Roman Calendar

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stoic Routine - Throughout the Day (From "The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy)

     A modern regimen based on ancient Stoic practice, from Donald Robertson's The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy:

"Throughout the day

1. Self-awareness. Continually bring your attention back to the use you are making of your mind, your mental activity in the here and now, during any given situation.
     1.1. Logic. Remember the difference between what is under your control and what is not, in any given moment. Separate your thoughts from the real facts. Stick to the facts and avoid using rhetoric to distort your own emotions. Remain objective. Question each impression that enters your mind, especially those that are accompanied by distress, asking yourself whether it is true or false, i.e. objectively true, or an emotive distortion of things. Remember what is under your control and what is not.
     1.2. Physics. Serenely accept the given moment as if you had chosen your own destiny, 'will your fate' after it has happened. Accept the hand which fate has dealt you. Trivialize trivial things. Contemplate the transience of material things, how things are made and then destroyed over time, and the temporary nature of pleasure, pain, and reputation. Think of the essence of things, and what they really are.
     1.3. Ethics. Take full responsibility for your own judgments and actions. Continually remind yourself to question each thought and ask whether it is true or false, healthy or unhealthy. Does each thought contribute to your long-term happiness and well-being, or not? Reject false or unhealthy impressions immediately, and replace them with more healthy and accurate ones. Pursue your own enlightened self-interest, seeking genuine well-being and happiness. Try to act as if you were already a sage. Recall your principles often and affirm them to yourself in a word, or a short phrase.
2. Oneness.
     2.1. Empathy. Contemplate the virtues of both your friends and your enemies. Empathize with everyone. Try to understand their motives and imagine what they are thinking. Praise even a spark of strength and wisdom and try to imitate what is good. Ask yourself what errors might cause those who offend you to act in such an inconsiderate, unhappy, or unenlightened manner. Love mankind, and wish your enemies to become so happy and enlightened that they cease to be your enemies.
     2.2. Cosmic consciousness. Think of yourself as part of the whole cosmos; indeed, imagine the whole of space and time as one and your place within it. Imagine that everything is interconnected and determined by the whole, and that you and other people are like individual cells within the body of the universe.

No comments:

Post a Comment