Roman Calendar

Sunday, July 14, 2013

What are the natural feelings of humans?

     A passage from the introduction to Margaret R. Graver's Stoicism and Emotion: "The founders of the Stoic school did not set out to suppress or deny our natural feelings; rather, it was their endeavor, in psychology as in ethics, to determine what the natural feelings of humans really are. With the emotions we most often experience they were certainly dissatisfied; their aim, however, was not to eliminate feelings as such from human life, but to understand what sorts of affective responses a person would have who was free of false belief."

     I find that this is the number one misconception of Stoicism - the popular misunderstanding is that we seek to live devoid of emotion. In truth, I find Stoicism to be a philosophy of limitless joy and happiness, for I am free of the illusion that my happiness is dependent upon anyone or anything but myself. I am not the sage, the sapiens of perfect knowledge and wisdom who in all things has correct judgment. I know of no perfect Stoic sages - they are as rare as fully realized buddhas. But I am on the path. And that is enough for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment