God is the source and goal of ideals by which to live triumphantly in the face of starkest grief. The sufferer who finds God as the strength and mainstay of his life does not merely acquiesce before the inevitable with stoic fortitude. He looks the tragedy in the face, and looks up to new heights of spiritual beauty to which he may mount by using his grief as a stairway to God’s glory.
So I say that civilizations begin with religion and stoicism: they end with skepticism and unbelief, and the undisciplined pursuit of individual pleasure. A civilization is born stoic and dies epicurean.
A nation is born Stoic, dies Epicurean.
Posidonius was dissatisfied with the traditional view that made the individual soul the simple mirror of the World-Soul, because he saw in the effort to follow the superior daimon the possibility of participating in its activity. For Posidonius, the wise man, and even the individual who is making moral progress, shares with the World-Soul the task of continuously creating and sustaining kosmos. The happy human being does not merely live in harmony with Nature; he is one of the creators of Nature. Thus Posidonius gave a fresh and powerful dimension to Stoic ethics. [paraphrased]
For Posidonius, ouranos, heaven, offers the paradigm for man. The stars teach ethics. The individual who pursues his duties without emotional involvement in them and without the correlative expectation of results, who recognizes honesty as the good and the hallmark of the wise man, and who seeks to honour the higher daimon in himself discovers a fidelity within the soul which is both its overarching oikeiosis and its link to the World-Soul. He sees that the principles of physics can be translated into the laws of psychology from which are derived ethics and the rules of right conduct. Without wavering in his loyalty to the deepest insights of the Stoic tradition, Posidonius exemplified in his own life and thought the ability of the philosopher to penetrate afresh and more precisely the mystery of the kosmos and the less ordered realm in which human beings dwell. His fearlessness of method and the marriage of observation and abstract thought influenced the generations which came immediately after him, and inspired a number of thinkers in the dawn of the European Enlightenment. [paraphrased]
A stoic of the woods,--a man without a tear.
Again to the battle, Achaians! Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance! Our land, the first garden of liberty's tree-- It has been, and shall yet be, the land of the free.
It would probably astound each of us beyond measure to be let into his neighbors mind and to find how different the scenery was there from that of his own.
Being content with what you have already is an art form that leads to a peace that canâ€™t be replaced by anything else.