Resolutions, meditations and stoicism
I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions; if you're going to do something why wait until 1st January and add the stigma associated with possible failure.
This year, however, I decided that I would read more, especially philosophy which is a long standing but under explored interest.
I have been interested in the Stoics for a number of years having quoted and expanded on the likes of Seneca in the past. When I questioned the validity of my daily posts as a body of work they were compared loosely, and favourably, to Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. Good company to keep.
So it was to my surprise and delight that I came across "The Daily Stoic" by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman (366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living) in a local branch of a chain of book shops. Curiously, it was the only philosophy book in the store and happened to be tucked away in the religion section.
A lucky find.
The book is written as to be consumed in bite sized chunks - one meditation (stoic quote) per day accompanied by a thought or explanation for added context, although there is nothing to stop you from reading it all in one go.
I think that defeats the purpose.
Having one thing to focus on per day, a kind of philosophical devotional, is a great way to step back from the bustle of life and may serve as inspiration for a post - although that won't be every day.
I'm not a religious person but am increasingly spiritual in a non-religious sense. Spirituality may have originated with religion but its meaning and concept has expanded over time.
According to Wikipedia, spirituality:
"aims to recover the original shape of man," oriented at "the image of God"
What is philosophy if it is not trying to establish the original shape of man? With or without the divine.