So the thing is, first of all, the Stoics themselves, again, disagreed about the importance of this thing. You mentioned this Christian idea that we're all sinners—one thing Buddhism has in common with Christianity something you could call a “theory of the nature of being human” if not a “theory of human nature” that accounts for this problem. You see, most people go through their day having a miserable life that they cannot change. Read Stoicism & Western Buddhism: A Reflection on Two Philosophical Ways of Life book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. You alluded to this a little I guess...There's the idea of the logos, which entered Christianity. If you were not, then we wouldn't have science we can understand. Although Socrates himself, who was a big influence on the Stoics, famously said “don't ask me if I’m from Athens or Corinth, I'm a citizen of the world.” That's the basic idea. So you're the foot, and the larger organism has to go home. Are you stuck in your life? With this powerful book, you can: Understand the philosophies of Buddhism and Stoicism Like Buddhism, modern Stoicism is grounded in the insights of ancient teachers who believed that overcoming self-caused suffering should be at the center of philosophical inquiry. She is the author of Reason, Virtue and Psychotherapy. These Kindle Books can only be redeemed by recipients in your country. Antonia Macaro is an existential psychotherapist with a long-standing interest in both Buddhism and Stoicism. The Stoics do have something like that. And in order to do so, it has to step through mud. When I'm asked by people about the similarities between Stoicism and Buddhism, other than telling them that I don't have expertise in Buddhism, that I only read a few things and I talked to a few people like you, I also tell them that [this is] one of the major differences in terms of cultural tradition. Stoicism and Buddhism are two remarkably similar philosophies that were created independently thousands of miles apart. And then there was basically a hiatus of one and a half millennia or more before modern Stoicism arose. But as I said earlier, it's actually more than that. newsletter first. You know, there's this you, and then outside of you there is your family, and then outside your family there are your friends, and then there are your fellow citizens, and then the people that have your same nation, and then finally the world at large. This wonderful oxymoronic phrase does help in making a fundamental point, which is: [therea are] certain things you do want to go after, the same things that Aristotle and everybody else will value: you know, education, wealth, friends all that sort of stuff. The book explores themes of Buddhist and Stoic mindfulness, shared psychological insights as well as Stoic and Buddhist practices for cultivating compassion and concern for others. Whatever the case may be, in this book, Jack Beasley shares two pertinent philosophies, Buddhism and Stoicism. Stoicism: Compare and Contrast. Try again. © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. philosophy. If you help other people, you are helping yourself, but not in a direct reciprocating kind of way. Original and reflective book on contempory Stoicism and Buddhism and how they can inform each other, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 July 2018. The Stoics have something very similar, but they do arrive at it from a different perspective. There was a different theme every day, a different exercise every day, and I thought, “Oh, this is kind of fun.” And once I finished that week, I thought, “You know, this is actually interesting. And do you want to tell people what you mean by logos? WRIGHT: So I wanted to do a compare and contrast with Stoicism and Buddhism. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Certainly one avenue to that idea is the Buddhist idea of not-self, the idea that the self is an illusion. “God,” well, how does that go? There are a lot of writings about the Buddha’s philosophy, commentaries by famous monks, sutras, chants, stories, riddles… but there is no Bible or Quran of Buddhist religion. We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. One major common point between Buddhism and Stoicism is that both philosophies do you have an official Holy Book nor any main reference book. If you're going to go after riches, for instance, or anything else, any positive, “preferred” indifferent, and in doing so you compromise your moral integrity...--then those things are definitely not worthwhile. And that this is an actual meditative apprehension that you can have. There is less literature about Stoicism than about Buddhism, meditation and Zen. So the Stoics do believe there is a self. The first Stoic was Zeno of Citium (334-262 BCE), himself a student of a radical homeless philosopher named Crates of Thebes. The author explains core values of Buddhism better than many Buddhist practitioners and teachers do. You can get to the point where you kind of feel that degree of continuity between yourself and everyone else. Most of the content on this site is published as a (free!) It's generally attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr although there's a little controversy.. Yeah, as usual with these things, But I found out in researching it for my bookthat similar sentiments are also found in medieval Jewish philosophy; I believe in Buddhism as well; and certainly Epictetus’s version is very similar and goes back to the second century. He keeps talking about God in a little more personal way. Stoicism & Western Buddhism: A Reflection on Two Philosophical Ways of Life, This title and over 1 million more are available with. And finally, through secular humanism, I rediscovered, if you will, virtue ethics...A lot of secular humanists are into virtue ethics, in particular Epicureanism or...and Aristotelianism. One similarity I want to share is how both Stoicism and Buddhism point directly to the will as being that which one seeks in all their mental excursions. But with that as a caveat... Let me stop you there for a second. There isn't as much emphasis on reaching out and controlling the things you can. You should be detached from them, you should really not care about them. I grew up Catholic, [but] was done pretty early, when I was a teenager. And that will both make you feel better and actually make things better for you in your life. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. So if you're actually a pantheist then you're fine, you're pretty much on the same page as the ancient Stoics. More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age, How To Be A Stoic: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living, Stoicism and the Art of Happiness: Practical wisdom for everyday life: embrace perseverance, strength and happiness with stoic philosophy (Teach Yourself), The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User's Manual, The Beginner's Guide to Stoicism: Tools for Emotional Resilience and Positivity, Practical Stoicism: Exercises for Doing the Right Thing Right Now. When I say it compares with Buddhism, I [also] say you should think about Buddhism as a family of philosophy, or or talk about Buddhism in the plurals, you know, “Buddhisms,” because there's a variety of ways of interpreting it and it has evolved in a number of different ways. That's the ideal? Epicurus thought that if you if you get yourself involved in social issues and politics, you're definitely going to ask for it, so don't do it, and I don't think that a good human life is acceptable without a social and political involvement. Is this just a coincidence, or do these two schools of thought have something in common, something that speaks to a widely felt contemporary need? Please try again. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness. I like that image. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. Stoicism & Western Buddhism book. So making a distinction between a virtuous living and enlightenment work is just close-mindedness. So there's the assertion of an alignment between you might say self-help, and moral improvement, and then both of those are aligned with seeing the world more clearly. Most people would assume Stoicism and Buddhism are entirely different philosophies. Buddhists, because of this other doctrine of emptiness that's important in some parts, of Buddhism, some of them are reluctant to say “we are all one,” but the. Particularly Hierocles, who was a Stoic of the late Roman period, came up with this wonderful image of the concentric circles, and the idea was that you can imagine yourself at the center of your own circle of concern. But in Western Buddhism...people argue, is anyone truly enlightened—and I've talked to people who consider themselves enlightened—or is it just something you would approach asymptotically and never reach? Suffering in Buddhism and Stoicism are pretty much the same but how we deal with it are very different. Meanwhile, many modern Stoics also practise Buddhist-inspired meditation and find inspiration in Buddhist ideas and practices. when something happens to you that you don't like and you think “why is this happening to me?”, one of the ways you should put [this] in perspective is [to] think of yourself as an organ of a larger organism. Something went wrong. So I thought what we would do is a kind of compare and contrast... We should also pause and say that this book is part of a larger project: you have for some time now been kind of resurrecting Stoicism. I mean, the Stoics did disagree among themselves. She is the author of Reason, Virtue and Psychotherapy. Popular treatments of Stoicism universally stress the Stoics’ point that some things are “up to us” and other things Some Stoics basically use the word God or Zeus as synonymous with nature or the web of cause and effect, [but, for example,] Epictetus sounds at times almost like a Christian. I also want to relate this similarity to Christianity. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. In what ways are Buddhism and Stoicism alike? And the idea that Hierocles said is “Look, since we are all members of the same family really, what you should try to do in your mind is to contract these circles and bring them closer and closer to you.” And he said, in order to practice that so that this is not just a theory, you should go around referring to other people as brother and sister, or depending on the age, you know, uncle and aunt, or something like that, in order to constantly remind yourself that you literally fit all in the same boat. 5.0 out of 5 stars Original and reflective book on contempory Stoicism and Buddhism and how they can inform each other. You can say, “Well, that's the manifestation of the fact that the universe is a living organism that sort of self-organizes.” That's the way in which most of the ancient Stoics interpret it and that's what makes them pantheists. And of course, that makes Stoicism actually a much more compact philosophy and much more genial(?) He writes to himself: “think, remind yourself every time do you have a problem, every time you have an issue with other people, remind yourself of the big picture. (There are many branches of Buddhism, both as a religion and as a philosophy. As a Stoic practitioner, I have rigorous and variety of meditation practices (60 minutes every morning). I stumbled across Pierre Hadot’s book Plotinus or the Simplicity of Vision and that led me to read another three books by him that deal more with Stoicism. In terms of the idea that there's no real distinction, in a certain sense, between your welfare and someone else's, or at least no distinction between the importance of your welfare and the importance of theirs. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. I find both Buddhism and Stoicism very appealing. Stoicism had what we might call a religious dimension; they were basically pantheistic. Those are, according to Epicureanism, inventions that are exploited by other people to make us fear things and do things that we don't necessarily want to do. There certainly is implied a kind of a natural order that you want to accord with. Well, as a foot, you're not going to like stepping into the mud, it doesn't feel good. It had, as you say, a lot of influence in the ancient world. So even they were cognizant of the fact that, as a modern philosopher would put it, their metaphysics under-determined their ethics. But yeah, I think it's fair to say that Stoicism was never a religion. It was introduced by a theologian in the early part of the 20th century. Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, they're all very clear that the universe, it doesn't have a plan as such, but it behaves in a certain way that is conducive to good action. Let me let me continue for a little bit longer.” That year Stoic Week was in November, so I continued until the end of the year. Yeah, I'm just thinking about how that compares to Buddhism. Then all of a sudden, I got a tweet three years ago that said “Help us celebrate Stoic Week!” and I said, “What the hell is Stoic Week?”...But out of curiosity, I signed up for it and so for a week, I was practicing. I mean, t not necessarily the self in the sense of an essence of you, but the self as in, you know, you’re recognizably distinct from other beings like you. Over 1 million titles. And then for a number of years I considered myself a secular humanist—to some extent I still do—but the problem is that secular humanism increasingly felt more like a laundry list of things that I liked, really, than an actual organic philosophy. One of the things I was doing is looking for some time for a better, more organic philosophy of life. Read 6 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. After all, one was created in … And in fact, we are literally bits and pieces of God. Stoicism & Western Buddhism A comparison of two philosophical ways of life, Stoicism, the ancient Greco-Roman philosophy, and Buddhism as practised in the West. In fact, Zeno, the originator of Stoicism, explicitly said in his book Republic that there would be no temples in an ideal Stoic society. It doesn't mean that there aren't roles, both social and biological, that we play in our lives, and that our lives aren’t going to be much better if we play those roles better. And in my book, I argue that Buddhism has a version of that in a couple of senses: one of them is that there is the idea in Buddhism that there's an alignment of three things. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. In my experience, when the first is mentioned or discussed the second is usually brought up. I mean, one thing we should say is, isn't part of this idea in Stoicism that your welfare and another person's welfare are deeply intertwined, if not identical? WRIGHT: So I wanted to do a compare and contrast with Stoicism and Buddhism. Does Stoicism have something like that? And all the more so if you understand that fact, understand the way it works. Please try your request again later. So Christianity has original sin: we inherited the sin.. or simply...something not great that goes all the way to Adam and Eve. 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