Stewie the Stoic: Joy


[Quotes by Seneca]

[Ode to Joy.


Seneca even puts constraints on feeling joy. He does relinquish some of his draconian control on this topic. But “joy” to him is more akin to absence of conflicting thoughts rather than that of a child’s-Christmas-morning joy.

What I find that tempers Seneca’s oppressive views is that he realizes how strict his doctrines must be viewed: “Do you think that I am now robbing you of many pleasures when I try to do away with the gifts of chance, when I counsel the avoidance of hope, the sweetest thing that gladdens our hearts? ” — Uh, YEAH!

And he continues… “Or can one thus open his door to poverty, or hold the curb on his pleasures, or contemplate the endurance of pain? He who ponders these things in his heart is indeed full of joy; but it is not a cheerful joy.” — WHAT? Then what kind of joy are you talking about?

Ah, it’s the resolved, almost acquiescent joy of the Buddha who surrenders the frivolous joys in favor of the placid, taciturn joys of self-sufficiency.]

6 thoughts on “Stewie the Stoic: Joy

  1. Seneca’s style is a good illustration of why I revert to frivolous endeavors like mocking children’s programs directly after posting screed after screed of philosophical hogwash. With the language we’ve got, it’s nearly impossible to express a philosophical viewpoint without coming off as a drag or a hypocrite.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joy in being is a bit monkish. I managed to do what I loved doing for a living for almost 40 years. The truth is that corporatizing “art” demands that you go commercial. There’s a great quote out there by Edward Albee on art/money – “Sometimes it’s necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.” Take avant garde “space music,” dress it up, make it editable, make it BIG and commercial and then come back to knobs and wires. Like Picasso said – you have to know the rules to break them properly. And according to Monet, once they are thus broken they make their own new ones. Joy is momentary and fleeting in the sense of creation, eternal in the sense of being.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seneca’s version is pretty much a kill joy. What if you find joy in killing? As far as the universe is concerned: perfectly valid.

      So far, the word I’m finding that fits the overall theme of Stoicism (at least Seneca’s version) is temperance. A tempered countenance, strong, and faintly flexible. Moderate in all things, resilient.
      All good thing I believe, however, even the word that has been thrown at me numerous times: “my you’re being stoic today,” would seem to preclude all types of fun, frivolity and fiestas. Boo.

      Liked by 1 person

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