Prep for Next Meeting (May)

Hello fellow Stoics

In preparation for the next meeting this Saturday (May 11), we agreed to read Chapters 9-11 in Massimo Pigliucci’s book, How to Be a Stoic:

  • Chapter 9: The Role of Role Models (pp. 123-37)
  • Chapter 10: Disability and Mental Illness (pp. 139-54)
  • Chapter 11: On Death and Suicide (pp. 157-70)

Chapters 9 and 10 conclude the section on Stoic Ethics, Philanthropy, and the Discipline of Action. Chapter 11 will introduce the last section of the book on Stoic Logic, Mindfulness, and the Discipline of Assent. The material in these chapter should be of primary importance but feel free to bring along related material such as works by Seneca, Epictetus, James Stockdale, Lawrence Becker, or the likes. Also, since one of the topics will be on role models, it would be nice to briefly discuss people who we consider role models in our lives; presumably, they would be people who exemplify one of the Stoic virtues.

If we continue on the pace of three chapters per group meeting, we should finish the book by our June 8th meeting so feel free to make suggestions for our next read.

In addition to our reading, we agreed to undertake one of Massimo’s suggested ‘spiritual exercises’ that he lists at the end of the book. In particular, we decided to try Exercise #11: “Speak without judging.” The Epictetus quotation associated with this exercise as well as Massimo’s discussion of it can be found on pp. 228-29 in Ch. 14 (on “Practical Spiritual Exercises”).

To sum up, please be open to discussing any questions or comments you might have on Ch. 9-11 and your experience with practicing Exercise #11.

See you at 10am this Saturday at the Little Tokyo Coffee Bean!

Justin K.

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