How to think like a Roman Emperor | Думать как Римский император

How to think like a Roman Emperor | Думать как римский император

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

The notes are still being updated.

🎨 Impressions

How I Discovered It

Who Should Read It?

☘️ How the Book Changed Me

How my life / behaviour / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

📒 Ideas

  • The book begins with the discussion of the definition of true wealth.
    • As many before him, Naval and Taleb he agrees that true wealth sprouts from contentment with what we’ve got, instead of constant desires.

Virtue of Stoics

  • The cornerstone of Stoicism takes root in freemasonry. In four cardinal virtues, which correspond to four corners of the lodge, they were carved it.
    • Prudence – wisdom.
    • Justice – justice.
    • Fortitude – courage.
    • Temperance – moderation.
    • There are additional virtuous allocated in ![[The Practicing Stoic#^f092f2]]
  • These seven virtues are the groundwork for building a character. Call on them in the time of turbulence. Find yourself in them when you are at loss. They are beams of light in the darkness of the world.
  • Modern philosophers lack the agency of the philosophers of ancient times.
    • They are like librarians, who only collect without applying it to daily activities.
    • Philosopher used to be practitioners first, thinkers second. They acted on what they thought, not just curated and collected.

The major question of a man

  • The major question a person should ask himself is the same question Socrates asked Xenophon.
    • Where, then, should one go in order to learn how to become a good person?
    • Who is a good person? How to become one?
      • Maybe a good person is the one who says no more often than yes? Though, ![[Essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less#^5f73aa]]
    • Wise man always ask important questions and carefully listen to answers they receive.
      • Socrates’ approach in all his dialogues. Just need to refresh a couple of them. They have a lot of knowledge to them.
    • Sometime the question turned inward and aimed at oneself.
      • [[Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes are High#Important questions to ask when working with the pool or in the pool]]
  • Socrates on death.
    • Wise man doesn’t fear it. It’s not some scary boogeyman in a hood with a sickle in a skeletal hand. Death has a meaning.
    • Unhood it and take a careful glance at what lurks behind. Make sure there is nothing to be afraid of.
    • No matter what futurologists tell us, Death is just another great adventure.
  • Those who wish to avoid death and run from it imminently find themselves embraced by it.
    • The same could be said about fearful people. Who are afraid of consequences of their actions.
    • Eventually they face what they were afraid, and no matter what would be held responsible. No amount of wriggling on high positions will save them from retribution.
    • Especially true for top managers who are out of their depth and scared by higher authority or chance of losing their place.
  • ![[The Practicing Stoic#Death]]
  • According to Socrates, classical virtues that I’ve written before, could be learned by anyone.
    • [[The Practicing Stoic#Virtue]]
    • Another philosophical school, Cynicism, focused on intentional building of virtue and strength of character through rigorous training that consisted of voluntary enduring various hardships.
      • What hardships do we voluntarily endure?
  • Studying philosophy doesn’t mean collecting knowledge from dusty folios.
    • Don’t allow knowledge of rules of logic, cosmology, and other sciences outside the liberal art’s circle to blind you.
    • Pedantic knowledge, artificially obtained, diverts from the pursuit of virtue. Exclude the possibility for self-improvement.
    • Tinkering vs academia, Taleb.
  • The only thing that matter is we ourselves. Building character.
    • Wisdom is hidden by inessential things that we surround ourselves through life.
    • But everything external is utterly useless, compared to character.
      • [[The Practicing Stoic#Externals]]
      • Such external as monetary wealth creates more opportunities, undoubtedly, but it goes only so far.
      • Money doesn’t have the kind of value that define a good life and becoming a good person.
      • Stop pursuing it. Learn how much do you need for comfortable life and enjoy.
        • Fuck you money, Taleb, or earning in sleep.
  • Don’t bury yourself in works of classical philosophers, it’s a waste of time.
    • It’s ok to be drawn to Stoicism, but it’s not okay to not update in and contextualize with your perspective and experience.
    • Draw as many arguments from modern science and worldview as you wish.
    • Enrich initial practices with new approaches and formulate new conclusions and applications.
  • A good person lives in agreement with nature. ^8d7431
    • Which is similar to live virtuously and wisely.
    • Meaning, think clearly and reason well.
    • It doesn’t matter how much money you are given or other gains you can have from actions. If they are not virtuous, Stoic won’t have them.
    • No matter what, it can’t tip the scale from being virtuous to being only wealthy.
    • Social, material, and physical advantages give foolish man more opportunities to harm himself and others could get in a harms way as well.
  • Stoics view everyone who is worthy and rational enough as brothers and sisters.
    • They cultivate natural affliction to them, according to Stoic’s virtues: justice, fairness, kindness.
    • Oh, Robertson actually says about honesty, kindness.
    • ![[The Practicing Stoic#^f092f2]]
    • Though he omitted saying anything about consistency, it is an underlying notion, about brothers and sisters who live rational and worthy enough lives.
  • Philosophy is not another way of showing off.
    • You can use philosophy in order to become better and smarter, but you have to stay humble.
    • Rhetoricians on the other hand like praise and thrive in vanity.
      • It’s for entertainment. Nice to hear and see.
    • Philosophers love truth and embrace humility.
      • It’s a moral and psychological therapy, often painful due to the admitting our faults. The only way to heal them is to recognize the truth of them.
  • The best way to start training in philosophy is physical practice.
    • Building and endurance to hardships. Start with your body.
    • Learn to endure physical discomfort, and overcome unhealthy habits.
    • Then begin building tolerance to people’s criticism, and avoid quicksand of fine words and flattery.
  • Epictetus said that mastering passions is the first step in Stoicism.
    • It’s called “Discipline of Desire”. Though, it is not only about desires.
      • Fears, aversions are also encompassed in the notion of discipline.
    • [[The Practicing Stoic#Desires]]

[!NOTE] Epictetus
Endure and renounce.

  • A modern way to say this is: bear and forebear.
  • Contemplate the flaws with painter’s eyes.
    • View apparent flaws as a part of a bigger picture. If you draw a cracked vase, you’ll draw the crack as beautifully as the vase.
    • They are inseparable. So the crack, and its worth, become clearer when we see it as a part of something else.
  • Demonstrate moderation in all your actions. Start with food.
    • Eat simple, healthy food that is easy to prepare.
    • Do it mindfully and moderation, not greedily.

[!NOTE] How Marcus came to the throne
Hadrian’s marriage was childless, so in his later years, when his health began to deteriorate, he adopted a successor. To everyone’s surprise, he chose a relatively undistinguished man called Lucius Ceionius Commodus, who then became known as Lucius Aelius Caesar, starting a tradition that the official heir to the empire would assume the title Caesar. However, Lucius was in such poor health that he dropped dead little over a year later. Hadrian reputedly wanted Marcus, now sixteen, to become his successor, but he felt the boy was still too young. Instead, he chose an older man called Titus Aurelius Antoninus, who was already in his early fifties and had two daughters but no surviving sons. He was married to Marcus’s aunt, Faustina. So, as part of a long-term succession arrangement, Hadrian adopted Antoninus on condition that he would in turn adopt Marcus, placing him in direct line to the throne. Hadrian thereby adopted Marcus as his grandson.

  • In [[Meditations]] Marcus regards lack of interest of any praise or approval from others.
    • He considers the wish to take into careful account what others think about himself.
    • Listen to people’s views about yourself.
    • Examine meticulously what needs to be examined.
    • Think patiently about the issue, before coming to reason.
    • Be a calm and rational man.
  • I got it now, why I don’t persuade anybody of anything.
    • As Appolonius famously said: “The master ought not to come to the pupil, but the pupil to the master”.
    • He says plainly that if the future emperor doesn’t wish to be taught, then no amount of visiting and sitting can correct this state of affairs.
    • It rhymes incredibly with the state of modern education, we teach, in majority, those who don’t wish to be taught, and it is sad fact by itself.
    • Help only those who seek help.
  • Epictetus described a specific approach to any stressful situation, such as a storm at sea.
    • First the initial impression trigger the reaction, it could be a clap of thunder, banging of the door, prankster around the corner.
    • Second comes our response to the event.
      • We usually add our judgment to the picture. Automatic expression.
      • Stoics don’t go with the first response, they don’t get emotional at all.
      • They don’t confirm the existence of emotions, they are rejected outright as misleading and harmful.
      • They relate to the impression in quiet and tranquil manner. It’s only impression. Nothing more.
    • A third stage might emerge, falling to passion and reacting without thinking, which turn itself into panic.
      • The task of the Stoic do not allow this to happen.
  • True bravery happens when carry on no matter what has happened and deal with events itself and consequences rationally.
    • But once again, [[What is rationality]] in this context?

Definition of Philosophy

[!NOTE] About confusion between Stoicism and stoicism (capital letters)
Stoicism differs from stoicism, and we should mix one with another. The first one is our acceptance of involuntary emotions as neither bad or good. It’s not about feelings, but about our response to them. Whether the second concept is often thought as an ability to suppress emotions which are viewed as shameful and harmful. It’s not just psychology, but also with a serious conflict with the original Stoicism.

  • Three definitions of philosophy.
    • Philosophy is about grasping the reality. From this book, and to more from another.
    • ![[The Practicing Stoic#^5b5230]]
    • ![[The Practicing Stoic#^6183b4]]
    • ![[The Practicing Stoic#^28daa1]]
  • A great addition to [[How to speak How to listen]] by Adler is the idea of how to speak wisely, according to Stoics.
    • For Stoics, honesty and simplicity of language are hidden in two main principles.
    • Conciseness.
    • Objectivity.
    • In other words, they are extremely simple, stop complaining and do something.
      • One of the best performance on the topic of doing and not thinking has been done by Cumberbatch.
  • As told before, Stoicism doesn’t lower itself to consider something as good or bad.
    • Everything is just an external event, they lack intrinsic value first moment they happen.
    • And because of that, we tend to act irrationally and sporadically.
    • It is a form of self-deception.
    • We define an event in the form of language. That’s why I think definitions are coffin for true meaning. [[Что такое рациональность и какая связь с критическим мышлением#^ec7da3]]
    • As soon as we imposed word such as catastrophe to something, we went beyond bare facts and the process of distortion of true events had begun.
  • When talking about events, keep in mind five virtuous of speech.
    • Correct grammar and vocabulary.
    • Clarity of expressions, making ideas easily understood.
    • Conciseness, implying no more words that needed.
    • Appropriateness of style, suited for subject and audience.
    • Distinction, or artistic style, avoid vulgarity at all cost.
    • Great addition to [[How to brush the note for others. Ilyahovs tips]]
  • Said above is also a great way to avoid falling into passions.
    • Rhetoric has been created to emotionally invest a person to the cause.
    • A heuristic to avoid such thing is written above, reformulate everything you hear differently. Tips are higher.
    • Marcus thought that there is nothing greater than an ability to strip events of passions, examine rationally and view them realistically. The ability to look at the core, at the essential characteristic, gives a superpower over those who can’t.
    • As an aspiring Stoic, learn this ability to strip inessential, keep important and look at the heart of things. Describe events objectively and in less emotion terms.
  • This leads us to reframing approach.
    • When hardships arises, reframe it as an opportunity to cope by exercising wisdom and strength of character.
    • Practice deliberate description of events in plain language, devoid of ambiguities and second meanings.
      • Take a pen and paper and begin doing it.
    • There is another depth in it. When you mastered the art of writing plainly, try asking on paper someone you admire and hold in high esteem what his reaction to the even would have been.
      • [[Harry Potter and the methods of rationality#^cbca16]] Harry did this in his head.
    • Read aloud your script or compose several versions.
      • Do it until you’re satisfied about how you feel about events.
  • Marcus considered it a separation between value judgments and external events.
    • Distancing in such way allows viewing one’s thought not like reality, but like a construction of reality.
  • Dichotomy of Control or Stoic Fork.
    • Some things are under our control and some not.
    • Remembering that can help in recovering the sense of indifference towards external things.
    • Defining something as good or bad leads to believe that we want it or wish to avoid it.
      • Though is something is out of our control it is irrational to demand it or avoid it.
    • This creates a contradiction of wishing and not being able to have it.
      • This is the root cause for the majority emotional sufferings.
      • Only acts of our volition, intentional judgments, are directly under our control.
  • Saying what is wrong is the crucial among friends, and accepting the critic is even more important.
    • A wise man should shine from criticism of friends. He must welcome it and ask for it.
    • The real goal of Stoicism is wisdom.
      • Saying truth is not enough. We have to put more effort into being heard. And learn how to communicate effectively with others.
      • [[Навык обратной связи 4A]]
    • Give permission to offer critical feedback and don’t be angry with it. Look and your faults, embrace them and learn from it.
  • Never drop vigilance, unexpected trial may come at any moment.
    • Be ready to face it and bear the consequences as if you are going to answer to a teacher.
    • Act as if every step is scrutinized by unseen spectator who keeps tab in every action you perform. Let it be your mindfulness practice.
    • It allows you to pay more attention to behaviour and character.
  • There is a speculation that as soon as Marcus lost his Stoic mentor, Rusticus, immediately after he began writing Meditations.
    • It was a form of self mentoring through diary.
    • Diary or Zettelkasten?
    • Ancient form of self-help, keeping diary.

[!NOTE] On the term “Mentor
The term “mentor” comes from Homer’s Odyssey. Athena, the goddess of wisdom and virtue, disguises herself as a friend of Odysseus named Mentor so that she can counsel his son Telemachus, who is in grave danger.

  • Everybody need a mentor, but this commodity hard to come by, and what we find might turn expensive. There is another approach, to the task of searching yourself a mentor.
    • Writing and imagining.
    • Marcus did exactly that after the death of Rusticus.
    • Conjure advisor, as [[Harry Potter and the methods of rationality#^cbca16]] did it Azkaban. Different sides of his personality employed diverse strategies, not all successful, but all without exception creative.
    • In order to make your personal role model, you need to right down the virtues he or she demonstrates. Or better, find yourself a real-life role model to turn to in moments of hardships for advice. Even an imagined mentor is better than none.
  • Simple daily Stoic practice. Which involves learning cycle.
    • Get ready in the morning, be mindful during the day (live consistently to your values), review in the evening.
    • Seneca used nightly reviews to meditate about gone day.
      • ![[The Practicing Stoic#^7cfc6b]]
    • Morning meditation.
      • As soon as you wake up, contemplate the day ahead and ask questions.
      • What would be the consequences if you acted a slave to your passions?
      • How your day would be different if you exhibited self-discipline and wisdom?
    • Evening meditation.
      • Ask yourself three simple questions.
      • What did you do badly?
      • What did you do well?
      • What could you do differently?
  • Classical Socratic questioning forms an approach called “Value clarification”.
    • [[How to speak How to listen]] touches the topic of questioning.
    • Socrates had based his dialogues on constantly asking and putting his opponent into awkward position, forcing him to think.
    • Refuting all arguments and nonetheless making him better.
      • [[Мышление Платона]]
    • Another thing we can do with it is to clarify our lives, such as asking yourself constant question about our goals and priorities.
      • What is ultimately, the most important thing in life?
      • What do you really want your life to stand for or represent?
      • What do you want to be remembered after you are dead?
      • What sort of person do want to be in life?
      • What sort of character do you want to have?
      • What would you want written on your tombstone?
  • A bit of therapy. Make a list of desired thing in life and admired qualities.
    • Juxtapose them and be surprised by matching.

Brainstorm ways of satisfying core values, something simple. Teach somebody, share something, make anybody happy, praise for work, gift a smile, cheer up a friend or a stranger.

  • People confuse pleasure with happiness and because of that find themselves in weird situations.
    • Happiness could be achieved from within, it is intrinsically born and cultivated.
    • He Hercules who chose hardship instead of pleasure and idleness.
    • He remained cheerful even in the face of dangers. Enjoined profound satisfaction from fulfilling his destiny.
    • It could be achieved only if you have purpose in life.
      • What is my purpose? Can I formulate in concisely?
        • Good point of discussion.
  • Stoics don’t recognize pleasure as something good or bad.
    • They see a state of mind as rather good or bad, healthy or unhealthy.
    • And in depends on sources of joy.
    • Where is your source of joy? Where from you draw happiness? Can you share if it’s not to intimate.
  • On the topic of Joy.
    • Stoics don’t view it as a goal of life. It’s a byproduct of wisdom.
      • If joy is sought at the expense of wisdom, it will lead astray.
    • Stoic’s joy is fundamentally active. It’s not passive.
      • Joy is a result of virtuous deeds we commit daily. Bodily pleasures are born from experience that happen to us, they are consequences of actions, eating, sex, physical extortion, etc.
      • Remember, Socrates believed that real joy comes from moderation. We obtain more pleasure from self-control than from indulgence to excess. [[Дисциплина это свобода]] again and again.
  • Decision of Stoics are simple dichotomies.
    • Is it the path of vice? Excessive desires, unhealthy habits.
    • Or path of virtue? Self-discipline, following intrinsic values.
      [[Думай как римский император 1-4]]

Pain and illness

  • How seemingly fragile emperor became famous for his toughness and resilience.
    • I didn’t know that, always thought of him as of mighty warrior.
    • It’s said due to his attitude towards pains and views on the fragility of human body.
    • In the end, how did Stoics of the past cope with pains and various ailments.
  • Not only physical pain was an issue, but psychological as well.
    • His sudden transition from civilian to military put a toll on his inner peace.
  • How do we cope with stresses of change? Imagine that we changed work or city or have broken relationship.
    • On the topic of change, Popper presented a beautiful angle.
    • [[The Poverty of Historicism — Karl Popper#^883381]]

Stoics technique for coping with pain of every type

  • Marcus in Meditation had written that a wise man neither whines nor makes tragedy of his condition.
    • Work had been one of the possible ways of coping with pain.
    • Marcus’s adoptive father often buried himself in work when he experienced a severe headache.
      • I on the other hand can’t do it. I am a climate guy and headaches plague me half my conscious life, but I have never got used to it.
      • Though on some rare occasion when activity is pleasant on demanding energy I do it no matter what as if pain isn’t there anymore. Though, as soon as the task is done, it returns in force.
    • Another way is quite unusual for Stoic. Drawn from a rival school of Epicurus.
      • They were known for hedonistic views on life, and considered pain as a thing that must be avoided at all costs.
      • Thus, minimizing emotional distress from pain had been essential to them.
      • Marcus drawn inspiration from Epicurus’s letter, which he obviously read. Epicurus spoke about detachment of body from the mind, distancing.
      • Marcus followed suit, he used bodily pains as an opportunity to contemplate how his mind remained contended while his body suffered.
        • I have tried it during my latest visit to a dentist. Can’t say that it worked perfectly, but nonetheless it helped a little.
        • Contemplating the body as if it’s somebody else’s.
      • Single concern should be about the use we are making right now, from moment to moment inside the mind.

Strategies from Epictetus Discourses

Cognitive distancing
  • The most important trait in those who successfully deal with pain is the ability to withdraw or separate the mind from bodily sensation.
    • Lameness is an impediment of the leg, not the mind.
    • Headache is a discomfort of the head, not the mind.
    • Swollen toe is just limping and slow speed, it doesn’t slow the mind.
    • What do you think about distancing, is it possible? For acute or chronic pain. Maybe for psychological hygiene it could be applied?
    • It’s out judgements about the pain what brings pain, not the pain itself.
  • Marcus suggest to draw a line between body and mind.
    • Bodily sensation and mind comprehension are two different things.
    • Set a borderline between and view everything related to the body as if there.
    • What we do to our character is a real issue, swollen toe is trivial.
      • Take into careful account your thought and action of the past day. Is there anything to be ashamed of? I beg there is. So why worry about pain in extremities when you are hurting your soul everyday.
Objective representation
  • View bodily problems as sensations, emotion free.
    • Describe them equally.
    • There is throbbing in the back of my skull.
    • Don’t use a phrase, I had a splitting headache. Emotions make feelings stronger.
Analyze elements of pain
  • Isolate sensation in specific body part.
    • Don’t extrapolate over a whole body.
    • Describe it as precisely as possible.
    • Depreciation technique, we are using to put distance between ourselves and desires also works here.
  • Fear of hardships and pain make more harm than phenomenons themselves.
    • We think about them and make matters worse for ourselves.
    • Start practicing psychological skill needed for isolating pain and discomfort.
    • Remember that Stoicism is a form of psychological hygiene.
      • [[The Practicing Stoic#^ff6ca5]]
Contemplate impermanence
  • View the limits of painful sensation. Nothing stays for a long period of time, even pain.
    • It comes it waves, acute pain is followed by mild pain.
    • Constant pain recedes or even goes forever. It’s not there a second ago and begins anew a moment later.
    • Concentrate on periods without pain.
    • Condition of pain, changeable and transient.
    • This sensation peaks for a couple of seconds, then fades away. It will be completely gone in a few days.
  • Life is utterly changeable. You die every day you go to bed, you are bore every morning.
    • Pain is like a flowing river, at some places it is white water at other quiet haven.
    • The river ultimately end on the graveyard. So why not enjoy the pain, while we can?
Stoic acceptance
  • It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a practical step towards reducing it or fixing yourself medically if possible.
    • You have to live without resentment and emotional investment in it.
    • It’s struggle between body and mind.
  • One the very first Stoic maxims were, live life free from unnecessary struggle. Flow smoothly.
    • Pain becomes more intolerable when when we fight it. But as soon we embrace it or even welcome its effects lightens drastically over us.
    • Relax and accept sensation.
  • Most people turn their backs to pain, instead of facing it with smile.
Remind yourself of your capacity
  • Nature is wise and strong it doesn’t give you something that you can’t endure.
    • We have both, mentality and strength to deal with pain, hardships and grief.
    • Rise above everything bad happened to you and admire Stoic virtues in other people. Compare their behaviour with yours. Their attitude towards pain.
    • Find a role model.

Epicurus on pain

  • The pain is always bearable, because it is either acute or chronic.
    • Do not add anything to the pain, don’t use imagination.
  • Stoics slightly changed this approach, as they always used to do, to everything assimilated principles from other philosophies.
    • Pain is tolerable if we remember our attitude toward it is what really determines the outcome. This results in how upset we are.
    • Pain, fatigue, discomfort are no more than unpleasant sensations.
    • The skill used to cope with pain even severe ones is similar to the approach used to cope with unpleasant sensation.
      • What approach do you use when dealing with something unpleasant or even hateful?

Pain is universal teacher

  • I always thought that pain is excellent indicator to gauge how alive I am.
    • Stoics also follow this lines.
    • Pain and pleasure are neither good nor bad.
    • When rolling on the tatami, through pain I can safely measure how far I can go with foot lock or choking.
    • An athlete as a whole can learn the limits of his body and extend it in safe way.
    • In what way pain helped you?
    • ![[Antifragile books 2 and 3#^90615b]]

Rhetoric of pain

  • There is such thing. Strange to hear that not only classical oral rhetoric exists but also rhetoric of the body.
    • [[How to speak How to listen#Rhetoric by Aristotle]]
    • Rhetoric of pain says that as soon as you focus on your suffering as on something unbearable, then it becomes it momentarily.
    • It is just hyperbole that adds to our sense of despair.
    • This is nothing to me. Say it and see how pain steps back.

Gently caressing the nettle is not painful. Instead of emotional fighting, cutting, struggling, embrace it.

Don’t hesitate, be confident with hardships and pain, wear them with honor. Acceptance diminishes the effects or in some cases eases them completely.

Contemplative virtue

  • Martial artist steps onto the octagon without fear of being punched.
    • They await it. They hope that they will get beaten.
    • Take hits without complaining, endure pain and suffering.
    • Their ability to endure pain puts to shame philosophers who they are wise and practice virtues.
      • It reminds me about recent talk I had with [[Сергей Шамарин]] about practice of Stoicism and discussion that usually take place in intellectual circles on the topic of philosophy of Stoicism.
      • All “wisemen” wish to show how enlightened they are, but practitioners do, and don’t say anything.
      • Same statement could be applied to martial artists or athletes. Marathoners are Stoics with capital S.

Transform misfortune into something good

  • What’s the worse thing that could happen?
    • Stoics calmly imagined various types of misfortunes that could befall them.
    • They envisaged with tiny detail all thing that would take place in case of the event.
    • This technique has also been purposed in [[Thinking Fast and Slow]] and I called it [[Препарирование живого проекта negative experiment]].
    • The question is, does any of you work with similar mindset when you touch a project for the first time? Can you imagine not happened event especially bad.
  • Marcus used Epictetus technique, a reverse clause.
    • Accept any outcome, both good or bad.
    • Remember that it’s better to be rich than poor, healthy than ill. But accept any of the outcomes.
    • A project is just a project you can’t be sure of the way it finishes.
      • Not a single project in my experience has been completed in time, budget and with the agreed on quality.
      • That’s the way it works. Project is an arrow, even if the archer’s hand solid, even if his eyes are true, still there are many possibilities that arrow could miss the target.
      • Don’t blame the archer, accept inevitable. We are not free.
      • Too many factors, everything could be taken into account.
  • Wish to achieve preferable to humankind outcome, that is in accord with virtues.
    • There will be no guarantee that you succeed and benefit your friends and family, but nonetheless you have to do your best.
      • Naval and Taleb, they both talked about doing anything for the gains, but for the sake of doing.
      • [[Работа ради работы]]
    • My work in community is the same. I could do whatever I wanted to do, but instead I chose to organize set up activities, without promising anything. Maybe workshop will be one of them?

On disagreement

  • When somebody doesn’t agree with you, try to put him in your shoes.
    • Show him situation from your perspective, if nothing could help and all sides are sticking to theirs, then practice virtues, nothing is left to you. And do what you have to do, and the rest will be history.
    • Though I have a doubt. Why Marcus hasn’t tried putting himself into his partner shoes? He didn’t try to understand the other side. Is it professional deformation of being an emperor?
    • How do you deal with disagreement?

Inoculating agains fear

  • Fear is in the future. So the only thing that could be done with it, address the fearful topic in the present.
    • Build emotional resilience, through [[Препарирование живого проекта negative experiment]]
    • Emotional habituation is great way to prepare oneself to negative outcome or overcome fear.
    • Put yourself out of you league intentionally. Like had been Feynman put in front of the Monster Minds, when he delivered speech about his quantum theory. Einstein was there along with other geniuses.
    • What is yours best way of preparing for the worse, dealing with inconvenient matters? How do you inoculate, and don’t say go outside comfort zone. Tell us what exactly you do.

Familiarity breeds indifference.

Is it not what happened with Frankl in concentration camp?

Inner peace

  • Don’t need any retreat to reach this. Recently in the group we have discussed the benefits of meditation and profits from retreats.
    • My opinion, that we don’t need anything to achieve tranquility, only our mind and some thinking.
    • Though not all agreed on that. I still hold to the notion that thinking couldn’t be taught, as [[Critical thinking could not be taught]].
    • The only thing we need is the faculty of reasoning, basic skill in thinking and understanding of what we are thinking about.
  • Rising above any external might be easier if we keep in mind that The universe is change: life is an opinion. Epictetus.
    • Everything that we see goes through constant change and will be gone soon. Only essence stays.
      • [[The Poverty of Historicism — Karl Popper#^883381]]
    • External things do not touch our inner peace, they only influence emotions.
  • So how do attain inner peace? Do you have specific tools or routines?

Guard yourself from being angry

  • In [[Meditations]] Marcus refers to certain Apollo techniques for keeping yourself at bay, and protect the inner peace.
    • He calls it ten gifts from Apollo and his nine Muses.

We are natural social animals, designed to help one another

  • We don’t live in vacuum or in seclusion, we live in society and it drags along responsibilty for fellows you are surrounded with.
    • We have a duty to live in peace and harmoniously with others.
    • Behave wisely and follow the virtues.

Consider a person’s character as a whole

  • Picture a person you are angry with more wholesome, all nooks and crannies of his personality.
    • Contemplate him not as a crack or a nut job, but as a person with feelings, problems, imperfections.
    • Speak with a whole person not with part.

Nobody does wrong willingly

  • No man does knowingly, which entails that no man does it willingly.
    • Explain what has been done wrong and try correcting in together if you can.
    • If the other part can’t agree with you, or doesn’t consider wrongdoing as a wrongdoing, them be it. Forgive and forget, the person couldn’t be helped.

Nobody is perfect, yourself included

  • It’s hypocrisy to see negative in others without acknowledging your own imperfections.
    • You are too not ideal. Remember it. It should work with children, I’ve done much worse things when I was there age, so why get angry at them?

What upsets us is personal opinion and judgment

  • It’s not what happens in the moment important but what happens next.
    • Our reaction is more unpredicted that consequences of the initial event.
    • [[The Practicing Stoic#Judgements]]

Anger does more harm that good

  • When you are hated, you only worry should be, are you deserve being hated?
    • Use virtues to deal with anger.
    • Act with kindness, thus educate a person. There are two most important strategies to apply.
      • Anger harm us more than the person to whom it directed.
      • We, humans are social creatures, nature created us to help each other and not to fight.

Simple dichotomy might come in handy, we either can educate a person and cure him from ignorance or we can’t, therefore no point in being angry.

Nobody is perfect and if you expect this, then you are mad

  • Never be surprised by anything.
    • A wise man is not easily amazed by anything in life.
    • Look at the world rationally.
      • [[What is rationality#^be0bb6]]

Hawk VS Dove

  • No need to be aggressive, kindness can lead to the same results as anger, though with less harm to personality.
    • Cassius, Marcus confidante and friend who later usurped power in Egypt (a breadbasket of the Empire), has been slayed on the street. He was feared and ruled with a strong hand.
    • Wherever Marcus was kind and talked softly but nonetheless solved problems ruthlessly, without hesitation dealing with enemies of the state and external threats.
      • To be brutally effective you don’t need to be mean and evil.
      • Though people often mistake kindness for weakness, and that is their bad.

People are designers of tragedies on personal level and otherwise

  • On death. We are not truly alive if we fear the end.
    • Just say to yourself “I am a mortal”, and be done what you need to do.
    • We are as human beings, can’t be considered as something more that a speck of dirt on the roadside of the Universe.

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