What’s your philosophy of life?

Here’s a treat for a Friday morning:

“In the ancient Greek world, philosophy was not just about thinking; it was more about living. The aim of the exercise was to live well, not just to think clearly.

This meant that philosophers like Plato and Epicurus were held in high regard as great teachers or gurus. People would come to Athens to sit at their feet and learn how to flourish as human individuals. Philosophy was a kind of therapy; philosophers often taught a kind of self-help.

During the fourth century BCE, six major varieties of philosophy emerged. They were known as schools, each with its own leader, character and answers to the big questions of life.

The following questionnaire is designed to reveal something of your own preferences, and so match you up to the individual who might suit you best as your philosophy-guru.”

Take the poll here.

What did I find out? I’m a disciple of Zeno. Which is pretty accurate honestly.

Your recommended philosophy-guru is ZENO OF CITIUM.

  • Key fact: He taught in a stoa, the Athenian supermarket, and hence founded the school of philosophy called Stoicism.
  • Must have: An interest in everyday life, for it is there that you learn life’s big lessons.

  • Key promise: An ability to face anything, no matter how disastrous.

  • Key peril: To be “stoical” is to turn your back on passion.

  • Most likely to say: “If you have integrity, no-one can harm you.”

  • Least likely to say: “Forget prudence! It won’t help you anyway.

I’ve always said that, should I for some reason lose my faith, I’m going to turn to Judaism. And if that doesn’t work out, my refuge will be amongst the stoics.

Actually a rabbi pointed out to me recently that Judaism and Stoicism have a common shared history and it’s not uncommon to find Jews who claim both as their spiritual discipline.

What did you get?

Author: Nicholas Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...

7 thoughts on “What’s your philosophy of life?”

  1. You can become Stoic by simply turning to some forms of Calvinism, which genealogically are really Chistianized Stoicism. Or simply rid your faith of acknowledged mysticism and adopt the American civil religion which is very much a child of Stoicism. My hope is that you do none of these but rather stay with me on this journey of the Way.

  2. I’ve always liked Plato…so I guess it’s fitting that Aristotle would be my philosopher. I found the questions difficult. Doug Freebern

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