October 12, 2020
Below is a lesson from Daily Stoic on spiritual stillness, virtue and principled confidence, as well as our key learnings.
The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth. We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”. We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning. As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.
This is What Cicero Missed
On the surface, Cicero appears the perfect Stoic. He studied with all the right teachers. He served in office for decades. He was friends with Cato. Diodotus, the old Stoic philosopher, even died in Cicero’s house and left his estate to him. But it’s ironic that Cicero, the author of a book called Stoic Paradoxes, would himself fail to embody a paradox that goes to the core of the philosophy.
Like Cicero, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca and Cato were all deeply active—active in politics, active in business, active in life. They had wives, they had money, they had books they published, they had power. But what they also had, which Cicero seemed to never be able to master, was a stillness within all these activities. Sure, Marcus Aurelius held incredible power and Seneca had incredible wealth, but what both of them thankfully lacked was the sense of desperation and lust that came to define Cicero. Cicero needed. His two most outstanding qualities, besides his brilliance, was what observers termed his philodoxia and philotimia—his love of fame and honor. Meanwhile, Marcus Aurelius and Seneca made the best of the good fortune they found in life, but there was a sense they could jettison it in a moment’s notice.
The true Stoic paradox is that the Stoic has but does not need. The Stoic is active in a noisy world full of craving, but manages to be at peace despite it all. They are moving—upward and onwards always—and yet they are still.
Continue reading here.
- You can be active in life while mastering the stillness of these activities, lacking the sense of desperation and lust and need.
- Make the best of the good fortune you find in your life, while keeping the humility that you could reject it at any moment.
- The Stoic has but does not need.
- The Stoic is active in a noisy world full of craving, but manages to be at peace despite it all. They are moving—upward and onwards always—and yet they are still.
- Stillness comes from virtue — remaining faithful to your high moral standards, your purpose, what you believe in.
- A Stoic can be active, but they have to be capable of spiritual stillness, of virtue, of principled confidence.