Sunday, 1 January 2017

Stoicism: A year long journey begins

"The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own..."
Epictetus: Discources, 2.5.4-5

I began writing about my arduous journey of dealing with my depression and anxiety a while back, but did not publish more on the matter after the first entry as the rest of the entries never did mature beyond drafts and good intentions. One reason for this is that while the Arduous Journey was for me to better understand the mechanisms of my depression, I've since then come to adopt another approach ,which is the one of stoic philosophy. The idea that while I may not have control over all things that happen to me in life, I do have control over my own reactions, resonates in a unique way with my attempt to climb above my depression and anxiety. I believe that this is the guiding principle that may eventually help me find my way out of this confusing maze of emotions.

To this end I bought myself a Christmas present, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and Art of Living by Ryan Holiday. Each day I intend to walk in the footsteps of Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and the rest, and see what I can learn about myself and how to adjust to natural forces and influences in my life.

In addition I hope this will also help me to get back into my old habit of writing daily so it would once more become as natural and fluent as it once more was.

Here we go!