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Marcus Aurelius is one of the leading figures of Stoicism definitions, principles and ethics Stoicism Definitions. I can say one of the most influential philosophies today is Stoicism. Maybe there are some of you who are wondering about the Stoicism definitions. In this post, i will explain about the Stoicism definitions with simple ways. Stoicism is an ancient philosophy that remained strong in today’s modern era. In today’s modern era, Stoicism is increasingly in demand, especially among millennials. Because the philosophy of stoicism is highly related to life. For simplicity, I will explain the Stoicism definitions in 2 points, namely: The dichotomy of control and life in harmony with nature (the cosmos) and its contents. 1. Dichotomy of control In life there are things that are under our control, but some are beyond our control. Stoicism is a philosophy that emphasizes the dichotomy of control. In life there are things that are under our control, but some are beyond our control. By understanding this simple principle, we can achieve happiness in ourselves. Because unhappiness is a manifestation of destructive negative emotions that originate from rejection of natural will or destiny. For example, when we experience things that (according to our interpretation) are bad, we will feel sad, disappointed, angry. Sometimes negative emotions are followed by unnecessary impulsive actions. “It’s not things in themselves that trouble us, but our opinions of things” Epictetus In life, we must be able to focus on happiness or things that we can control, beyond that we can only follow the path of destiny — which we cannot avoid. Stoicism aims to make people happier by learning to control the emotions or negative feelings they feel. This means that Stoic will achieve happiness if he is able to control himself. To be able to avoid disappointment, unhappiness and other negative emotions humans must be able to control all their desires, so as not to be too ambitious but keep trying to be able to achieve what has become his desire. Stoicism is a philosophy which states that to get happiness, one must be able to control oneself and not let that selfish desire bring difficulties. Stoics believe that negative emotions destroy humans and their happiness. Real-life example It is important to know that we can’t control everything in our life There is one saying that very much describes and define the philosophy of Stoicism: “When shooting, aim your arrow at the main target, do your best, but don’t expect too much, because there are many other factors that will affect your arrows that you cannot control such as wind speed and others.” The saying implies that we may have our own choices and desires, but there will always be something beyond our reach that will influence the process of achieving our goals, beyond our control. Real-life example, if you are a student. You will definitely face an exam. Of course we all want to pass the exam. How to pass the exam? Yes, study well. Try to focus on things that we can control. Such as the preparation of exam materials, maintain good health and all sorts of other preparations. But in the exam there are some things that are not within our control, such as the level of difficulty, regulations, supervisory behavior, weather and other external things that are beyond our control. However, we cannot control the level of difficulty of the examinations or the supervisory temperament, nor the weather (unless you are an avatar). We cannot control external things like that, because they are out of our control. That is one of the point of Stoicism. By being aware of this concept from the start, at least we can minimize the impending disappointment and various other forms of negative emotions. This is why modern life need Stoicism principles and ethics. 2. Living in harmony with nature (the cosmos) and its contents Mutual respect This philosophy of Stoicism emphasizes that humans must live in harmony with nature. In the process of harmony with nature, the main thing that must be done by humans is to control their lust. We can say that, natural and human life in harmony will lead to mutual respect where nature will provide comfort to humans and vice versa. To respect nature, humans must be able to control their desires. Today’s modern example is very clear, when many corporate capitalists are passionate about the material world, they over-exploit nature, which results in the destruction of nature itself. It then creates disharmony between nature and humans, causing natural disasters, environmental degradation and others that affect human life itself. Stoicism trying to balance between nature and human life. The ideal life is to live in harmony with nature. I define nature as the whole cosmos, including our fellow human beings. The essences of Stoicism are virtue, tolerance and self-control. Stoics believe that something that happens in the universe is the result of a cause. The principle of causality. Because humans are not able to control the ’cause’, then humans try to control how to deal with the ‘effects’ that occur, minimizing negative emotions. Co-existence with universe (cosmos) Stoicism teaches us to co-exist with the universe Living with nature, can be understood as our efforts to accept our existence as part of the whole universe and ‘accept our destiny, because it is beyond our reach to control or change it’ Remember the ‘Serenity Prayer‘? Yes, if you have read Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, you must be familiar with the prayer that first appeared in the early twentieth century, which was assumed from the words of the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and spread by Alcoholics Anonymous and many modern therapists. Put it this way: O God, Give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, The courage to change what can be changed, And the wisdom to know the one from the other. Never spend and waste energy to change or control things that are beyond our control. Living in harmony with nature also means that we realize that everything in the world is interconnected. For example when the neighborhood which we live in experiences floods, if we realize that the floods occur because of high rainfall, many people litter, etc then we don’t need to waste energy to blame each other because the incident is indeed in accordance with nature’s wishes. Things we can do are clean up our environment on a regular basis, do not litter. We can control that. But the heavy rains and storms are the will of nature, which are beyond our control. Living in harmony with nature does not teach us to be resigned to circumstances, but to accept these conditions gracefully so that we are not easily carried away by emotions. This will help you to be happier and even find a smart solution to the problem you are having. Start your journey! Aware about Stoicism definitions can help you start your journey for better life. To understand more about Stoicism, try reading the full post about Stoicism 101.

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