Stoicism 101: A Primer on How to Be

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June 16, 2015



Stoicism is an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

That's the textbook definition. But it's more functional to get to the how.

Doing is the best way to learn.

Stoicism keeps the following beliefs:**

  • If you are unhappy, it is your fault.
  • Everything is temporary
  • We are social beings with a social duty
  • Hedonism is not the path to happiness
  • Fame & Fortune are overrated
  • A philosophy of life must be lived
  • Do not long for an ideal situation
  • Maximize positive emotions and minimize negative emotions


  • Rephrase goals so that they are entirely within your control
  • Have nothing you are not prepared to lose
  • Live simply
  • Negative visualization
  • Exercise self-denial
  • Resist materialism
  • Accept what cannot be changed
  • Refuse to consider yourself the victim
  • Practice misfortune
  • Live in accordance with human nature

Stoicism 101

If you are unhappy, it is your fault

You and only you can make you happy. Other people and other things cannot make you happy, but you can find happiness through their medium. Wood does not make one happy, but cutting, sanding, and assembling wood into a piece of art or furniture can bring happiness through the actions you take with it. Your girl may not make you happy, but being a leading force in your life, and by virtue hers, you can find happiness through the actions you take with her.

Inversely, you cannot, and should not expect to, make others happy. It is their responsibility to find happiness through the actions they take with you.

Everything is temporary

Life, relationships, your car, your relationships with women, are all temporary. Entering into the idea that I have a girlfriend is an easy way of saying, I don't have to try to do better because I locked down my girl This is laziness and sloth. Nothing is forever, but the longevity of things and relationships, and people can be extended through positive actions and regular maintenance and improvement.

We are social beings with a social duty

You are a social creature, and as such, you crave the interactions with other social creatures. You have friends, a girl or two, maybe children. These people comprise the network of which you have a social duty. You also have a social duty to those you work with, and your town, and your state, nation, and the world. Everything you do should be for the betterment of your circles of social duty. Social duty can lead to gaining AMOG status in a group.

Hedonism is not the path to happiness

Hedonism, a defining trait of the me generation, is the constant search for self-indulgence. Hedonism thrives on instant gratification and makes one dependent on the false idea that other things and other people can and should make them happy. Hedonism is being a spoiled child; hedonism is looking to lose weight without the effort; hedonism is wanting girls to fuck you without trying to be someone she actually wants to fuck. Hedonism is probably the main counter-point to Stoicism.

Fame & Fortune are Overrated

Fame and Fortune tie into hedonism; with these things, the ability, and temptation to have more and get more becomes overwhelming. Fame brings a false happiness because it depends on other people. Since only you can make yourself happy, the requirement of other people fame has nulls this ideal. Fortune is the more useful of the two, by itself. If the fortune you've accumulated is the result of fame (considering that everything is temporary, and the poor effects of hedonism) then consider that you haven't a fortune, but instead an amount of wealth that should be used to consider the future, your social duty to your family and community, and as a buffer to the temporary nature of everything.

A Philosophy of Life Must be Lived

Red Pill is not a philosophy; it is a praxeology; a science of human actions. Red Pill incorporates many concepts known through evolutionary biology, sociological and psychological studies of macor and micro groups, and some philosophies, mainly Stoicism. Stoicism is not something you are able to wade into, as with all philosophies, it must be lived to be understood. You can't know it unless you experience it, you cant' learn unless you do it.

Do Not Long For an Ideal Situation

This plays into the old axiom of, "The grass is greener on the other side." To be clear, it's the idea of thinking, "my life sucks, girls won't fuck me." Wishing and talking about it does not make it so. Doing, makes it so If your grass is dead and dying, standing outside and talking about how it needs to be watered doesn't actually make the ground wet. Instead, remember that "The grass is greener where you water it," and then go out and water the grass. Don't imagine a better life... make yourself to better to provide a better environment for your relationships to improve.

Maximize Positive Emotions and Minimize Negative Emotions

Negative emotions (anger, hate, resentment, etc.) are contraindicated when trying to make something better. Resenting your girl for whatever reason won't make her change her behavior, and it will kill your mood, and by extension, hers. Instead, know that: If you are unhappy, it is your fault and that you Should not long for an ideal situation. Be happy with what you have, happy that you know how to improve it, and happy that you know you can improve it. Maintaining a positive, optimistic outlook on what is happening allows you to see the possibilities that are hidden by negative thinking. If one is resolved to not getting rescued, he will not find much use in starting a fire.

Now let's examine how we can bring these beliefs to fruition through practice.

Rephrase Goals So That They are Entirely Within Your Control

Let's pretend you want to run a 5K race. You don't know how to run well, and by extension, you don't know how to train. You get out and run, haphazardly, whenever, and however. Race day comes and you turn in a paltry time of 26 minutes. You resolve to be faster so you say, "I will be faster next time."

This is garbage thinking. There is only an immeasurable "faster" and an immeasurable "next time." That's anything over your previous time from 1 second or more for a length of time from no until whenever. Use SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-limited

A SMART goal version of this example: "I will run a sub-25-minute 5K time in 12 weeks at the next scheduled race."

Apply these types of goals to everything, for Red Pillers, the best is to start with the gym: I will lose weight... I will lift x amount of lbs, and turn them into SMART goals. Once you have SMART goals, you have a time frame within you can apply a schedule and plan.

Have Nothing You Are Not Prepared to Lose & Resist Materialism

As Tyler Durden said, "You are not your fuckin' khakis."

Your car, your house, you clothes. These are things, material and simple. They are the product of your time, effort, and ability -the things you cannot live without.

If your car, house, and all your belongings burned to the ground tomorrow, you would still have the tools to bring those things back in some form. Your work allowed you the ability to pay for insurance to get new things when everything burns. Your work is the combination of your time, effort, and ability. These three things are the basis for all other material things you own. These are innate to you. Your house is not.

Live Simply

Living simply, or with austerity, allows you to appreciate the things you have. This does not mean live cheaply... or even frugally. One can own quality while living simply. Simple living leads to an uncluttered environment which extends to an uncluttered life. Your living space is a manifestation of your mind and your mind can be influenced by that living space. A simple living space has limited distractions.

Negative Visualization

Imagine a scenario where your house has burned down. Your family has no place to live, sleep, eat, etc. What do you do? Negative Visualization allows you to plan for the unexpected, or at least plan for the knowable problems that may arise. Your house is gone. Can you get a new one? If so, how? This is a good chance to exercise SMART goals. Figure out a problem that hasn't happened, and then plan for that contingency. This will give you a level of control over your life you didn't previously have. For Red Pillers, we do this as part of the process of swallowing what would happen if I never had sex again? How would I live? What would I do? How would I apply myself in a productive manner?* Negative visualization leads to an abundance mentality.

Exercise Self-Denial & Practice Misfortune

Exercising self-denial is the physical manifestation of negative visualization. Live, temporarily, in a way that deprives you of something you think you depend on. Some Red Pillers, while unplugging do this with sex; we call it "monk mode." We distance ourselves from the thing we thought we needed and from the people we thought we needed it from. In this, we find that we survive just fine and that we now have the energy to devote to maximizing positive emotions and working to make ourselves happy. One of the classic ways men practice self-denial is through camping; we commune with nature, with very little (the bare basics in most cases,) and if you do it backpack-style, you limit yourself even further by way of what you carry and that you make yourself distant from society's technological boon, the car.

Accept What Cannot be Changed

You cannot change the way others are any more than you can change the rotation of the Earth or the expansion of the universe. In remembering that your happiness is made only by you you recognize quickly that attempting to change others is an exercise in futility. Instead, change yourself, as that is all that can be changed.

Refuse to Consider Yourself the Victim

You are not the victim. Inasmuch as you cannot change others to your whim, you need to accept that they cannot change you. If you feel the part of the victim, it is because you allowed that person, or situation, to keep you in a state of negativity. People do not victimize you, you allow yourself to be a target. Instead, stand up, defy the status quo as you have allowed it to form, and shake the foundations of what was formerly expected of you. Claiming victim-hood is founded in laziness and a lack of personal accountability.

Live in Accordance With Human Nature

As you should accept what cannot be changed directly, you should recognize that which can be changed indirectly. Humans are not special and different. While there are sociopathic and psychopathic exceptions, people tend to behave in very predictable ways. By working ourselves into that system, we can effect the changes we want to see in others simply by changing ourselves. With women, by simply being a better man, we find that our sexual outlook improves because the women around us adjust, and re-set themselves in a very predictable manner, to the new dynamic we have created. Trying to live as we were, pre-Red Pill leads to similar predictable behavior, just manifested in a different way.

Lessons Learned

As you unplug, lift, read, and better yourself, examine which of these basic tents you have been following and continue to apply them, and in bettering yourself, figure out which Stoic fundamentals you are missing and add them. We are working to better ourselves for the sake of ourselves and ultimately our marriages:

  • Are you unhappy? Whose fault is that? Stop considering yourself the victim.
  • Is your unhappiness permanent? It is not; Set SMART goals, Accept that you can't change others, and improve yourself.
  • You have a social duty to your family and friends. Have you been living up to that job? Start applying yourself to be better so that others can follow you.
  • Are you avoiding your problems in order to find happiness through self-indulgence? Seek happiness through self-improvement, not self-indulgence.
  • Do you wish things were better? That will not work; make things better. Improve yourself, be better at what you do, set the goals to bring the improvements to fruition.
  • Are you focusing on the negative aspects of your life? A negative thinker sees only the nots, a positive thinker sees the what ifs.
  • Are you depending on other people and things to make your life better? Step back, imagine a life without, practice that life without, and make a plan for when it happens.

Get a hobby, build something, and lift!

* I have altered the language from the original post to fit this sub's strategic language. I have made punctuation, grammar, and spelling fixes.

** I left out fatalism from the list as I don't believe that the idea of predetermination is unhealthy for our purposes. I think fatalism is an ideal from a time when men literally thought gods planned out our existence on a thread. Red Pill requires existentialism in order to be effective, otherwise we are looking to others to make our lives complete, gods withstanding.

Post Information
Title Stoicism 101: A Primer on How to Be
Author RPAlternate42
Upvotes 1361
Comments 144
Date 16 June 2015 05:58 PM UTC (5 years ago)
Subreddit TheRedPill
Original Link
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Red Pill terms found in post:
AMOGframemonk modeliftthe red pill

[–]creekcanary115 points116 points  (20 children) | Copy

Amazing post! This is a topic dear to my heart and it's amazing how it ties in to so many topics we talk about on TRP.

Just want to plug a book if anyone wants to dive deeper. The book "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy" is a great primer.

One of the biggest things for me is knowing the difference between things I can and cannot change. Accepting your sphere of influence can do wonders for your state of mind.

[–]Brave_Horatius10 points11 points  (2 children) | Copy

I'll second that recommendation especially for anyone who might be daunted at picking up the original texts.

I credit stoicism with me giving the red pill a chance tbh. Picked it up a couple of years ago in the chan /lit/ boards and when I wound up here recently a lot of what I was reading chimed with the stoicism I was already working hard on to internalise.

[–] points points | Copy

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[–]1996398 points9 points  (7 children) | Copy

Have you ever read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius? I've heard good things and was thinking about checking it out.

[–]pshuu8 points9 points  (2 children) | Copy

Absolutely. I have a pocket version which I often take with me on trips. I return to the lessons in that book often and have tried to internalise them over the years.

If you need any motivation to learn more about what Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations then this lecture (5 parts) is a great start.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

I appreciate you sharing this. I'm definitely going to pick up a copy of Meditations now. Highly recommend anyone who has 50 minutes or so to kill to watch this lecture.

[–]pshuu1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

No problem. It was a pleasure to watch and so a pleasure to share. I wish more people could appreciate the philosophy of this exceptional man!

[–]NewlySharpened3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Easily one of the best Stoicism book anyone can read. There's an abundance of quotes that would help any man have a better understanding of life. Would also recommend Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self Reliance"

[–]creekcanary1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I haven't read the book by itself, but a very large portion of the book I linked above talks about Meditations. Best would probably be to get both, because The Guide to the Good Life takes it apart and logically shows why stoic thought makes sense, and with Meditations you can actually read the original text.

[–]2niczar0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I listen to it in audiobook form from time to time, the version from is really great.

[–]pshuu1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Recommended reading, if only for a very digestible primer on most of the topics listed in the post.

[–]creekcanary0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Agreed. If you want a book to introduce you to these ideas, it's really very good.

[–]BroccoBaba3 points4 points  (3 children) | Copy

I prefer keeping the Steve Jobs mindset of believing there is nothing in the world I cannot change. Might not make me as happy, but it has worked well with university and career - as I often persist where others give up.

[–]creekcanary9 points10 points  (0 children) | Copy

That's great! Though a small suggestion -- there may come a time when some negative force enters your life of which you truly have no control, or you fail for a reason that is outside of your control, and if happiness is your concern (tranquility is the term they use over and over in the book), then the best course of action WILL be to accept your powerlessness over this thing, rather than futilely fighting it.

No use arguing with an indifferent sky, and all that stuff.

Of course, the trick is in being able to tell the difference between what you can and cannot control.

If you'll indulge me for a second, the way the author logically lays this out in the book I linked is REALLY good, so I'm going to lay it out here.

There is a three part model of control in life:

  1. Things that are completely within your control. These are things that you should diligently worry about, care about, think about, and work to perfect. These include your beliefs, to some extent your thoughts, how you treat others, and your actions generally. The reason you should care so much about these is because no one else has that responsibility, it's all on you.
  2. Things that are completely outside your control. The stoics take this to its logical conclusion and say you should not worry AT ALL about these things, because it's ultimately pointless and a waste of mental energy. If the sun will not rise tomorrow, what is your worrying going to accomplish? Other things include the actions of others, the thoughts of others (hence in the OP saying you cannot make others happy -- that's their job), random acts of mother nature, the inevitability of aging and death, and so on. It's not that these things aren't awful, it's that our worrying and hand-wringing is not going to change anything.
  3. The final part is the most interesting and maybe most common. Things that are partially inside and outside our control. For example, what if you're a pro tennis player about to have a big match? Should you worry tirelessly, since you can control your play in the match, or should you not worry at all, since you cannot control your opponent's level of preparation and practice? The answer is in the OP when he says "Rephrase Goals So That They are Entirely Within Your Control". Rather than saying "my goal is to win the match", you should say "my goal is to prepare to the absolute best of my ability and play as well as I possibly can".

Most elite athletes actually have that mindset. They might lose, and feel great, because they know they played their absolute best. And they might win, and feel like shit, because they know they made a lot of mistakes in their play. It's all about focusing on what you can control.

Steve Jobs was a tenacious guy, but we only know from hindsight that he was the winner over and over again. While many of those wins were because of him, at least some of it may have been due to circumstances outside of his control. If you want to emulate him, just make sure that your goals are phrased in such a way where it is truly within your control, and acknowledge your powerlessness over the actions of others. For example "I, Steve Jobs, want to revolutionize the User Interface for Personal Computing" rather than "I want to create an insanely popular product". The first one is totally within his control, the second one is not.

tl;dr: An explanation of the three-part model of control.

[–]plentyoffishes1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Ok I'm kind of like you in that way, but the RP crowd will say you're WRONG or BP or something because you are trying to change what is. I think there is a way to do both. You need to fight for what you believe in and try to make the world better (including not accepting lame things like "shit tests" as "just how it is"), as well as maximize your happiness levels given the current sitation (in the case of relationships, some of the RP truths).

[–]mediumcappucino1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Tbh I found some good nuggets in that book, but its written terribly. The author is quite self indulgent rather than being effective.

[–]Stones720 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

A little late to the party here, but does anyone have a free PDF/Ebook version?

[–][deleted] 17 points18 points  (0 children) | Copy

Stoicism is a mindset that builds on itself. As you grow in your stoicism, it becomes harder and harder for events or people to jar you out of your frame. The past beta you would be jarred or thrown off course by shit that comes your way. The stoic version of you would welcome the shit that comes your way and conquer and rise above it.

Stoicism can be applied to just about every way in your life. Actually one of the best benefits of stoicism is that people will notice and the ones that annoy you will likely stop when they see it has no effect on you. The other side is that your stoicism will lead others to trust you and value your thinking and decision process.

Stoicism, applied properly is the epitome of,"If you build it, they will come."

[–]Reanimate_8729 points30 points  (4 children) | Copy

Meditation and stoicism go hand in hand - having control of your thoughts and thus your emotions is fundamental to this school. Meditation provides these fundamentals very well.

[–]Lord_NShYH4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy

Exactly. Meditation is not the same as day-dreaming.

[–]Razgriz162 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

While reading this, I could definitely make connections to stoicism and mindfulness (which I've been studying). Even more so, stoicism seems like a rephrasing of Buddhism in many ways. I thought that was very interesting.

[–]Endorsed Contributorvandaalen31 points32 points  (4 children) | Copy

That's the shit I love to see here! Perfect in any way.

I can't think of a thing to add here. Maybe some of you newbs might enjoy the serenity prayer, which is congruent with stoicism and helped me a lot before I discovered TRP:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Anyways. If we are talking stoicism it's time for some shameless self-promotion.

Follow me on twitter: @stoicissimus

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 23 points24 points  (1 child) | Copy

For the existentialists:

I must accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

[–]TexAs_sWag13 points14 points  (0 children) | Copy

Much better. I suspect most guys on here are believers, but I think submitting one's troubles to god is a delusion that strong, rational men need to eventually break free from.

[–]ModRedSovereign2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Normally awarding points is reserved for comments, but this is an exceptionally high quality post. Point granted.

[–] points points | Copy

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[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 25 points26 points  (1 child) | Copy

I regularly come back to these:

  • If you are unhappy, it is your fault.
  • Do not long for an ideal situation
  • Accept what cannot be changed
  • Refuse to consider yourself the victim

I apply this as a mantra to myself after most problems.

[–]Jax-T19 points20 points  (1 child) | Copy

Holy shit, man.. The Red Pill is like a gold mine or something.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 24 points25 points  (0 children) | Copy

A gold mine of information on a life properly lived?

Absolutely it is.

I'm married, so the PUA/plate-spinning aspect espoused herein isn't in my headspace, but RP has improved my life in a great many ways.

Like it's said all the time in here: once you open your eyes, you can't unsee... and if you could, would you want to?

[–]jx2346 points7 points  (4 children) | Copy

As an explanation of how it might be applied to your life, this is a fucking quality post. However, you shift quite far away from the definition of stoicism as understood by the stoics. For example, stoicism teaches that its not only irrational to feel negative emotions, but also positive ones. I think there's elements of stoic philosophy that I can draw on, but elements that I would reject. I think very few people would advocate a life completely devoid of hedonism, for instance. I'm not going to have a beer with my pals only if I think I've deserved it.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 8 points9 points  (1 child) | Copy

101... A primer.

I'd need an individual post to cover all the topics, individually.

I reject some elements too: like fatalism

Stoicism doesn't necessary teach to eschew all emotions, but to eschew any emotion which is detrimental to existing within a fatalistic lifestyle and to internalize all emotions anyways.

You can be happy... but you needn't advertise it all over the place.

And I really stretched to fit some aspects into a RP-centric post, and you can see that the argument I make on some, or the example I use, is weak. I did this as a stream of consciousness and without planning.

[–]jx2346 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah I couldn't have written anything half as good.

[–]CuddleMyNeckbeard9 points10 points  (2 children) | Copy

There also is a stoicism subreddit.

[–]wtf_is_taken2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is very cool. Thanks OP.

[–][deleted] 3 points3 points | Copy

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[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I understood fatalism to be in the context of all other tenets:

You're on a ride determined by the Gods, you can't change it, so you may as well be happy with what you can glean from it and disregard the rest.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

You're reading my mind. I sat through work thinking about how stoicism would benefit people in trp, and elsewhere, and here you are!

Everyone should check out their subreddit!

[–]kirby9872 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Best post on this sub for sure.

[–]1RBuddDwyer2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Stoicism looks a lot like Cognitive Behavior Therapy. I did not truly appreciate either one until I started researching both.

[–]Divided-Line2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Women are attracted to stupid shit. Modeling yourself after stupid shit and cultivating the least valuable aspects of your personality in order to generate her tingles probably gets in the way of any possibility of actual happiness.

You reprogram your personality to suit her, not yourself. You never figure out who you actually are or what you actually wanted. There wasn't any room for that because you were too preoccupied with chasing pussy, with catering to somebody else's desires.

[–]rymdsylt 2 points2 points [recovered] | Copy

I've learned that you should always question everything in order to learn. So here's a few of questions:

Be happy with what you have, happy that you know how to improve it, and happy that you know you can improve it.

Assume my girlfriend cheated on me. It goes without saying that I should end the relationship. But OP implies the opposite.

Are you unhappy? Whose fault is that? Stop considering yourself the victim.

Assume a person was raped. I can only imagine that he/she is actually unhappy by this. Maybe even depressed. OP implies that it's the person being raped's fault for being unhappy by this. He/she should instead be happy and not put any value into being raped, right?

Am I taking the text too literaly or do I just not get some parts?

[–]WarpingCat-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

He/she should instead be happy and not put any value into being raped, right?

No, that person should stop being unhappy because it won't change jack shit and will just prolong pain and misery.

It comes to what you can change and what you can't. If it already happened, you can't change it and there's no point in being unhappy about it. If you couldn't stop it or prevent it, you did nothing wrong and shouldn't prolong your misery.

If you could, though, than being unhappy is your fault, yes. You should always care only about what you can change. And you can change your future behavior from that point on to prevent that from happening again. Getting stronger? Staying away from danger? Good old revenge to show that mofo who he deals with? That will make you safer and happier in the long run. Care about that. Stop caring about what already happened.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (3 children) | Copy

Resist materialism

That's a tough one right after e3.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy

I think it's important to know it says resist and not eschew.

Resisting materialism is successful when you identify the bold line between need and want for an object.

[–]Myrpl5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy

Resisting materialism is successful when you identify the bold line between need and want for an object.

This really deserves to be in the OP, as a tip.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

The thing is, the majority of things like gaming are in fact the things we don't need and just want since they are there in the ether. So if the majority of them were to be eschewed we would actually be better off. That is why eventually in my spiritual quest I ended up on a path of reduction - reevaluating and getting rid of everything that didn't hold under the scrutiny of philosophical pragmatism. The process is simple too. You just use the unique trait we humans have - the ability to project into the future. What will happen if I keep gaming several hours a day? Needless to say gaming was one of the first things to go.

And majority of people don't even think about these things until they end up ruining their lives. Just because something is available to you, doesn't mean you should do it! Just because we can now have candy any time we want, doesn't mean it's a good idea to have it all the time. And so on with so many products and services. The culture of consumerism really does cause a shitload of unhappiness because it seems like everybody can't regulate a good number of their needs. So in that sense less is definitely more. I can tell you my quest for reduction of bs in my life has only yielded me progress and improvement in life.

[–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (6 children) | Copy

Great post m8 I r8 8/8.

As I said a million times TRP is not only about women but also bettering yourself as a person, while stoicism isn't the only way to do this, it's certainly a good start and has many principles that we as TRP can apply to ourselves.

Just for anyone who isn't sure what SMART goals are, they are;

Specific- you need to have a good idea, perhaps break a bigger goal into chunks, ie I want to get fit becomes I will jog 3 times and week and lift weights on a 5 day split.

Measurable- You need to be measure them, i.e I want to get stronger, I want to lift an extra 10kg

Achievable- i.e it can't be I want to lift 2000kg

Relevant- It needs to be related to the big picture of your main goal, i.e to be a better person, you should read philosophy or to get better at talking to women you should read game theory and talk to women instead of reading more D&D novels.

Time constrained- you need to bind your self to a time limit or you'll never do it, you need to say I'm going to do it today, not tomorrow, for example if you wanted to go Couch to 25k, you would need to achieve a certain amount of progress every week.

These can be used for creating short or long term goals for any scenario.

OP was a little lax on SMART goals explanation, but they're a good system, also due to how it works around the world they use different systems, achievable and realistic are in essence the same thing. I might make a META post where I go deep, deep into it, you know to help people make plans to get better.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 7 points8 points  (2 children) | Copy

I followed the posting rules, did I not?

Summary, body, lessons learned...

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Oops sorry my bad, I read summary from the thing before as TL;DR, great post.

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (2 children) | Copy

The way I see trp is that it's absolutely not about women, it's about bettering ourselves. Women come as a result of you being the best version of you therefore outcompeting the males in your group.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

It's not even about competing against other men it's about constantly fighting yourself everyday and improving. However with something like this you need a way to test it and women solve this since they instinctively appraise every man they come across. There would be no point in having super Saiyan level strength if there wasn't a Frieza to fight against.

[–]imgonnabethegreatest2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

10/10 comparison

I believe The Red Pill began as a way to attract women but it's certainly evolved to focus more on ourselves. People will still continue to hate trp, though, and that's fine. Let the lower 80% of men stay there.

[–]vitent1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Thank you for this, for those who haven't read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius i highly recommend it due to its relation to the topic.

[–]UnclutteRed 2 points2 points [recovered] | Copy

Hey man great post! You have any tips on some ways in which to remind myself of some of these key points each day?

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I just remember them. Writing this post, and editing it for this sub helped me remember a great deal of it. Mostly, you need to remember two things:

You cannot change what has happened and what has happened is not making you unhappy; you are.

[–]foldpak1111 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Any of you college kids should take up security work. Stoic becomes second nature when you are forced to walk around logging shit in and basically being a scarecrow.

[–]wheyapartment1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

"Everything you do should be for the betterment of your circles of social duty"

Fuck that.

[–]bertmaklinFBI2 points3 points  (7 children) | Copy

Any book recommendations?

I have seen many references to Meditations. Anything else?

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 6 points7 points  (1 child) | Copy

[–]Precocious_Kid3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

From the above list, I'd recommend starting with Seneca. Ad Lucilium epistulae morales AKA Seneca Epistles Volumes I-III, Epistles 1-124.

[–]kritzy271 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Definitely read Meditations. I'm unfamiliar with the works of other stoics.

[–]FinnianWhitefir0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I found this book super readable and I've given copies out to people I know. It really helped me.

[–]1dongpal2 points3 points  (4 children) | Copy

I never thought Negative Visualization is something positive. I do this all the time and I always tried to block it. My ex boss hated me because he knew I was the master of preparation. When he tried to have a group conversation because I did a thing wrong he didnt tell me any details beforehand because he knew that once I know few things I can turn it around and find loops easily in a conversation.

whatever I do I always assume that it could go wrong and what would happen if xyz happens etc

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

Why do you not think negative visualization is a good thing?

[–]1dongpal0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

because when you always prepare for the worst and this means you always think negative

example : the weather is nice, you think " man thats nice !" then you start to prepare for the worst (which means, negative thoughts ) "what would happen if it rains now!? what if sweat too much now? what if ...." . to prepare for bad things you think negative

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

Planning for the worst doesn't cause negative emotions; you simply have negative emotions you apply to the planning.

Be happy that you are well-prepared for that problem rather than being sad that the problem occurred. If you are upset that a problem may occur you will never be in a positive position to effectively work that problem.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Same. I would make contingency plans for what I'd do immediately after my father passed away to properly handle his estate. I would then block out the thought.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Stoicism changed my life. Could post some Epictitus or Seneca later, but for now just some Marcus (from my falling-apart scribbled-out Gregory Hays translation).

Everything is temporary

"The age of Vespasian, for example. People doing the exact same things: marrying, raising children, getting sick, dying, waging war, throwing parties, doing business, farming, flattering, boasting, distrusting, plotting, hoping others will die, complaining about their own lives, falling in love, putting away money, seeking high office and power.

And that life they led is nowhere to be found."

Do Not Long For an Ideal Situation

"Remember how long you've been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn't use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned you, and if you don't use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return."

Refuse to Consider Yourself the Victim

note: There are a billion here (this is essentially what Stoicism is about) but here's a couple favorites:

"Choose not to be harmed - and you won't feel harmed. Don't feel harmed - and you haven't been."

"So other people hurt me? That's their problem. Their character and actions are not mine. What is done to me is ordained by nature, what I do by my own."

"Someone has done wrong... to himself. Something happens to you. Good. It was meant for you by nature."

A philosophy of life must be lived

"Doctors keep their scalpels and other instruments handy for emergencies. Keep your philosophy ready too.

We are social beings with a social duty*

"...[keep] in mind that all rational things are related, and that to care for all human beings is part of being human. Which doesn't mean we have to share their opinions. We should listen only to those whose lives conform to nature. And the others? He bears in mind what sort of people they are - both at home and abroad, by night as well as day - and who they spend their time with. And he cares nothing for their praise - men who can't even meet their own standards."

Rephrase Goals So That They are Entirely Within Your Control

"Ambition means tying your well-being to that what other people say or do.

Self-indulgence means tying it to the things that happen to you.

Sanity means tying it to your own actions."

Fame & Fortune are overrated

"Look at who they really are, the people whose approval you long for, and what their minds are really like. Then you won't blame the ones who make mistakes they can't help, and you won't feel a need for their approval. You will have seen the sources of both - their judgements and their actions.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Solid post and great reminder on SMART goals.

Specific – target a specific area for improvement. Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress. Assignable – specify who will do it. Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources. Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I guess I have been stoic since age 23 or so without knowing it.

[–]Razgriz160 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

What are some good or the best books to read on stoicism?

[–]TRP Vanguard: "Dark Triad Expert"IllimitableMan7 points8 points  (1 child) | Copy

  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

  • Letters From A Stoic by Seneca The Younger (often shortened to "Seneca")

Great books. Marcus Aurelius has one book. Seneca has some other stuff, mostly discourses and fragments.

Once you read those guys, there are only 2 other stoic philosophers with surviving texts from antiquity:

  • Epictetus

  • Musonius Rufus (Epictetus's teacher, but less of his work survived)

These were the main Roman stoics. There were lots of Greek stoics too, but none of their work has survived as far as I'm aware of - lost to history.

[–]Razgriz160 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Thank you, very much appreciated.

[–]all_the_right_moves0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

This is fuckin' grade-A. I've wondered what the specifics of Stoicism were ever since I came here, and now that I see them, I realize that I've been unknowingly adopting this mindset very thoroughly over the past year or so. Now I can adopt it even better.

[–]kalstate0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

** but it could be fate that lead us here (great post, btw!)

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[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Negative visualization is about abstract self deprivation: what if I didn't have a house tomorrow, what if my kid died tomorrow, what if I lost my arm tomorrow.

It's not about disaster planning, but being prepared for a possible negative outcome... On any level.

[–]flexiblehold0 points1 point  (6 children) | Copy

Great post!

I have a quibble with the wording of one part...

"Refuse to Consider Yourself the Victim"

I would instead say:

"Refuse to Remain a Victim, and Avoid Becoming One in the First Place."

If a woman cheats on you, you are a victim. If you let her continue to victimize you by not then making the tough decision of nexting her, or if the warning signs that she might cheat were apparent and you did nothing, then you must take responsibility. If you are otherwise a good man and blind-sided by someone's actions, it's not necessarily true that you were not victimized. Just don't remain a victim; and be merciless to those who've shown a willingness to victimize you.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children) | Copy

I get your meaning

I read it from a position that claiming victim hood of someone's actions is the same as validating yourself through someone else: it works into, if you're unhappy, it's your fault.

If she cheats on you, she loses, not you. You'll next her, leave her whoring ass to chad and ultimately to no one because chad will pump and dump her. You can't be a victim if you can say, "bye Felicia!"

[–]flexiblehold-2 points-1 points  (4 children) | Copy

Let's put it in more concrete terms. Suppose you're married and trying to have kids. What if Felicia, through cheating, contracts HIV and then gives it to you? Nexting her is not a cure to HIV, you were victimized.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

Let me A&A this pedantic shit:

Felicia could shoot me Felicia could run me down with her car Felicia could stab me Felicia could mastermind a plan to have me me kidnapped, taken to Brazil for an unwanted sex change and then sold into slavery where my inverter penis vagina hole gets raped daily by any number of Mexican cartel teenagers.

I told you I got your meaning. Don't be pedantic about it, I was trying to explain my view on the subject in broad terms.

[–]reigorius0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Your wording here appear not very stoic to me...

[–]flexiblehold-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

So you agree that it is possible to be a victim. You should consider rewording your manifesto accordingly.

[–]GregFo310 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

This is a great post. I am not familiar with stoicism but I feel it has many of the traits that I would describe as manliness. I personally have been frequenting the side A great site of being a modern man is this pc culture.

[–]whaturpriceforflight0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

This is what I come to TRP for

[–]GroveLA0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Amazing post. This is exactly the shit I needed to read today.

[–]hiiighpower0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

One of the best breakdowns of the fundamentals of Stoicism I've ever read, thank you so much for this. This will be reread many times.

[–]Jimmy_Big_Nuts0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Stoicism is very RP. Good post OP. Will save this to re read in future. Great self help.

Love how TRP is a frequent font of wisdom, diverse knowledge, genuine discussion, teaching, learning. It is the best general forum - and it makes sense that this is the place. We mostly came here to freely talk about dealing with and managing bitches - we learned we need to self improve, we are strongly motivated (realising self improvement will get you laid better with better women and make most aspects of your life better is a good motivator). And the fact that straight talking about pimping hoes flushes out the holes, the manginas, and all the bluepill losers that hate this sub, merely helps concentrate the focus and quality. Great sub, great contribution OP, great mods, etc.

[–]1RXRob0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

This is the post to show people when they ask what TRP is

[–]TexAs_sWag0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Thank you for the post. Of course, this is exactly what I do not need to be reading just 3 days before I head to Vegas for EDC.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

I like this post but I'm not into the negative visualization bullet point. Its far better to visualize a positive situation and imagine how you would capitalize off the situation. Negative visualization can become a bad habit if you're prone to being a worrier/pessimist.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Stoicism doesn't say you can't positively visualize. Negative visualization is about knowing that you can be without and still be.

[–]Heldenhaft0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I needed this! Thankyou for this wonderful post!

[–]look_at_you0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Batman is a great practicer of stoicism

[–]D3STRUCTI0N0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Very informative post each bullet point showed me a weak point that I was allowing in my life.

I must change myself in order to achieve the changes that I want to see, not wait on others to do it for me or hope for things to occur.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Once I discovered the shady shit celebrities go through off camera, I never wanted to be rich/famous ever again.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Nice post mate, thanks for this. Perfect timing for me and I hope you continue to get positive karma for it.

[–]plentyoffishes0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Most of that is great. The trouble I have with "not looking for the ideal" is that, it's easy to do what a lot of guys then do- settle. Yes, there is no ideal woman or ideal situation. But it's very easy to accept less than you can get, and tell yourself you are "happy" in your situation, instead of striving for a better one, or working to improve in general.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

It's not "don't look for an ideal situation," it's, "don't sit and think about the ideal situation... go and get the ideal situation."

Indeed, it literally is, "look for the ideal situation."

[–]ShitFapShower0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Thank you for this. This was truly inspiring really put the picture in my head.

[–]Xuixien_TheEpic0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Sounds like the Greek version of Buddhism.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

but what cannot be changed?

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Everything that has already happened

[–]SwallowRP 1 points1 points [recovered] | Copy

Social duty can lead to gaining AMOG status in a group.

Yeah, no thanks. We don't have a duty to anyone besides ourselves. No one's going to be there to help us just because 'social duty', that's the beauty of being men. The rest of the post was pretty good but this was just retarded.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Humans at social creatures.? We survived because we work and communicate well in small groups. You don't think helping a "bro" out has anything to do with social duty? You don't have friends? Your co-workers, family, and anyone else you associate with... These people in your small groups are who you demonstrate social duty to, whether you agree or not.

[–]ShounenEgo0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Found this post from searching. I posted a question about being stoic in asktrp a few minutes ago but perhaps you can answer me.

Hedonism, a defining trait of the me generation, is the constant search for self-indulgence. Hedonism thrives on instant gratification and makes one dependent on the false idea that other things and other people can and should make them happy. Hedonism is being a spoiled child; hedonism is looking to lose weight without the effort; hedonism is wanting girls to fuck you without trying to be someone she actually wants to fuck. Hedonism is probably the main counter-point to Stoicism.

This is my issue. I'm stoic but from my perspective, this isn't really desirable from the majority of women, since they're emotional-driven and they want someone who makes them feel. Does it mean that I should lax my stoic behavior or not?

Then in the next paragraph, you speak of fame and fortune tying to hedonism. Isn't having plates also tying with hedonism? From the little I know about stoics, they were promoting monogamy and abstinence.

I'm just saying that from what I see, stoicism is contradicting to red pill life, in the sense of "attract as many women as you like and do what is pleasurable for you".

[–]NeoreactionSafe0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

"Hedonism, a defining trait of the me generation, is the constant search for self-indulgence. ... Hedonism is probably the main counter-point to Stoicism."

Red Pill has a strong Hedonistic Faction who Spin Plates but do not reproduce.

I've called them the Infertile Alpha's.

There is a seeming contradiction between being Stoic and chasing pleasure.

In a "normal world" (something like Marriage 1.0) men naturally formed tight social bonds with women and declared them permanent in a contract. If this contract was violated the man's properties (house, assets, children) were protected and a woman was simply free to walk away with nothing. In such a scenario it was possible to produce up to 10 children with one woman in a lifetime.

Marriage 2.0 undermines everything so reproduction is now very difficult.

How one connects the dots from being Stoic in Marriage 2.0 to Plate Spinning and vasectomies is a little fuzzy.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

How one connects the dots from being Stoic in Marriage 2.0 to Plate Spinning and vasectomies is a little fuzzy.

I'm married, with two kids. If I divorced, I don't think I'd want any more kids, so a vasectomy would be useful to me. I also don't think I'd "spin plates" in the sense that it's discussed with such fervor here... two or three at the most.

I find great value in something that offers great longevity... Everything I buy is to be owned for as long as possible, so I would look for the same kind of traits in women.

But in order to get there I have to vet a large number of women and that involves all aspects of them to include their sexual compatibility with me.

[–]NeoreactionSafe1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

You are the Red Pill Married Man and you gain by holding Frame better and keeping that family alive.

In reality you are the genetic winner by having actual children, not just for the sake of hedonism.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

And remember... kids are a form of social proof too!

[–]NeoreactionSafe-2 points-1 points  (0 children) | Copy

Looks like a couple of the infertile ones downvoted you.

Don't let it bother you. Deep down everyone respects the man who in these difficult times can maintain Alpha frame in a marriage.

It would have been better if you didn't have a marriage contract, but you likely got into it long before Red Pill existed.

Keep up the masculine family life... never get lazy.

[–]SwagYoloJesus0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I always found "Fame & Fortune are Overrated"-type stuff a strange philosophy to truly believe in. As of right now, 100% of my problems are financial-related, and thinking back to the past 10 years, they always have been. I earn like 25% more than the average salary in my country, still, it's not enough to comfortably cover all the unexpected expenses that come up sometimes.

I am certain that financial independence would eliminate almost all the stress I'm facing from day to day, so no, fortune, or at least financial independence, is not overrated.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Fame & Fortune aren't the same as financial independence. Money for the sake of money isn't the same as money being used practically.

[–] points points | Copy

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[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (17 children) | Copy

Not really, something I find with westerners is they can't really understand Buddhism because they don't understand the process of letting go, and that's fine because it's not for them, it's for monks, but monks are the only actual belief of Buddhism.

Other than that it's very secular hence why people say it's a way of life, while this isn't accurate in the way they're thinking of, it's accurate when describing actual Buddhism.

Because of this secular nature, Buddhism usually just runs alongside whatever belief system it comes across, the Chinese, Tibetans, Japanese all practice it differently because they've added in things from their old previous religions. In reality it's Theravada school that's the closest thing to what the Buddha actually taught, because they have something on the lines of a bible for him, though it's inaccurate to say this since while it is important it's not nearly as important to the system as the bible is to Christianity.

So anyways I've digressed but in essence in comparison to the central tenants of Buddhism which are the only actual beliefs, Stoicism and Buddhism are actually quite contradictory.

[–] points points | Copy

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[–]Shanguerrilla0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You just defined multiple religions.. Christianity included.

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[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (13 children) | Copy

If you are unhappy, it is your fault.

  • Not really, suffering itself comes from the four noble truths, which in themselves are part of life.

Everything is temporary

-Not really again, the world under Buddhist belief is actually quite permanent in the cycle of reincarnation until you reach Nirvana

We are social beings with a social duty

-Not true, Buddhism holds no actual duty as such and recommends the severing of social relationships because they cause suffering.

Hedonism is not the path to happiness

-Not strictly true since Buddhism isn't about attaining happiness, those who are rich and in the Deva realm are certainly happy, they just eventually come to a point where they will feel suffering again.

Fame & Fortune are overrated

-Not strictly true either.

A philosophy of life must be lived

-Not particularly.

Do not long for an ideal situation

  • Exact opposite you should be prepared to throw away your life for the ideal situation.

Maximize positive emotions and minimize negative emotions

-This is similar to the Buddhist endgame, but Buddhism aims to stop suffering by stopping reincarnation aka life, hence why Monks let go of life.

Of your specific points.

-Happiness from within

Not true since Buddhism holds you can have some pleasure, albeit ephemeral in the grand scheme of things, from the material world.

  • living simply

Sort of, but this is actually attempting to reach Nirvana, it's not about living, it's about dying.

-denying hedonism

It's not about denying the pleasure that comes from hedonism, but attempting to reach enlightenment by forsaking the material world. The layman won't deny hedonism either.

-helping others

This is a belief but it's a broad one to be fair.


depends Buddhism accepts life and death, but these are permanent things, the cycle of life and death is pretty much permanent unless we break out of it.

The thing with western Buddhists is they tend to gloss over the nitty gritty of Buddhism, and just go oh, they're such peace loving pacifists, we should follow them instead of the monstrous Christianity. Hence why hardly any of them actually become monks, they just want to feel better about themselves. It also explains why people don't understand Buddhist motivated violence.

There's a lot to the core of Buddhism, but the majority of it can be summarized in one sentence.

All life is suffering, the only way to end all suffering is to end all life.

In reality my religion is eerily similar to a death cult, but it's definitely right about pretty much everything, how you end life though is by reaching enlightenment, which is in essence true death.

[–]longerdistance 1 points1 points [recovered] | Copy

The only thing central to Busshism as I understand it is the desire to reach Nirvana. Many different schools have many different methods for this. I don't see any reason to consider someone who has reached Nirvana "dead". They are quite alive, probably far more so than most of us because they don't constantly live within a world of abstract delusions.

They can perfectly well act through an ego and function in society, the only fundamental difference is that they realize it's just a game while we don't. Since they don't care about death or suffering and can see through ego-driven people instantly they have quite the advantage in that respect.

Nirvana is the ultimate redpill in a sense. There's a reason most successful people don't have much of an ego.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Once again I would suggest not using the word ego, as it has different connotations within philosophy, greed or desire driven would be more accurate.

Egolessness is also a true death of the soul, but it's not part of Buddhism, it's a part of Hinduism where all eventually surrender themselves unto the will of Brahman.

Also what you are thinking of isn't Nirvana, it's enlightenment, but yes it is the ultimate red pill.

When someone reaches Nirvana, They will be neither God, nor human, nor demon, but free from the cycle of rebirth, they from a mortal perspective can be considered dead, because they are not a part of this life.

[–] points points | Copy

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[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

ego for awareness or something.

That's what Ego is, at least the English word when it comes to philosophy.

I wasn't aware that there was a difference.

Yes a common trifle with English renditions/translations, and the splits between Buddhist sects. In essence how it works is that enlightenment puts you on the path to enlightenment, enlightenment is simply knowledge of the four noble truths and the consequence of action, the state of nirvana is when you truly put them into practice as such.

You seem to be arguing from a different position than mine, likely Mahayana, whereas at this point I'm only talking about core Buddhism. That's not to say you're wrong, but Buddha doesn't strictly preach non-duality of the universe, this comes from Taoist traditions, we could debate on this for a while, but neither of us would be wrong.

just mumbo-jumbo based on the ancient Hindu cosmology.

It's silly that you would argue this on the basis of no evidence, but would turn around and say the world is with utmost certainty non-dual.

to their world view, but it's almost completely redundant for us.

This is the number one stupid statement I get from westerners 'The Buddha couldn't have possibly predicted the rise of civilization like this' and then they start talking about some aspect of the eight fold path or five precepts that can't be followed in modern society. There's a lot of debate to be had, but the four noble truths are objective, and the middle path can be followed in modern society.

Yes there are ways that Buddhism could be adapted for the modern world, but outright denying reincarnation, is like denying Christ was the son of God and claiming to be a Christian. You can still hold christian values, but you aren't a Christian.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

All life is suffering, the only way to end all suffering is to end all life.

What about escaping the ego cage? That also leads to the end of suffering and doesn't require actual death. The ego dies but you go on. Isn't that enlightenment?

Also since we are flaming here: what is the main difference between taoism and buddhism? I remember finding some similarities in terms of living a simple life not spoiled by all the bs an ego drags you into. But taoism also seemed ambiguous as hell hence I couldn't conclude whether it was that similar to buddhism or it was in fact something completely different.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (3 children) | Copy

I'm not flaming, I'm just saying a lot of westerners don't really get the whole life is suffering type deal with Buddhism, they usually skim over it, though most westerners, and fairly so, just don't practice Buddhism because they don't want to let go of life as such. Often those who take it to the west are just trying to appropriate my culture to some end, largely money because there is a lot of money being thrown around in western temples, and a lot of them don't even preach the right things, so I can get a bit heated.

Rather than ego, I think you mean pride, since ego has a lot of other connotations especially with philosophy.

And no, losing pride is not enlightenment, the middle path and letting go are the key paths to enlightenment, you have to accept the world for what it is with an objective mind, and let go of it. Furthermore you're still entrapped within the cycle of reincarnation. The reason why all life is suffering is partly to do with the cycle, it's all linked, but the principle point is that eventually all life will suffer because that's how life works. The idea we follow to reach enlightenment in Buddhism is the middle path, because neither extreme is correct, gorging yourself on food isn't correct, neither is starving yourself, and this applies to a number of things, hence why Buddhists can be violent. With pride it's not necessarily a bad thing, it's an emotion we get when we help someone, this is actually the Buddhist definition of love as well, selfless self sacrifice, but nothing should be taken to excess.

Let's say you're at a slot machine, you keep spinning the wheel, you win and a bunch of gold coins come out, you then have to put the coins back in one by one and then spin again. This time a single black coin comes out, when you touch it you feel a pain as though lightning was coursing through your veins, you then put the coin back in and spin again. You continue to do this for eternity, sometimes a lot of gold comes out, sometimes it's a lot of black coins, sometimes they're mixed, you take a look around and there is an army of people like you playing on these machines. You feel entrapped, and you are, forced to have pleasure, forced to have that taken away from you, and forced to feel suffering, so you try your best to beat the game, neither coveting the gold, nor running from the pain. Eventually you don't feel pleasure when you get the gold, you don't feel pain when you take the black. Enlightenment is the ability to stop spinning the damn wheel.

Life itself is suffering and also cruel, because everything it gives you it takes away, but not everyone gets the gold coins either, some people roll only black coins, the only way to stop this is to stop playing the game.

flaming here: what is the main difference between taoism and buddhism?

I'm not in the least bit offended, and it's a brilliant question. In essence the two aren't so dissimilar, in fact the previously mentioned Zen school of Buddhism is a fusion of the two, combining the central tenets of Buddhism with many beliefs of Taoism. Taosim has many beliefs such as number throughout the universe etc. etc. but it can be summarized as the belief that every human is connected with nature and by following 'the way'(The Tao, which invokes living with nature, self improvement and living virtuously) they can become one with nature entering a state of immortality, prior to this they do reincarnate and possibly move to higher planes.

In essence Buddhism is as above, Life is suffering, the only way to stop suffering is to let go of attachment, walk the middle path and break the cycle of reincarnation. Thus in Zen we find a sort of fusion of the two, where upon following 'the way' and the middle path, introspectively you can find enlightenment.

So to answer your question, they are quite different, but not so much in that they conflict. Though Buddhism itself is like rice, it goes with a lot of things, a popular thing nowadays is Buddhist-Christianity, my mother was one who identified as such, as do a number of ethnic minorities.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Good stuff. Do you think the only proper way to practice Buddhism is to become an actual monk? I keep encountering these notions in books that try to allude to benefits of practising the way of Buddhism by not avoiding any facet of a modern life. I find that both a necessary tool for dissemination of these teachings and a contradictory concept.

For example, I can't seem to reconcile such notions as forgoing selfish attachments, becoming equanimous versus doing all the necessary things in order to survive in the modern world. Cause there are ton of things that one's gota do to keep roof over their head and provide enough resources for their family while living in a modern western city(living in Canada after moving here from Russia). The further I go into meditation the more I realize how little I actually need and how "external" so many of my projects/endeavours feel. So now when I get opportunities to get somewhere with these projects and engage with people, I am reluctant to proceed because it would mean further unnecessarily entangling myself within the silly maya, dealing with people who have no interest or respect for anything outside popular culture. Is any of it worth it, is my question. What is the way to go to reconcile this? Move to a country with appropriate values? To not worry about being affected by all these entanglements and do your best with practice? Go full hermit mode and simplify your life? I understand middle way should be applicable to everything but some things should be basic enough to be followed as unbending principles, no? Hope I'm not boring you with all these inquiries, I'm just glad to be able to discuss these things)

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

No the way to practice Buddhism is to only reach enlightenment and then walk the eight fold path, with the five precepts as a guide.

Enlightenment in Buddhism is actually a simple concept, the more you understood the argument put forward in my analogy, the more Enlightened you are. Though, that's only half, the other half is understanding that every action has consequences. I would say most understand the underlying principles here on TRP, but that is a guess, but a lot of people have some glimpse of Enlightnement, just not so many in the grand scheme of things.

It's not so much the actions, but the reasons behind them that matter in Buddhism, and reason is everything. The more you meditate the better.

Is any of it worth it

it depends, in the grand scheme of things, if it's a wager there would be more evidence for nothing happening, so you live a moderate life that you can be proud of, that's not to say you can't do great things, but don't aim for great things at the cost of your soul.

The point of middle path is that you don't necessarily lose yourself in either extreme, of desire and of nihilism. The thing about Buddhism is it focuses on the what is rather than the what ought to be. Everyone ought to live a good life, everyone should not take another's life, for then there would be no murder, which is one of the five precepts a guide of what is moral.

These are an interesting discussion, and I think a lot of them can be applied or taken to TRP, so I might create a main post or so discussing Buddhist philosophy and it's flexibility, namely the four noble truths, the five precepts and the eight fold path.

With the forgoing attachment, it's more about understanding them as the cause of suffering, you don't actually have to let go of the attachment itself, but merely accept it as it is.

For instance this mirrors TRP theory about abundance mentality of sorts, it's perfectly fine to have a plate/main plate/LTR, and you may enjoy this, at some point they may break the relationship by cheating on you, but it's fine, you don't need to suffer because of it, those who get oneitis, should go monk mode for a while. Most of what Buddha said was to guide the Layperson, but there are many other paths to enlightenment, though Laypersons will not find themselves on it.

"external" so many of my projects/endeavours feel.

This can be a large pressure, but you're doing a lot for yourself aren't you, you're lifting so you become stronger, you're reading so you become wiser and you're meditating so that you become wiser.

The Layperson is always going to be a cog in the machine of samsara, and perhaps it feel mundane, interacting with them, but your world should mainly be for you as well. Half of the right livelihood is do little harm with your work, the other is to do something good with your work, as long as it helps yourself or others it can be considered to be good.

I wouldn't speak without knowing what your work is, but perhaps you feel as though it isn't doing much, I know that while I would be very good in real estate and selling houses, It wouldn't agree with me. Perhaps it's time you looked at your work and thought about what it would take for you to get into as a skill that you can improve upon.

For instance we had a post a few days ago about the man who constantly strives for perfection in sushi, I'm sure many scientists feel this way, and I know many architects and mathematicians do. You need to find what will make you passionate about your work, perhaps you need to change the focus of these projects, maybe it becomes about building the best buildings, perhaps you need to change your working environment, maybe it becomes about changing labs, or perhaps you aren't happy with the Job itself and want to change, well the universities are open if you wanted a maths degree.

I met a girl once, who had thought Nursing would be her greatest passion, and to an extent it was, she loved to take care of people, she a kind person, but at the same time dealing with the patients, their lake of empathy and general ungratefulness got to the point where she couldn't cope with them, so she went back to school to get a degree in IT.

Ultimately if it feels wrong, it probably is, and there are a number of ways of fixing it, rather than becoming a monk it's about diagnosing the problem, and then working with, around, or to stop it. Perhaps becoming a monk would help, but unless you know for sure what exactly the problem is, there's no guarantee. Either way I'm around if you want some helpful impartial advice.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Excellent, that clears quite a lot for me! Thanks so much for your input. Looking forward to meeting you in future posts:)

[–]JohnnyShit-Shoes -1 points-1 points [recovered] | Copy

You can believe what you want to believe. I'm just comparing stoicism to what I've heard from bhikkhu and read in books. It sounds like you're into some zen nihilism type mindset and I don't really know anything about that.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

zen nihilism type mindset

Nope just putting out the argument from the side of the core beliefs. Zen is a type of Buddhism that is very close to true Buddhism, it's only real difference is that it claims that enlightenment really comes from within, which is very possible, and not against any other belief of Buddhism. You've also confused nihilism with what the average man thinks it is, it's similar to it's sister philosophy Solipsism, in the sense that it's the belief that nothing can truly be known or communicated, this is a belief that could never be complimentary to Buddhism.

Life is suffering is the central tenet of Buddhism, like I said westerners have trouble accepting that this is what Buddhism is all about, this and how to alleviate suffering temporarily and then eventually end all suffering. Buddhism is similar to the TRP in this way in that it's more or less an Objective truth.

Bhikku themselves will argue from the point of what they believe in, but I'm certain I could convince them otherwise, on the premise of they themselves don't fully understand what your arguments imply in terms of Buddhism.

[–]breakingmad1-1 points0 points  (1 child) | Copy

Can people stop quoting fight club on here, its a fucking parody of anarchy, and taking it seriously makes us look fucking stupid. People need to spend as much time exercising the grey matter as they do lifting

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

It's a pop culture reference that gets the point across.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Is there a difference between practice misfortune and fasting?

I wonder how many others are like me, a protestant who has marveled at both the amoral sexual strategy RP and this new wave of RP philosophy. The parallel with biblical concepts, but reformulated from a different starting place is fascinating.

[–]FrontTooth-2 points-1 points  (7 children) | Copy

I still see no reason why I should prefer stoicism to hedonism. If I prefer the sooner rather than the later and it makes me more happy, why should I?

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] -3 points-2 points  (6 children) | Copy

Hedonism is happiness from others.

If this is how you live, you are doing RP wrong.

[–]FrontTooth0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

Hedonism is pleasure above all.

"Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the primary or most important intrinsic good"

U don't know what hedonism is and neither do you know that there isn't only one way to "do" RP.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] -1 points0 points  (4 children) | Copy

Hedonism is happiness from others.

others, read as: anything or anyone that isn't you

Other things, other people, other actions; Hedonism is finding happiness from the outside.

Stoicism and the basics of RP are about finding happiness from within first and foremost.

[–]FrontTooth0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

So you would argue that pleasure is not something intrinsic to yourself? How? I would say that pleasure by definition is something that you experience in your mind.

[–]1RPAlternate42[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

It's best to read it as this: Hedonism is the dependence on outside pleasure, as in: I can't have fun without "X".

[–]FrontTooth0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

No, your avoiding what hedonism is. Hedonism is the presupposition that pleasure is value. Thus If you cannot have pleasure without X, then X is worthless. That is not dependence, it is a system of ethics.

Why hedonism would be wrong remains unargued for

[–]Redasshole0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Seeking pleasure leads to avoiding suffering.

That's what's wrong with hedonism imo

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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