What is Stoicism?

From a historical point of view, Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC. Stoicism flourished throughout the Roman and Greek world until the 3rd century AD, and among its adherents were many well-known philosophers such as Seneca, Epictetus an Marcus Aurelius.

Stoics believe that the path to happiness for humans is found in accepting each moment as it presents itself, by not allowing ourselves to be controlled by fear or pleasure, and for humanity to work together in order to have a fair and just society.

We all know that the world is unpredictable, and is becoming more so as our lives are inundated with constant noise and pressure from both digital and physical sources. We believe this is one of the reasons why Stoicism has seen a reemergence within Western culture in recent years.

Stoicism accepts that the world is unpredictable, but how we react to those unpredictable events is in fact under our control. We more often than not create our own unnecessary fears from what has happened to us in the past, or what may or may not happen in the future. We compare our happiness to the lives of others, which we are now constantly exposed to us (albeit in edited form through the lens of social media).

Stoicism aims to show us that we are dissatisfied, not because of logic, but because we impulsively depend on our reflexive senses. It strives to help us overcome these destructive emotions, and remind us that we are in control but only for things that we can act upon.

Everything that happens to us is a good and necessary thing. Life events make us who we are, and Stoicism is a philosophical way of life that helps change both our way thinking and doing, day-by-day. We must, therefore, remove the focus from things we cannot control, such as the actions of others, to something we can act upon: our own reactions to these.

Reactions, especially emotional reactions, are not founded on logic. They are impulsive reactions which happen with immediacy after an event. Logic is applied based on facts. When we apply logic to all things in life, we become more content in ourselves. This is why Stoicism is a great philosophy to practice in an increasingly chaotic and demanding world.

Here at The Stoic Store, we have designed a range of items inspired by Stoic beliefs and principles, aimed at being a reminder to help you on your journey of practising this meaningful philosophy each and every day.

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