Do I need to embrace Stoicism?
As school of philosophy that thrived from approximately 300 BC to 200 AD (though similar philosophies and beliefs existed prior to and after that period), of course I had never gathered with others in the stoa, or porch. Stoicism is still a weird creature to me.
As a matter of fact, I am just 36 years by now, 2022. Typing my laptop keyboard here, while sipping my Kapal Api coffee and lit my Magnum Hitam cigarette.
I am just stroked by the idea, the main goals of Stoicism: to attain freedom from passion and fear. It will be amazed when I can fully embrace the fact that “…the chief good is a rational life, and the chief evil is death. The wise man will wish to die when he is weary of life when he has lived his life and achieved his purposes; for there is no greater evil than death, nor any pain that can be compared with it.”
What do I (want to) believe?
First, I need to know the dichotomy between things I can control and those I can’t. I should focus on the things that are under my control, and not worry about external forces.
So, virtue is the only good, everything else is “indifferent” (meaning it’s neither good nor bad), and no external thing or circumstance can ultimately affect my character. I just need to be indifferent to all non-essential elements in life, including pain.
The only evil is fear, this is the only thing that leads me to irrational behavior. I am supposed to be free from fear and not be bothered by things that are outside of my personal control, like whether or not I am going to die today, July 29th 2022 at 3.40 a.m.
I will study what I can control, and then focus on what happens in my life. Then I will take action towards the things I can control, and accept the rest.
I am not worried about life and death but trying to make my life have more meaning. I do everything for myself. I have no fear of death. I do not care what happens after I die. This way, I believe that everything is in my control. That is why I decide to have many friends, and I do not care whether they will betray our friendship or keep the loyalty on hold.
I put my life into motion based on individual responsibilities. It’s up to me to determine what I can control and what I can’t and then to take action towards what is in my control. I recommend that individuals not believe in supernatural forces or divine beings. There is no true evil.
I will pursue wisdom, even though it’s subjective and oftentimes someone else prey on my ignorance.
I will pursue knowledge, though being self-sufficient and loving myself before others is at paramount importance.