Archive for June, 2012


Solitude – Rumi

“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me,

for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be.

Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself,

for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.”       —Rumi

 

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Stoicism

 Dictionary defines Stoicism as

1. Indifference to pleasure or pain; impassiveness.

2. The doctrines or philosophy of the Stoics

Thought provoking:

The other day I read about how stoicism is going out of society ( at least of what I read ), a characteristic which is synonymous for being a man or should I put it more appropriately, for being “THE” man (I however doubt that Men would let it extinct and women too for that matter). The “certain”  societies (which include both west and east) as per say if we debate due to the feminist influence is asking the young boys to be groomed in the ways in which they could be more “sharing their feelings”, their ups and downs, thus could be well understood by young girls and treated for showing signs of violence. Those who don’t wish to “share” well they would be breeded out (after all female sexual liberalization is an important issue here and those “low” men who are not in “YES” with them need to be breeded out, genes you see. One however doubts that this line works fine with the mafias per say or men with stupendous authority).

Now I don’t wish to say that a male shouldn’t tell his view point to his female counterpart or his consort but the important thing is that “feminization of male virtue “must not be done in anyway.

Origination, course in history and understanding:

Stoicism has its roots in a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of “moral and intellectual perfection,” would not suffer such emotions.

To be more specific, following are the text I read in a world renowned site:

The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective; in regard to those who lack Stoic virtue, Cleanthes once opined that the wicked man is “like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes.” A Stoic of virtue, by contrast, would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, “sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy,” thus positing a “completely autonomous” individual will, and at the same time a universe that is “a rigidly deterministic single whole.”

In short, one believes that Stoicism is not only used by males desiring to be MAN but rather by the saints and Arm forces men ( and women) in particular as they bear the brunt of humanity in all forms. One has also come to analyze that Stoicism focuses more on the using logics which maybe synonym with principals for some.  Many kings, Business leaders and revolutionary leaders without knowing exhibit a classic case of stoicism, where they set aside their pain and get on with the job. (In Mahabharat, I feel Bhishma is an epitome of Ancient India’s equivalent to Stoicism. He gave away everything but never let go of his principals). Greek writers have time and again said the Great Alexander, one the finest Army Generals to have lived exhibited classical stoicism.

Marcus Aurelius was a great and the most famous Stoic who was introduced to this philosophy when he was 11 years old. His character was played by Richard Harris in the movie Gladiator which won Oscar in 2000.

Coming to the point of saints exhibiting stoicism, the Sufi saints showed remarkable stoicism when they were being butchered and killed by the hardline Islamic elements (in short someone like a Wahabbi or Salafis in present day, an ideology followed by Taliban), as they accused Sufis  (The most liberal of sect within Islam) of heresy for singing and dancing. Similarly the Protestants showed stoicism while being targeted by the Roman Catholic Church accused again of heresy. Interestingly many have said that Christianity itself took a lot from stoicism while it was building and Christ absorbed the ideology in his preachings.

Sikhism, an Indian martial religion had a very spirituality inclined birth in 14 century A.D but in order to fight the authoritarian Sharia propagating Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb (the most notorious of the Mughal, many say it was due to his hardline views that Mughal Empire crumbled), the Sikhs transformed themselves into a remarkable fighting force.  The tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh used the stoicism of the saints and employed it in infusing a martial spirit in the followers of Sikhism. Therefore in process, creating an army to uproot Tyranny which was quite revolutionary ( in specific Rule of Aurangzeb).

The ideology of stoicism or more importantly the Epistemology maintains that knowledge can be attained through the use of reasonTruth can be distinguished from fallacy; even if, in practice, only an approximation can be made. The philosophy of Stoicism is useful in teaching young children in order to cope with life.

Stoicism in movies:

Movie as such as I always believe are a way of educating masses and in some way a reflection of society thereby presenting the conventional wisdom or propagating a popular ideology or initiating an idea,which in turns becomes ideology. Therefore presentation of men plus women and the characters they play have a significant impact on the minds and souls of young people who watch them with adulation. In recent times there have been numerous movie which have strengthen the age old belief of stoicism that the real man of steel or woman of substance is the one who keeps on fighting for the principals, in short full of determination, conviction and logic of course. Ignorant of the pains and pleasures coming along during the momentous tasks.

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Following are the list of some remarkable movie which had the ideology of stoicism in them where “strength and honor” are important integral part (at least that is what I found, do correct me if I wrong):

  • BraveHeart
  • Patriot
  • Gladiator
  • Lord of the Rings
  • XXX (The one staring Vin Diesel , why what were you thinking  ? 🙂 )
  • Fast and Furious series
  • The Chronicles of Riddick series (Pretty much all Vin Diesel movies)
  • Babylon A.D.
  • James Bond series
  • Batman series (Christian Bale one)
  • Spider Man series (Tobey Maguire one)
  • Kingdom Of Heaven
  • Hurt Locker
  • Black Swan (according to some, after all the girl went through hell, though still disputable)
  • Black Hawk down
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Last Samurai
  • Rocky Series (Stallone got it right )
  • Rambo series  (Stallone got it right baby AGAIN)
  • The Godfather I and II ( Do tell me if you believe it is wrong and I will make you an offer  which you cannot refuse)
  • Robin Hood ( Russell Crowe one)
  • Master and Commander
  • Troy
  • Last of the Mohicans
  • Men of Honor
  • Prince of Persia :The sands of Time
  • Underworld series (Kate beckinsale, even though she is Vampire, she still had ethics)
  • True Grit
  • The last Castle
  • The Bridge on the river kwai
  • King Arthur
  • Hidalgo
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Bourne Series ( How can one forget THAT ! )
  • Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 (Uma Thurman did a remarkable job)
  • Black hawk Down
  • Munich
  • Spy Games
  • Body of Lies
  • Departed (Though many may point out that the lead character was going to a shrink for his doubts and issues)
  • Fight Club (Bradd Pitt one, though many would say that there was a case of insomnia working there)

The movies of Ridely Scott in particular have stoicism as a backline most as many of the above mentioned list has his movies.

Conclusion:

Therefore, My advice to young ladies , young mothers of boys and more importantly those fem-Nazis (Militant feminist) take a chill and relax, killing stoicism will not help you in attaining goal of being with your “perfect” man as they are trying to create (in order  to subside for their disillusionment of waiting like Cinderella). The real knight in shining armor will come carrying this virtue, so for young girls and unmarried single women, who deep down still hold on to that idea of knight in the shining armor (even though those militant feminist would like you to think otherwise), they should remember that  Stoicisms is something that they will have to live with. After all the knight needs to fight the battles and wars in order to be a knight (and in process be indifferent to pain and pleasure).

For further reading on stoicism you can go to the following links

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/04/13/stoicism-101-a-practical-guide-for-entrepreneurs/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p003k9fs

http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/latergreeks.html

http://blog.garycorby.com/2010/04/stoicism.html

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 Note : The writer has NO idea WTF is he talking, so  don’t  go all worshiping this post and most importantly do not make a freaking movie inspired by this post.

On an evening two angels met at the city gate, and they greeted one another, and they conversed. The one angel said, “What are you doing these days, and what work is given you?”

And the other answered, “It was been assigned me to be the guardian of a fallen man who lives down in the valley, a great sinner, most degraded. Let me assure you it is an important task, and I work hard.”

The first fallen angel said, “That is an easy commission. I have often known sinners, and have been their guardian many a time. But it has now been assigned me to be the guardian of the good saint who lives in a bower out yonder. And I assure you that is an exceedingly difficult work, and most subtle.”

Said the first angel, “This is but assumption. How can guarding a saint be harder than guarding a sinner?”
And the other answered, “What impertinence, to call me assumptious! I have stated but the truth. Methinks it is you who are assumptious!”

Then the angels wrangled and fought, first with words and then with fists and wings. While they were fighting an archangel came by. And he stopped them, and said, “Why do you fight? And what is it all about? Know you not that it is most unbecoming for guardian angels to fight at the city gate? Tell me, what is your disagreement?”

Then both angels spoke at once, each claiming that the work given him was the harder, and that he deserved the greater recognition.

The archangel shook his head and bethought him. Then he said, “My friends, I cannot say now which one of you has the greater claim upon honor and reward. But since the power is bestowed in me, therefore for peace’ sake and for good guardianship, I give each of you the other’s occupation, since each of you insists that the other’s task is the easier one. Now go hence and be happy at your work.”

The angels thus ordered went their ways. But each one looked backward with greater anger at the archangel. And in his heart each was saying, “Oh, these archangels! Every day they make life harder and still harder for us angels!”
But the archangel stood there, and once more he bethought him. And he said in his heart, “We have indeed, to be watchful and to keep guard over our guardian angels.”

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