brutal in some cases. If a love one dies, it is not in your control that event, so you shouldn’t bee affected, just accept that is part of nature. Nature is nature and is not bound to our will. That reminds me too Buddhism too.

I like this philosophical approach, it matches well with me. In the world where we live with so much attention to the outside, it is good to get back to basics. We should be happy/content how we are, if we dont hurt anybody/anything and we life in harmony with nature. Suffering is part of life and we shouldn’t sell our freedom to external factors. Somebody insult you? Somebody has done something bad to you? Things are not going according your wishes? These are timeless sources of suffering and we had people already talking about this and providing guidance for a couple of millenniums. And I think we haven’t learned much apart from taking the wrong approach: take this pill, buy this, be like that person, etc etc

There is so much we can do for ourselves by ourselves. Why schools don’t teach more philosophical thinking? When I was in high school we had a subject about Philosophy that was mandatory to get access to University. But at the end of the day, they prepare you to pass an exam. Not to learn. How important is a good teacher…

Keep hungry, keep learning, keep applying, repeat.