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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Greek Stoics

First say to yourself, who do you want to be: then act accordingly. -- Epictetus

I keep reading and hearing that Paul added Platonism and Stoicism to his teaching and understanding, perhaps to make it more palatable to the people of the Roman Empire and possibly because it was already part of his worldview. He was a Jew and a Pharisee, but he lived his life outside of the Jewish homeland. He was a Roman citizen.

So I have been rereading Greek philosophy. I had not read Epictetus, except for a few quotes here and there, so I started reading his Discourses. I am now excited about his ideas. The Stoic ideas he presented are very much in alignment with mine, or maybe I should say I am in alignment with him.

The quote at the top of this entry is a simple and profound idea, one of a huge number of thoughts worthy to deeply consider.

Beginning to consider it, I wonder how many have asked themselves what they want to be. Not just career wise, but more importantly as a person. What principles do we stand on?  How do we act in life? Who are we?

Once we begin to get clarity, then action is necessary, unless we just want to be empty windbags. Practice a thing and it becomes part of us. What should we practice? I suggest kindness is a good beginning. Taking responsibility for yourself, not blaming, is essential. Focus on what you can do and do that and do it well. Be the best person you can be. 

Saturday, June 1, 2024


 Menticide is an old crime against the human mind and spirit but systematized anew. It is an organized system of psychological intervention and judicial perversion through which a powerful dictator can imprint his own opportunistic thoughts upon the minds of those he plans to use and destroy... 
Mental courage cannot be cultivated by physical training only. It requires training in mental stamina, in understanding of basic. beliefs, and even in non-conformistic thinking. ---. "The Rape of the Mind" by A. M. Meerloo, M.D.

Our minds, our ability to reason, our critical thinking, all of these are precious and need to be protected. The idea of menticide, the numbing or killing of these, is horrifying.

In the study of mind control, propaganda, hypnosis via mass media, the influence of the internet and now artificial intelligence, I find the dangers of menticide incredibly increased.

One of the things happening, in the overload of varying degrees of information, from totally false to accurate, people are exhausted and just give up the search for truth, thereby live a numbed down existence. Or they just take one strand of "information" and make it their truth with religious fervor.  Or... Whichever response we use to the bombardment coming at us, we have some degree of menticide.

I hear the Zen master shout WAKE UP!!!