Finding Your Way - Through Your Why

Tag: #philosophy

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The Benefits of the Stoic Mind

The benefits of the stoic mind are relevant perhaps now more than ever. Even though the teachings and philosophical views go back to around the 3rd century BC, the learnings may be even more practical today. Our lives are full of social, political, career, personal and media driven distractions. It is often hard to center oneself on what is necessary to focus on let alone deal with the challenges that the modern life is placing in front of us.

Here is an old story that helps frame up the teaching of stoicism quite well:

An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is angry, jealous, greedy, resentful, lies and and has a big ego. The other is Good. It is full of joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.” The boy thought about it, and asked, “grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

Which wolf are you feeding?

Introduction to Stoicism

old domed ceiling with sunlight shining through to show the enlightenment benefits of the stoic mind
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Let’s shed some light on the belief system that Stoicism operates within.

In the most simplistic terminology, Stoicism was designed to help people live their best lives possible.

Stoicism is a life philosophy that centers around positive emotions. The goal becomes reducing negative emotions and helping individuals to develop virtues of character.

Stoicism provides a framework for living a life well-lived. It teaches what is truly important in life. In addition, it also centers on providing tactics to bring more positive outcomes into our circle of influence.

Stoicism was created to be understandable, actionable, and practical. Practicing Stoicism doesn’t require learning an entirely new philosophical methodology or meditating for hours a day. Instead, it offers an immediate, useful and seamless way to find tranquility and improve one’s attitude, behaviors, and overall state of mind. It is a life practice that not only can improve our way of living, but also help us discover our purpose.

The Foundation of Stoicism

ancient greek temple to contextualize the benefits of the stoic mind
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Stoicism was an attractive school of thought during the 3rd century BC because it provided compelling answers to anxiety, stress, fear, and troubling questions to life at the time. The Stoics offered an operating system that dealt with the trials of the human condition that are quite relevant today.

The teachings largely center around pulling into the front and center of one’s mind more positive behavior. Thus, that focus resulted in a more positive mindset. All of this focus was targeted to avoid the negative focus and negative outcomes of life.

A handful of thinkers helped to form the Stoic philosophy:

  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • Zeno of Citium
  • Epictetus

Our ancestors have taught us the benefits of the stoic mind. They have helped us pave our way to understanding life so that we can attain the most positive outcomes we desire.

The Four Habits of The Stoic Mind

notebook checklist to put into practice the benefits of the stoic mind
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  • Accept What is only True

We often can get caught up into gossip. It is a human condition that we must resist. The reason being is, more often than not, gossip drives negativity in our lives. When you hear gossip, ask yourself where it is coming from? Does the affirming party truly have proof of this gossip? Ask them if they have proof. If they do not, then kindly ask them not to tell you or do not reciprocate.

  • Work For the Common Good

Do right by others. Be a good humble individual. Give more compliments than complaints. By being an overall kind, empathetic, loving individual, you will attract more of those traits into your life through giving them off.

  • Match Our Needs and Wants with what is in Our Control

Life is neither good nor bad; it is the space for both good and bad.

Seneca

Think of life as a hand of cards. You didn’t control the hand you were first dealt. However, you do control how you play that hand. Essentially, even with a more difficult draw of the cards, we can win. Conversely, with a great hand we can overestimate our good fortune and still lose. The situation we are dealt in life is mostly neutral. It is the actions we take after the hand is dealt that matters.

  • Embrace what Nature has in Store for Us

O world, I am in tune with every note of thy great harmony. For me nothing is early, nothing late if it be timely for thee. O Nature, all that thy seasons yield is fruit for me.

Marcus Aurelius

Let us work to control only our direct surroundings. Even those at times we can’t fully control. Bringing fear and anxitey into our lives over issues we aren’t generating isn’t healthy. What we do control is how we respond. We always have the power of “choice.” Place our focus there.

Taking Action

person holding world globe  and taking the benefits of the stoic mind into practice
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Putting into practice the benefits of the stoic mind can help change our lives for the better. It does require some action and effort around mindset.

Take one of the four mentioned habits of the stoic mind and put it into place immediately in your life. You’ll see instant benefit if you adhere to the practice daily.

Once you gain the benefits of others, work the other mindsets into your daily life as you are able. Pause and reflect on what is happening in your life. With the benefits of the stoic mind fully employed, you will find your life with:

  • less anxiety
  • lower stress
  • better health & wellness
  • more focus and mental fortitude
  • more meaning and happiness

What benefits have you had from practicing more of a “Stoic Mindset?” However we are living now in these challenging times of change, we stand to benefit even more through practicing the Stoic teachings.

I’d love to hear from here from you! Feel free to post a comment or engage in the conversation.

The 7 Principles of the Kybalion

The Kybalion and Hermetic principles dates back to around 5,000 years ago. It is a compilation of Hermetic teachings. These doctrines are based on 7 principles of the Kybalion, originally explained by Hermes Trismegistus. The Kybalion provides a Master-Key for students to unlock the fundamental and basic teachings of esoteric philosophy. It has been said that one will find the Kybalion when one is ready to discover its teachings.

There are seven Hermetic principles that the entire philosophy is based on. Together, these seven principles constitute an explanation of the basic laws that apply to all of creation.

The Three Initiates

The Kybalion was written by the Three Initiates. As their name suggests, the authors were three students of Hermetic philosophy. Throughout time, Hermetic teachings were passed down through word of mouth teaching, but the Three Initiates decided to document the core principles of the philosophy in order to help it reach a wider audience. The Three Initiates are never named and remain anonymous, although many suspect that New Thought pioneer William Walker Atkinson was one of the authors.

Hermes Trismegistus

Much of the teachings of the Kybalion originate from the ancient sage Hermes Trismegistus. While he was alive, his wisdom reached across the known continents of the time. The Egyptians nicknamed him “the scribe of the gods.” The Greeks referred to him as the “god of Wisdom.” The ancient Romans bestowed him with the name “Mercury.” In his time, Hermes discovered alchemy, which developed later into modern day chemistry. He generated the concept of astrology, which later became astronomy. For his wisdom, he was known as the “Master of Masters.”

Hermes Trismegistus

The Secrecy Behind the Kybalion

The Kybalion has been occulted since it’s existence. That isn’t to say it is dealing with black or “dark magic” theories. The world “occult” simply means hidden, or kept secret. There are beliefs that government organizations have worked hard to generate the recognition that occult means bad. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

We can certainly see how Hermes and his followers wanted to keep their teachings in hiding. Throughout much of known history we see how those not following the mainstream teachings of the known time faced persecution and even death. Thus, the teachings of the Kybalion were never formalized into any formal religious doctrine.

The Kybalion and Hermetic principles have religions discussed within them from many different regions of the world and belief systems, yet they are not tied to any one religion denomination.

Why Read the Kybalion?

The philosophy and teachings laid out in the Kybalion demonstrates the basic principles of the Hermetic art of mental alchemy. These basic teachings of the 7 principles of the Kybalion involve the mastery of mental forces. When ones learns to apply universal laws, they will possess the key to performing mental transmutation and alchemy. This empowers the student of these principles to adjust their vibrational states. By studying the laws in The Kybalion, a person can learn how to change their reality by simply shifting their focus in their mind.

One of the basic fundamental teachings in The Kybalion is that we live in a mental universe. Even though we see ourselves and experience the physical reality we see before us, All is mind. Thus, understanding how to come into vibrational synchronicity with this vast universal potentiality, we can learn to always live within our best selves. Learning these mental shifts is how we ultimately attain our truest potential and highest abilities.

So it comes down to whether or not one wants to challenge their current belief systems and seek to learn different perspectives on mental alchemy. Are you open minded and ready to accept new possibilities?

The 7 Principles of the Kybalion and Hermitic Teachings

    1. The Principle of Mentalism
    2. The Principle of Correspondence
    3. The Principle of Vibration
    4. The Principle of Polarity
    5. The Principle of Rhythm
    6. The Principle of Cause and Effect
    7. The Principle of Gender

I will be delving into each of these teachings and the meanings behind them in subsequent blog posts.

I hope that anyone reading will join in on the learning and partake in some good Q&A.

The path to self discovery begins with asking “why” –

“Know Your Why” – the rest will follow.

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