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The Spark of the Stoics

Epictetus.

1,447 words

Philosophy is a subject that never really sparked my interest. While I understand that philosophy is important to living a virtuous life, I simply think that virtue and morality are useless if you are forced to live around people that do not share your same morals and virtues. This is the situation that white people are now facing in our own countries. For the past two weeks, we have seen countless videos of white people being randomly attacked, beaten, and murdered. Yet despite the inevitable feelings of anger and hopelessness, the writings of the Stoic philosophers can give white advocates some clarity and wisdom during these difficult times of societal collapse and racial persecution.

I am not an expert on philosophy, but I have attempted to read various philosophical works from Plato to Nietzsche. I admit that the introductions and biographies of these philosophers (which were always included in the Penguin Classics editions) were more interesting to me than reading their actual philosophies. I guess I found their lives more exciting than the endless paragraphs on existentialism and “consciousness.”

However, I did enjoy reading the collected works of the Stoic philosophers from the Roman period. These writings put philosophical ideas in the form of short quotes that the average person could implement in their daily lives. I do not consider myself the biggest proponent of Stoic philosophy and there are a few viewpoints from these philosophers that I fundamentally disagree with. Nevertheless, their works have helped me manage my thoughts, emotions, and actions over these last two weeks.

Seneca the Younger was a Roman politician, writer, and philosopher. After a successful but controversial career in the Roman senate, Seneca became Nero’s advisor from 54 to 62 AD. By 62 AD, Seneca’s influence had declined, and he used the next three years to focus on his writings before committing suicide (over his alleged involvement in Nero’s assassination attempt) in 65 AD. It was during his final years that Seneca composed Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium (“Moral Letters to Lucilius” in Latin), known in modern times as Letters from a Stoic.

Letters from a Stoic is a collection of over 100 letters that Seneca wrote to Procurator Lucilius of Sicily. The letters were addressed to Lucilius, but it is evident that Seneca wrote the letters for a large audience. In these letters, Seneca gives advice on maintaining virtue in the actions of daily life. Such topics include advice on dealing with distractions, health issues, and how to better treat people. The letters often start with an observation of a minor incident but then digress into larger issues of wisdom, justice, courage, and temperance (a mixture of self-control, discipline, and modesty).

The best advice I gained from reading Seneca was to exercise my mind daily, learn the art of contentment, and to boldly face the struggles in life. While the attacks on white people have made my blood boil numerous times these last two weeks, I have been able to calm myself down by continuing my daily language studies, appreciating the things I have, and focusing on finding solutions instead of dwelling on the problems:

The important thing about a problem is not only its solution, but the strength we gain in finding the solution.

Epictetus was a stoic philosopher who was born a slave in Hierapolis, Phrygia (modern-day Turkey) around 50 AD. He eventually gained freedom after the death of Nero in 68 AD and started to teach philosophy in Rome. In 93 AD, Emperor Domitian banished all the philosophers from Rome, so Epictetus went to Nicopolis, Greece, and founded his own school of philosophy. One of his students was Arrian, and this student took detailed notes of Epictetus’ lectures. These notes would form the two major collections of Epictetus’ philosophy: the Discourses of Epictetus and the Enchiridion (“handbook” in Greek).

Enchiridion is like a short manual that attempts to provide ethical philosophy and advice with the goal of maintaining mental freedom and happiness in everyday life. It consists of 53 short chapters with each chapter being a few paragraphs. Epictetus draws a clear distinction between our thoughts and emotions — which we control — and the external world, which is often beyond our control.

Epictetus also explains that what happens to us is not as important as how we react to what happens to us. I had to remind myself these last two weeks to not to lose my temper when I see our cities burning, our statues vandalized, and our people attacked on the streets. We need to inform our family and friends about what is happening, and we need to be serious with them about the threats to their safety. Yet we also need to do this in a calm and rational manner. As Epictetus states:

No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage.

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180 AD. Despite being the last of what Machiavelli called the “Five Good Emperors,” the reign of Aurelius consisted of numerous military conflicts and a major outbreak of disease, known as the Antonine Plague. It was during these conflicts and outbreaks that Aurelius wrote private notes for himself on the ideas of Stoic philosophy. Unlike the works of Seneca and Epictetus, it is unclear whether these personal writings of Aurelius were ever meant to be published or shared with a larger audience. With no apparent title, this collection of writings was translated and preserved through the ages under various names and editions. The collection is now known today as the Meditations.

Meditations is divided into 12 books that chronicle the different periods of Aurelius’ life. A central theme is the importance of finding one’s purpose in the universe while striving towards ethical goals and ideals. At the same time, Aurelius reminds us that life is short, and that we should always try to make the most of our time on earth. As with Seneca and Epictetus, Aurelius also encourages us to manage our thoughts and emotions:

You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

I want to live and enjoy my time on earth. I want to focus on my purpose and goals while appreciating all the things I have in life. But I cannot do those things if I must constantly live in fear of my own safety. I am tired of seeing our cities burn. I am tired of seeing our statues torn down. I am sick and tired of seeing videos of white people being assaulted and attacked by non-whites. The police can no longer protect us. Our governments and politicians no longer represent us. Most corporations are supporting our enemies while firing any white employees that question or criticize the anti-white terrorist groups that are BLM and Antifa. White people should not have to live like this. We cannot live like this.

The Stoic philosophers remind us that while there will always be things out of our control, we can at least control or thoughts, opinions, and personal actions. We should count our blessings and appreciate the things we have while we still have them. Sometimes we need to ignore what our enemies say and do and stay focused on our own goals and purpose. This does not mean that we should detach ourselves from our feelings and emotions. This does not mean that we should ignore the severity of societal collapse and racial persecution. It simply means that we can maintain a balance between hoping for the best and preparing for the worst while still finding time to be happy and enjoy life.

Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius noted that our reality is often shaped by our own thoughts and opinions. It is only natural to have feelings of anger and fear during these horrific times. Yet we need to maintain hope for the future and stay positive. Sometimes the only people stopping us from changing the world are ourselves. Who knows what we can or cannot change until we try to change it? We can start by protecting ourselves, our family, and our friends. We can form our own communities, neighborhoods, and businesses. We can have ethnic sovereignty with white solidarity. And until white lives matter, nothing else matters.

That is a philosophy that sparks my interest.

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10 Comments

  1. Peter
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    While I appreciate the Stoicism advice… I don´t need to calm myself down about non-White actions but about the attitude of my fellow-Whites! As since ever, our fellow-Whites are the problem, not the non-Whites! If we Whites wanted, we would have White countries within a thousanth millisecond. It´s not non-Whites who prevent that from happening *eyes-roll* ! but it´s our fellow-Whites who seem not to want White countries, who seem to be ok with self-hate, ok with disappearing as a race. They don´t have a problem so I guess they´ll just have to die. But that is what makes this a problem to US: we who want to continue, are too few… and the suicidal Whites also make it their duty to persecute us. Very very bizarre and absurd situation!

    There seems to be optimism at counter-currents that the present situation will wake up Whites in big numbers. I really really wonder if that will happen !?
    But isn´t that the very bottleneck, the very defining problem of the whole situation: HOW MANY Whites actually are on our side?

    • Don
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      A great post. You correctly see the problem is not whether whites can be saved, but whether they want to be saved. It’s that simple. I think most whites don’t care and those who do care are too few to matter.

      Sad but true: A lot of white dead wood is going to have to be culled. Is the problem too many rather than too few whites? I just don’t know. It’s an endless quandary.

      • Peter
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 3:39 am | Permalink

        Thanks. Your answer inspires me to think further… about those “other” Whites… maybe this argumentation could help: so these Whites… as is our typical White racial attitude… are generous, ready to help. open, welcoming, individualistic… they hold the view that the races might just live together, mix, or not mix, but everything can go fine -> so what if this actually just doesn´t work FROM THE SIDE of the non-Whites ! What if THEY are just terminally incapable of living together with Whites because they will always feel inferior…. or because they feel just uncomfortable with the “other”… or because, since the races are just not equal, the equality thing will never work out and make everything crazy and spiral out of control : so that there just will always be anti-white violence… no matter how much good will the Whites show, there will always be anti-white violence. So the living-together, i.e. in one system, in one society, while it may to the White mind seem theoretically possible and ok, is just actually DE FACTO impossible.

        We should tell them: yes, it´s very moral and ethnical and a respectable attitude to be so open and welcoming and supportive: but please be aware and note and learn: it´s not meant to be! You will just die, that´s all. The nicey-nicey pet… is just not meant to live as a pet with you! Set it free back into its own habitat… it seemed so nice to have the lion around but… turns out doesn´t work… just not meant to be… YOU WILL JUST DIE IF YOU DO that is the only result, nothing else… not the living in harmony, it won´t happen but only violence and death. Man we can only hope that these “other” Whites will learn that lesson and soon.

        • DissesMyIsland
          Posted June 25, 2020 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

          Its not the “other” whites we need be worried about so much as it is the (((other))) whites. It is they who keep the blacks constantly agitated with tales of oppression and promises of gibs.

          Like it or not, Black society in America was much healthier and likely more prosperous during segregation than it is now

  2. Benjamin
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the Stoics. Always liked them.

    Speaking of ancient philosophers, Tarl Warwick A.K.A. Styxhexenhammer666 just recently published a work on a rival of the Stoics, Epicurus:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B08BDSDTRM/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

    Let’s hope he does on on Epictetus next.

    They’re both epic
    *comedic drum roll*
    ????

  3. Oca2gene
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes ! The Stoics are great resources for white men trying to understand life. I also really enjoy Ralph Waldo Emerson and his essay “Self Reliance” which has a very stoic quality that every white man should read and consider. Stoicism predates Christianity. And many of us that started as learned Christians – become simple stoics. Now, less reading, more breeding. Do your part by making strong white babies.

  4. Jud Jackson
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    I was given a copy of the Enchiridion by the University of Minnesota Philosophy faculty upon receiving my BA in Philosophy in 1978. It is a good book but the best book I have ever read about Stoicism is the novel “A Man in Full” by Tom Wolfe. One of the two main characters, Conrad Hensley, becomes a Stoic after he is railroaded to an East Bay (San Francisco) prison and mistakenly receives a book about the Stoics in the mail. Because of his conversion to Stoicism, Conrad is able to do amazing things. Conrad is the most compelling fictional character I have come across in my reading of fiction. Sydney Carton in Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” comes close but Conrad is the best. And for my money, Tom Wolfe is the greatest writer in American history.

  5. Alexandra O.
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I used to really sweat the numbers and demographics of Whites, until I began reading about the Jews in order to understand their story and how they live, and why we should care — and found out there are only about 20 million Jews on earth. There are over 800 million Whites. Jews are the richest people on the planet, individually and collectively. If you read Kevin MacDonald’s three hefty tomes about Jews, you will learn of their inter-connected lives and businesses, along with another book, aptly named “Jews and Money” by Gerald Krefetz, although seriously out of date, as published in 1982. Jews today are still cohesive, Whites are not. We need to find out why not, and what we can do to get back on track. I feel cohesion here on this site — Counter Currents — but yet, it’s impossible to sit down with a group of you because our enemies may have infiltrated. It’s terrible to have to think like that, but here we are. We don’t have a central meeting place, a temple, which is ours alone, like the Cathedrals in Europe, the Kaaba in Mecca, or any synagogue worldwide. I’m not a religious or philosophical person myself, but I do see the need for cohesion. and trust. How do we recoup those values? How do we define ourselves, so other Whites can see clearly what they must change about the ideas they currently hold about ‘their lifestyle’. This is a difficult task, though we have many clearly-written and inspiring books on the subject — “The White Nationalist Manifesto” of course, comes to mind. But our vocal enemies have built a monstrous wall of hatred and ridicule around us. Well, these are just some things to think about, as well as reading the philosophers from days past, to see how they solved the same problems.

  6. Henry Paget-Lowe
    Posted June 24, 2020 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    I agree that a good dose of Stoic philosophy can be useful. Here are some more quotations to bear in mind:

    Seneca, De Ira, 2.7.1.
    Et quid indignius quam sapientis adfectum ex aliena pendere nequitia ?

    “And what is more unworthy of the wise man, than that his mood should depend on the wickedness of others?”

    Seneca, De Ira, 2.32.3
    Magni animi est iniurias despicere. . . Ille magnus et nobilis, qui more magnae ferae latratus
    minutorum canum securus exaudit.

    “It is characteristic of the great soul to despise insults. . . He is a great and noble man who acts as
    does the lordly wild beast that listens unconcernedly to the barking of tiny dogs.”

    Seneca, De vita beata, 4.2
    Summum bonum est animus fortuita despiciens, virtute laetus.

    “The highest good is a mind that scorns the happenings of chance and rejoices in its
    virtue.”

    I find that Seneca is the most pithy of their writers.

    Beware their thoughts on equality, though! They thought that all human beings had a divine spark within them and so were equal in some profound way. Stoicism is plausibly one of the origins of the virus of egalitarianism that is destroying the West. As Lecky said, in his History of Western Morals, they prepared the ground for Christianity in this respect.

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