I see in myself, Lucilius, not just an improvement but a transformation.
(Seneca, Moral Letters 6.1)
What is the Stoic Community? We are a loosely connected group of men and women who have chosen to adopt Stoicism as an Art of Living. Our Stoicism is the same as the philosophy founded over two thousand years ago in Greece, and at the same time profoundly different, evolved for our current age and our current knowledge. We choose to study and practice a philosophical life, in order to express our truest natures.
What is Stoicism?
Why choose to study this philosophy instead of others, or none at all? Stoic philosophy can provide a person with a sense of profound tranquility, a cheerful and joyful life filled with gratitude, effectiveness and a sense of meaning. These however are not the goals or aims of Stoicism but rather some of the benefits of living life well.
Stoicism is the study and practice of living a complete life based on reason and relationship, one where we explore and express our best selves, where we flourish to the best of our abilities in all places and circumstances. Stoics reach for personal excellence in all the domains of our lives, privately and publicly, to benefit ourselves and our communities. This is the true purpose of studying the Stoic Art of Living. It is a long road, one of constant improvement and focus.
We do this through the use of our minds and insights, through study and observations of the world we live in and the people we interact with. We do this through reflection, self-examination and deep involvement with the world around us. We do this through the study of Stoic writers, meditation on Stoic principles and the active practice of Stoic exercises.
Stoicism is the practice of gradually changing the way we look at life, finding new and improved perspectives on our specific concerns, to arrive eventually at a point where our baseless worries are defeated, or our paralyzing fears abolished, our violent passions tempered, our childish selfishness turned to generosity and compassion, and in effect, our empty lives given new meaning and purpose. This process of discovery, and the attempt to live by the insights we gain, is what it means to be a Stoic.
Please be patient with us.
Many pages at TheStoicLife.org are still under construction.