56 Comments
Aug 12, 2022Liked by Gurwinder

You're distracting me. I subscribed to your substack so you could do so. It was a goal that I be increasingly more distracted by Gurwinder, and less distracted by others, until there is no one but Gurwinders populating my social media feed. I am making progress. Stoicism feels within reach. I'll keep polishing.

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So good

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That figures! Behold the product of your thinking:

From the Earth to the Moon to “WUT”

https://onevoicebecametwo.life/2024/04/24/from-the-earth-to-the-moon-to-wut/

“Substack Is a Scam in the Same Way That All Media Is”

https://onevoicebecametwo.life/2023/12/02/substack-is-a-scam-in-the-same-way-that-all-media-is/

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I’ve been a pupil of Stoicism for years now, and this is the best introduction I’ve come across. Now whenever someone asks me what Stoicism’s all about, I’ll point them here. Thank you.

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Aug 13, 2022Liked by Gurwinder

This is the first time it actually hit me that Marcus Aurelius was making decisions and taking actions that affected the entire known world, at the same time that he was working on his character. He was cultivating detachment, but his daily life was as engaged as one can get. So he actually wrote a guide to sane activism. Thank you.

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Aug 15, 2022Liked by Gurwinder

Thanks Gurwinder. I appreciate this. As a Christian I have long recognized points of agreement with Stoicism. There is wisdom to be gleaned. You quote Marcus Aurelius', Meditations 5.16: "Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions". My George Long version says: "Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts". Bearing this in mind, consider Phil 4:8: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things". The Christian faith strongly encourages us to direct and compel our minds recognizing that our character and souls are shaped by what we give concentration to, by what we focus on, by what we contemplate, by what we allow to run through our minds. There is synergy here with Stoicism. Thanks again for the article and pointing us to this content.

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Oct 13, 2022Liked by Gurwinder

Agree with Steve Cardoso's earlier assessment as the best intro to Stoicism I've ever seen. Excellent presentation! I found it interesting to see the parallel between Stoicism's regard for anger/desire/anxiety and the three poisons of Buddhist lore: hate/greed/delusion. That kind of resonance and continuity between cultures and schools of thought is always encouraging in our evolution toward a Whole humanity!

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Feb 17Liked by Gurwinder

Saved! Keep writing Gur.

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Jan 31Liked by Gurwinder

So many good references in here. Your reading cadence is great, it inspires me to record my own. Thanks for these.

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I just read it. Thanks for it, very informative.

Desire. Is it about possession of tangible things? What if one desire to aquire skills and knowledge? 🤔

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Mar 30, 2023Liked by Gurwinder

Human life is gradually turning from a struggle against starvation into a struggle against addiction

Jesus Christ this is so succinct of everything I have been saying to my partner lately. masterful.

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Just found this Substack and I’m absolutely blown away. Thanks

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Feb 8, 2023Liked by Gurwinder

I’m a recent convert interested in Stoicism - great intro.

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Aug 25, 2022·edited Aug 25, 2022Liked by Gurwinder

There are two points I’d like to add to your article.

First - it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the popularity of Stoicism amongst wealthy American elites is because the teachings themselves do not require people to greatly change their behaviour. One can be a stoic and drink, take drugs, be rich, or promiscuous. Also the teachings that remain of Stoicism are incomplete as a thorough guide to life so there is more than enough scope for a person to take from Stoicism what they want, without it having to impinge upon their existing preferences or lifestyle. And since it isn't a living religion, most modern day Stoics are self guided. The scope for projecting existing beliefs onto the practice is vast.

My second point is more constructive:

There are commonalities between the aims of Stoicism and traditional Theravada Buddhism. The goal of Stoic teaching and an important milestone of Theravada is to reach a state of Equanimity. (Apatheia in Ancient Greek, upekkhā in Pali, the language of Theravada.)

Apatheia is obviously a lesser goal than that of Theravada - enlightenment, but nonetheless, Equanimity is a vital part of the practice in order to reach said goal. And a life spent trying to develop the qualities needed for Equanimity to arise would be one well spent.

In both belief systems the quality in question (Equanimity) could be described as a balance of mind. However Theravada (being a living religion with a considerable amount of teachings available) is more thorough and precise in describing how this quality is to be developed, how it arises, what qualities it is to be balanced with, what happens to this quality when unbalanced, and what the quality actually is.

In Theravada, Equanimity is one of four qualities to be actively developed: The Brahma Viharas. The “Divine Abidings.” Namely, Compassion, Loving kindness, Sympathetic joy and Equanimity. Of the four, Equanimity is the hardest to develop, and can only arise when the others have been developed prior.

If you’d like to understand more about how these qualities work, I’d be happy to help. It may fill the gaps in your Stoic practice.

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Would you have any recommended readings on Theravada Buddhism for someone who's early in the journey?

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Mar 18, 2023·edited Mar 18, 2023

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1192133.With_Compassionate_Understanding

Suitable for anyone at any stage of their journey.

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Great read, but I feel stoicism won’t help the majority of the population who are easily distracted as they won’t be able to read this entire article. But definitely think it should be the goal that everyone should aspire to.

Became a paid subscriber last week too as your work is super important and deserves support. Keep it up.

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Aug 12, 2022Liked by Gurwinder

Wow! I’m blown away! Thank you for this! I have always known about stoicism but have never read such a succinct and practical explanation of how it can be applied to modern life . As I’ve gotten older, I have been searching for ways to grow in my soul, to live a more meaningful and productive life, and to be a positive influence on those around me. This has given me so much to think about! Thanks again.

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Best intro, summary and application to today’s world I’ve seen of Stoicism. Thank you! 🙏👍

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Jan 31Liked by Gurwinder

Gurwinder! Quit it! I’m married! You’ve always engaged my mind but now you’re stealing my heart too! This is just so excellent. Seriously! Quit it! ☺️ But don’t. We all need more of this, more of you, more of minds like you today more than ever.

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