Great Book: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine – A 15 min Summary

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy Book Cover A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
William B. Irvine
Philosophy, Stoic philosophy
Oxford University Press
November 4, 2008
Kindle
Part Two: Stoic Psychological Techniques
Negative Visualization: What's the Worst That Can Happen?
Anyone interested in philosophy and/or living a good life
Meditations (Marcus Aurelius), The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph (Ryan Holiday), Ego Is the Enemy (Ryan Holiday)

“Irvine excels at giving a “walking tour” of the many schools of Stoic philosophy, from Greek to Roman traditions, identifying individual Stoic thinkers (many more than Seneca) and their principles and techniques, which Irvine argues are even more relevant in modern times than their own.”
–Philosophical Practice

“Well-written and so compelling, this is a rare example of a book that actually will make a difference in the lives of its readers. Whether it’s coping with grief or arriving at lasting happiness, Irvine shows, with care and verve, ancient Stoic wisdom to be ever relevant and very, very helpful.”
–Gary Klein, author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

“Bill Irvine has given us a great gift: the most accessible and inviting description of modern Stoicism available. Read this book and be prepared to change your life!”
–Sharon Lebell, author of Epictetus’s The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness

Continue reading “Great Book: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine – A 15 min Summary”

Stoic History

Mainly based on info from “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” – William B. Irvine

The First Stoics

  • Zeno – (333-261 BC) = the first Stoic

  • started as a Cynic
    • “same” as today’s homeless
    • Antisthenes
      • pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes
    • the Cynics were renowned for their wit and wisdom
    • Diogenes (pupil of Antithenes) – the most famous Cynic
      • Bad man obey their lusts as servants obey their masters.
      • because they cannot control their desires, they can never find contentment
    • lived on the streets of Athens.. same as Sokrates
    • constantly pushing their philosophy on other people
  • found to be more interested in theory than the cynics.. hence .. a combination & lifestyle & theory
    • as Socrates had done
  • Continue reading “Stoic History”

Seneca (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD)

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca; ca. 4 BC – 65 AD) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was later forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, he may have been innocent. His father was Seneca the Elder and his elder brother was Gallio.

 

Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life

Life’s like a play; it’s not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters

He who is brave is free.

A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.

It’s not hard to find the truth. What is hard is not to run away from it once you have found it.

A great fortune is a great slavery.

It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.

A great mind becomes a great fortune.

True happiness is to understand our duties toward God and man; to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence on the future; not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears, but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is abundantly sufficient

A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature.

To wish to be well is a part of becoming well.

A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.

A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is.

There is no great genius without some touch of madness.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two.

All cruelty springs from weakness.

Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.