On Wasting too much Time with Stoic Theory

This blog has been on hiatus for about six months—and there’s a reason for that.  I decided that I was spending too much time thinking and writing about Stoicism, and not enough time practicing it. 

On 13 January, 2017, I wrote the following as a private journal entry to myself.  Then I virtually stopped long-form writing entirely, began focusing more on memorizing key passages from Stoic texts, and started keeping a much shorter-form journal, more in the style of Marcus Aurelius.  I think the effect on my practice has been quite positive!  I’ll write again more in the future, most definitely, but taking a step back from writing this year has been a good exercise that has helped me keep my priorities in perspective!

Writing about one’s philosophy is like owning a house. You tend to it, you maintain it, and there is always something you can do to organize it better, something to dust off or polish, or a new addition to build or design idea to implement. All together, it is supposed to give you a solid, clean platform for living your life: you take care of it specifically so you don’t have to worry about it while you attend to the things that matter. In the end, however, a house can easily come to own you, rather than the other way around. At my age I still just rent an apartment—but how many times have I used various chores and organizational tasks as a pretense that draws me away from the duties and joys of living? House work is important, but it needs to support flourishing, not take away from it. So it is with reading and writing. Continue reading “On Wasting too much Time with Stoic Theory”