From ancient Stoic letters to modern-day S&M clubs, this one’s a corker. We explore why actions speak louder than words; the benefits of taking action for mental health; why philosophy is about LIFE, not about libraries; and finding true peace within as you seek to better yourself.
It’s one of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power to ‘Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument’, and for good reason. Consciously or otherwise, we value what people actually do, not what they merely say.
Seneca exhorts us to live a life of congruence – to practise what we preach and to be wary of all those who do otherwise. This is about finding harmony – or consistency – in all you do. The person who lives out of kilter with their code can easily be spotted and is rarely trusted.
‘Authenticity’ is the name of the game these days, but it’s already being co-opted by hordes of internet marketers, and we explain the psychological manipulations that are being used on us every time we log on.
More than any letter we’ve discussed so far, this one highlights that Stoicism is a philosophy of action. Don’t get stuck in the mind or in the library, thinking about thoughts and never actually doing anything, never bringing that knowledge to life.
Seneca himself admits this is a tough one to practise consistently. But if we can find a compass, even if we wander off-piste, we can still try to head in the right direction.
What it really comes down to is this: Are you lying to yourself? We’ve got a bunch of strategies you can use to dig into your own psyche and find out precisely that.
This week we also dismantle the foolishness of binary thinking – the belief that you can only be either a gym rat or an intellectual, a warrior or a philosopher.
And we try to understand where intolerance comes from – why people believe that their own experience must be the same for everyone even slightly similar. Then we go and find some beautiful examples of tolerance and acceptance in some S&M dungeons (Seneca would be proud).
Dre also presents an impossible philosophical challenge to Jon; we contemplate who in our lives truly has our back; and there’s time to invite some rent boys covered in cocaine into the studio.
- Why investing in yourself is an investment in everyone around you
- Genocide on a bicycle
- Dre’s coccyx
- The dissonance of not committing
- Disney Jesus and why we need him
Find Out More:
- Hit us up on our brand new Instagram!
- ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ in a major key (brace yourself)
- The full text for free on WikiSource
- The brilliant Daily Stoic Journal, which we’ve both started working with
- Joseph Campbell’s incredible The Hero With A Thousand Faces