Thinking About Reason

The reason of which I’m thinking is the ‘this is the reason why I can’t come to lunch’ meaning of the word. I’m thinking about the ‘Thinking about’, kind of reason. The kind of reason that separates human from beast. There is some debate about whether any ‘beasts’ actually do use reason, but that is something for a different blog post.

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Using reason, considering things more deeply, and moving beyond the obvious into much more, these are the things that help us to do better things, or to do things in a better way. Reason, consciously used, allows us to consider effects, and work to understand the things that occur in our lives. Reason, rather than emotion, is the logical way to get to the actual truth of matters.

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Not sleeping, thinking!

Reason allows us to consider ideas, and apply our own knowledge, and knowledge from other sources, to ascertain the actual truth of things. If we use reason, we will discard false ideas, and endeavour to correct ideas found to be untrue. Reason helps us to think about things, and arrive at responses based on truth, not falsity.

Intuition is often given by some people as the sole reason for a decision, but actions based only on intuition, may well give a totally wrong idea, when further thought and ‘reasoning’ would have taken that intuition, and shaped it into a more nuanced and true idea.  Emotion can also lead a person to false ideas. Wanting something to be true, will never actually make a thing true. But the wanting, connected to reason, can work toward a process that may well bring the wanted thing, into fruition.

Stoic thought goes very strongly toward reason, in fact reason, used properly, will lead to Wisdom, and the gaining of Wisdom, as applied to all in life, is the ultimate goal for all, to lead to the living of the truly Good Life. This is a basic aim of Stoicism. This is not a life where we have all of our wants fulfilled, but rather a life where all of our actions performed lead to the greater, rather than only personal, good.

The satisfaction of hunger, or any base or strictly animal needs, at the expense of higher needs, such as the need for deeper thought, are not going to lead to that greater Good, the Good Life that is or should be the ultimate aim for us all. Hunger is a need that should be fulfilled, yes, but how often to people go overboard with it, and have more than they need?

The consequences of this overindulgence are many, and if all chose to only have enough, instead of too much, what a wonderful thing that would be, for all. Moderation is a key to a better life, meeting needs, but not ‘wants’ …
What do you think about this? Does it seem relevant to living a Stoic life? I’d love to hear/read what you think about this. Please leave a comment!

Happy Stoic New Year

Some End Of Year Stoic Thoughts To Take Into 2020

If a thing is beyond my control, I am not to blame for it, but if it was under my control, I must think deeply on why I allowed it to be.

Planning for the good to occur is a joy, planning for the bad, is a blessing … The sensible person spends at least as much energy planning for the bad, as for the good.

Everything that happens is a chance to learn. Nothing is good or bad, unless it brings no further reflection.

If I cannot be said to be at fault, I will not accept blame. If I was at fault, I will look closely at why it happened, and will take action, as appropriate, to ensure it doesn’t happen again, if such action is possible for me.

When considering my best action, I will look at the broader picture first, not only the best for myself only.

Being a member of a group is an opportunity to reach heights, but if others in the group are unable to reach them with you, you have in truth failed.

Any problems being faced now, will become irrelevant in the future, no matter how big the problem. We all will die …

If you were there when it happened, and did nothing to stop it, can you really say it wasn’t your fault at all? If you had no control over it at all, yes, otherwise no. Always do what you can if, and when, you can.

You are not one person only, you are a member of the group, the community, the world. Do all you can do, to help the best good come to all.

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If you lack the courage to do a thing this time, will you ever have the courage when you have not option but to do it?

A tree that always follows the usual direction of the wind, is a tree that will fall when the wind direction changes. Nature knows this, and acts accordingly. Let Nature be your guide …

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Facing fears and acting teaches you to be strong, hiding away from fears allows them to hurt you, over and over again.

If it is wrong for you to do a thing, but others are doing it, it is still wrong for you to do it …

 

Facebook & Being a Stoic?

Social Media has a lot to give to our lives, but it can also take much away. I am certainly conscious of the many hours I spend, mindlessly scrolling my days away on Facebook and Twitter. I comment, reply, ‘like, and share, and not much gets done, or changed or saved.

There are other ways of course, to be. I feel that a website and blog such as this one leads me to producing more considered words, requiring much more thought on my part. Thinking about truths as I see them, can bring further discussion, and the give and take of that process is, or at least can be a valuable thing, for those involved in the discussion.

I have a number of website/blogs, quite a few, actually, on different topics. My first one has been around for many years, and only has new information put on it for a particular yearly event, to help promote a poetry competition I am involved with. This is linked to the writing group I began back in 2005, and it is very dear to my heart, giving the chance for other poets in Australia to write poems that may win them good money, if they are good enough, in the way they address the particular theme/topic for the year.

I am the President and Competition Secretary of this group, and I feel what I am doing for others is a chance I have received myself in the past. Giving my time to my broader community in this way feels like a good thing to do, and given that it makes me happy as well, it’s difficult to see any reason why I should not do this. The time I spend every year, when the poetry entries begin arriving, is time I may otherwise waste by scrolling through Social Media, as I mentioned earlier. Writing up poetry entries is a far better way to spend my time.

The money that poets pay to enter this competition goes straight to costs in running the competition, and to the award winners, and I try to have judges who will appreciate performing this role. Judging the poetry of others is a great way to gain a better understanding on what makes a good poem, a winning poem.

The thing about Social Media though, that can be a good and Stoic thing to do, is the sharing of words with others. Good and inspiring words can help a person to find reasons for making good decisions. I have shared a few of these over the years, and I love it when others feel my words are useful ones. Here are a couple of my recent ones:

Be rich in your heart, and other riches become far less important.

Living your life well relates not to things, but to feelings and thoughts.

Do you feel these are useful words for the Stoic to bear in mind? As I have indicated elsewhere on this blog, I am in my early stages of my Stoic life, and I welcome any feedback from others which may assist me as I travel my path in Stoicism.

I didn’t put my name to those words on Facebook, when I posted them, although they were on my own Facebook page. I felt the sharing of the words there was a good thing, but claiming them outright as my own felt too prideful. Is that going to far, or is it the best way to go? The Stoics back 2000 years ago were often writing their words in private, but they spoke about these things with others. It’s an interesting conundrum, be ‘out there’ or be enclosed. Be humble is the Stoic way, I write these things for the getting of understanding for both myself and for interested others.

Again, any thoughts on this are most welcome. Thank you.