Does anybody else here feel like they have successfully "killed" their will?
I've read a lot of stoic writing and I can't help but find many of the sentiments expressed in that writing reappearing in works that would be labelled "pessimist". And from pessimism I see no real convincing argument, except the kind of absurdist or sort of comically and almost self-parody style arguments, that one should not commit suicide if one's will has been diminished to the point where every action and all future moments are experienced with reluctance and which reap no reward which justifies that reluctance. Does anybody relate to this at all?
I'm tempted to read Mitchel Eisman's "Suicide Note" but it's very long and from the reviews I've read it seems to cover a lot of political and historical theories that I'm not particularly interested in. I could extend this post but I will stop here for now.
Do you seriously think that or are you making an impulsive diagnosis?
I haven't felt wildly different from the way I feel now for several years. It seems to me that since some point I can't remember I have been moving gradually towards the logical conclusion of some internal motivation which to me seems like my capacity to reason or to observe and value things without emotional distraction, or that a conclusion is waiting for me to accept but some inner reluctance has stubbornly drawn out the process of my having to accept it. I consider that I may be thinking dramatically about something that may be rather mundane (I may be predisposed to apathy or a very basic mode of living) but I don't think the perspective I have of myself, my disposition and so on suggests that this gradually looser grip and growing detachment from life is the result of some desire to live a comfortable, empty, emotionless life in isolation.
Stoicity is as similar to pessimism as beef jerky to oranges. They are both edible (ideals), but one is completely different than the other. One could easily confuse the colours (brown to orange), but that's just an incorrect relation (or non-relevant one).
I have lived as a stoic a few years, and i didn't even know about this style of living being a widely known theory. I can easily tell you that i turned from a pessimist to an optimist through this.
Being able to take away all emotions at whim is what enables you to lead a happy life, simply because you do not care about bad things that happen.
You should read some contemporary literature about stoicism because it sounds like you have misunderstood it quite badly. It's not actually that easy to just jump into Greek ethics because the terms they use usually don't have ready made translations and many of their concepts are different enough from a contemporary worldview. You really do need some third party help to get anything resembling a decent understanding of the stoics.
Soticism isn't about taking away emotions. It's about having a higher consciousness that sits above the emotions which recognises the conditions that bring about an emotion and then they can either accept or decline it. I would also say that a stoic wouldn't say that bad things happen. Everything that happens is necessary and good because it is part of the divine will (for lack of a better term, I guess I could have used Nature's will).
Are you the Anon that keeps posting these, "why shouldn't I kill myself, guys?" threads?
If so, please stop, you're obviously not getting the answer you're looking for. Big emphasis on 'looking for'.
And let me go on to say that nobody succeeds in 'killing their will, they simply abandon their will through cowardice, nihilism, and lethargy.
If you were a stronger person than you would be energized by the success of employing your will, and that should be enough to continue your existence.
For what purpose you ask? For the purpose of growing, like the joy you get from planting a seed and watching it grow into a beautiful flower.
The imperative of man is growth, and if you ignore that rule than you will fall into the depressive state that you have fallen into.
It's the foundation of everything. Their ethics doesn't make sense outside it. I would recommend reading this to get a little bit of a handle on the stoics.
let's talk about the dhamma, since stoics fail to provide a user manual for establishing equanimity, even temporarily.
before the body, there is consciousness-vedana/feeling-object (of conciousness), then there are the various volitions of your mind/spirit. below the triple consciousness-vedana/feeling-object (of conciousness), there is kamma. below kamma, there is ignorance of, precisely, this whole phenomenology: it is the ignorance of the sterility of taking seriously your avidity towards pleasures and aversion towards your pains, aversion and avidity which makes you ''desire'' for less pains and more pleasures the next moment.
people fail to grasp that nothing special happens at death, because the kamma is already present before the death. the question is rather why do we not die once we stop the kamma (in being awaken). well we do not die precisely because the kamma is not the life itself. you can choose not to be awaken if you want, but your life will be miserable if you want to be happy, just as you can choose to be awaken and establish happiness for good... the kamma is this avidity and aversion which clouds the phenomenology above.
>I would also say that a stoic wouldn't say that bad things happen.
Well they certainly say that being stoic in a situation and having a grip over your inner-peace (the part which is controllable) is virtuous.
(As per Epictetus at least)
Doing the opposite might be a "bad" thing to do.
But I'd agree that they had a firm belief in nature being gr8, something echoed by the radically different Epicurians too, it seems to have been a pretty common belief in post-Socrates Athens for whatever reason.
So yeah, abide by the laws of nature because nature is the shit.
If OP is has calm as he says he is he would be quite analytic in reading this criticism.
He might even simply say that employing your will isn't really fun, women can betray you, your children can grow up in horrible ways, and even die early, material prosperity isn't really satisfying, so on and so forth.
As a whole, the expecting value of doing shit is negative, so why bother.
Also, this guy is getting a little metaphysical which is why I can see some folks here being put off but meditation is the shit, if buddhism works for you with it, well and good.
Look up the analogy of the arrow in the head if any of you analytic twats think the Buddha is failing at being logical or whatever.
What do you guys think about Suicude Note by Mitchel Heisman?