philosophy as a way

321 p pdf [] – (1995) by pierre hadot [] – intro’d/found via scott thomspon @scottsgonetopot – (museum of care connection

some of those intro tweets:

I once said to David that I arrived at anarchism by combining Stoicism and Epicureanism (I could add Taoism and Buddhism to that too) which he liked, both of which I learnt about largely through Pierre Hadot’s books ‘Philosophy as a Way of Life’ and ‘The Inner Citadel’

Oh, David refers to Hadot in the essay!

essay: beyond the monastic self

@monk51295 Stoicism derives it’s name from Stoa, which was the Greek name for a portico, where they would meet in public (on the streets not in a classroom) to practice philosophy by engaging in conversation with one another. Ultimately eudaimonic philosophy was based on the Socratic method

Original Tweet:

The essay on Walden, in which he argues that Thoreau was “part Stoic and part Epicurean” was harder to come across!

and found while rabit holing hadot:


notes/quotes from pdf:

slide 12/page 1

intro: hadot & the spiritual phenom of ancient philosophy.. via arnold davidson

on misinterp (3) .. and embodiment(19) et al – (totally skimmed)

interpretation ness and embodiment (process of) ness


this is why for hadot, to philosophize is to learn how to dialogue.. socratic know thyself requires relation of self to itself that ‘constitutes the basis of all spiritual exercise’.. every spiritual exercise is dialogical insofar as it is an ‘exercise of authentic presence’ of the self to itself, and of the self to others

for that we need a means to undo our hierarchical listening

2 conversations et al as infra


since the ultimate goal of the theoretical discourse of philosophy was to produce an effect in the soul of the listener/reader.. this discourse had to bear in mind not only *pedagogical constraints, but ‘the needs of psychagogy, of the **direction of souls’

*thinking we have pedagogical constraints.. or that we have to have any form of training or people telling other people what to do.. any form of m\a\p.. are the constraints.. let go

**brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown..

we need a means to listen to and facil the itch-in-8b-souls .. everyday.. ie: imagine if we


part 1 – method


1 – forms of life and forms of discourse in ancient philosophy

dang.. can’t get into it

more major skimming


linked to the meditation upon death, the them of the value of the present instant plays a fundamental role in all the philosophical schools.. in short it is a consciousness of inner freedom.. it can be summarized in a formula of this kind: you need only yourself in order immediately to find inner peace by ceasing to worry about the past/future.. you can be happy right now, or you will never by happy.. stoicism will insist on the effort needed to pay attention to oneself, the joyous acceptance of the present moment imposed on us by fate

as if already free ness – can’t work.. band aid at best.. has to be all of us

the epicurean will conceive of this liberation from cares about the past/future as a relaxation, a pure joy of existing: ‘while we are speaking, jealous time has flown; seize today w/o placing your trust in tomorrow’.. this ‘enjoyment of the pure present’


2 – philosophy, exegesis, and creative mistakes



7 – reflections on idea of ‘cultivation of self’

talks about it being too one sided.. too much focus on self..

agree.. whalespeak.. we have no idea what legit free people are like.. only what whales are like if cultivating selves..

ie: findings

what we need (perhaps) is ie: self-talk as data to connect us locally .. (because ie: maté trump law; brown belonging law; et al) .. new everyday.. again.. imagine if we

what we found.. we people legit free.. they crave others.. and the balance comes naturally

ie: in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows; thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman ; ..


part 4 – themes


8 – ‘only the present is our happiness’: the value of the present instant


it does seem.. that the greeks paid particular attention to the present moment.. however.. people in antiquity were just as filled w anguish as we are today.. burden of past, uncertainty of future.. and fear of death.. epicureanism and stoicism sought to provide a remedy.. these philosophies were therapies.. intended to bring freedom and self mastery.. their goal was to allow people to free themselves form the past/future.. so they could live w/in the present..

ie: cure ios city


despite the profound diff’s between e and s doctrine, we find an extraordinary structural analogy between experiences in both schools..

e: a therapy of anguish, a philosophy which seeks above all to procure peace of mind.. goal is to liberate man from everything that is a cause of anguish for the soul..

just two: missing pieces.. almaas holes law et al


according to e, senseless people.. that is the majority of mankind.. are tormented by vast, hollow desires which have to do w wealth/glory/power.. and the unbridled pleasures of the flesh.. what is characteristic of all these desires is that they cannot be satisfied in the present.. living in hope of future.. realize too late they have striven in vain after things they do not derive any pleasure from the things.. inflamed w hope.. they had undertaken such great labors to procure

e saying: the life of a foolish man is fearful and unpleasant; it is swept totally away into the future’.. so must learn how to enjoy the pleasure of the present.. w/o letting ourselves be distracted from it.. only pleasure.. allowed into present moment.. best pleasure mixed w least worry.. can therefore be procured by satisfaction of natural/necessary desires.. those essential for preservation of existence..

as long as we get to legit essentials.. ie: a nother way


e&s: pleasure not dependent on duration.. guyua: ‘infinity w/in itself.. inner plentitude an over abundance which makes it independent of time as well as everything else’

thus.. pleasure iw wholly w/in the present moment and we need not wait for anything from the future to increase it.. the happy mind does not look towards the future..

e saying: ‘only born once.. you who are not master of tomorrow keep putting off your joy.. life is vainly consumed in these delays.. and each of us dies w/o ever having known peace’

on hold ness.. wasted energy/time of prep et al

horace: ‘carpe diem.. seize the day and put no trust in tomorrow’.. horace’s carpe diem is by no means, as if often believed, the advice of a sensualist playboy; on the contrary, it is an invitation to conversion.. become aware of vanity of immensely vain desires.. rather.. uniqueness of present instant..


‘believe that each new day that dawns will be the last for you: then each unexpected hour shall come to you as a delightful gift’.. secret of e joy/serenity.. live each instant as if it were the last/first

this is why equity (everyone getting a go.. a re\set.. everyday) is so important


the fundamental attitude that the stoic must maintain at each instant of his life is one of attention, vigilance and continuous tension.. in order not to miss anything which is contrary to reason.. what is enough: 1\ judgment is objective 2\ action in service of human community 3\ inner disposition is joy in face of events caused by extraneous causality.. then into training self to concentrate on present.. what are you thinking/doing/feeling.. marcus: ‘this is enough for you’

marcus calls this (1\enough to keep you busy so no need to think about anything else 2\ enough to make you happy so no ned to seek anything else) ‘delimiting the present’.. turning attention away from past/futures.. to focus on what one is in process of doing.. the present of which marcus speaks is a present delimited by human consciousness..

stoics 2 ways of defining present: 1\ no present time exists since time is infinitely divisible.. mathy… so actually reducing present.. to an infinitesimal instant 2\ present via human conscious ness.. so a thickness of time. when marcus advises to ‘delimit the present’.. he is talking about this lived present relative to consciousness.. important point: the present is defined by its reference to man’s thoughts/actions

for stoics.. present suffices for happiness because it is the only thing which belongs to us and depends on us.. it was essential to distinguish between what does/doesn’t depend on us.. since past/future do not depend on us.. not under category of moral good/evil and therefore indifferent to us..


happiness for the stoics is always total/complete each moment.. nothing more/less than that instants in which man is wholly in accord w nature


for e and s.. if happy in instant.. no less happy than someone who is happy for eternity.. so too.. will never be happy if not so right now.. it’s now or never.. the matter is urgent.. we must hurry for death is imminent.. and all that is required is to want to be happy.. past/future are of no use.. lovingly accept what comes to pass .. in other words.. it is enough just to want it

if i want ness


for both e and s it is the imminence of death which gives the present instant its value.. carry out each action as if it were the last.. this is the secret of concentration on the present moment: give it all its seriousness.. value.. splendor.. in order to show up the vanity of all that we pursue w so much worry.. all of which in the end.. will be taken away form us by death..

regrets ness

must live each day w a consciousness so acute and an attention so intense.. that we can say to ourselves each evening: ‘i have lived’.. seneca: ‘he has peace of mind who has lived his entire life every day’


revolution of everyday life ness..

and again.. importance of equity (everyone getting a go.. a re\set.. everyday)

so.. imagine if we


it is quite remarkable that the two schools of s and e .. in other respects so opposed.. should both place the concentration of consciousness upon the present moment at the very center of their way of life.. the diff.. e: enjoys the present moment (pleasure); s: wills it intensely (duty)

then section on what the instant means ie: deep, eternity, totally being.. transcends limits.. et al


socrates: ‘take care for yourself’.. neitzsche: ‘is it not the case that all human institutions.. are intended to prevent mankind from feeling their life.. by means of the constant dispersion of their thoughts?’

supposed to’s of school/work.. distraction ing us.. the death of us


9 – the view from above

to see things from above .. as soul does.. is to see them from pov of death. . ie: beyond worries/anxieties et al

again to regrets ness


10 – the sage and the world

science vs perception .. ponty: world as a world.. philosophy is nothing other than this process by means of which we try ‘to relearn to see the world’

ie: outside/beyond sea world

maurice merleau-ponty


some people are born detached: artists

thinking: we’re all artists.. so we all are born detached.. some/most just more covered over than others.. but if we’re calling people out that seem less scrambled .. i’d add refs to .. crazywise.. and higashida autism law

why we need to do this first: free art\ists.. aka: all of us.. in sync


11 – philosophy as a way of life

every person.. who is training for wisdom..

oi.. huge red flag.. no train


philosophy presented itself as a method for achieving independence and inner freedom (autarkeia).. that state in which the ego depends only upon itself.. the power of the human self to free itself from everything alien to it.. via the mere refusal to make any decision

ooh.. i hope this means what i think.. either way: decision making is unmooring us.. but i do think we need a little help to get back/to legit freedom.. 1\ needs to happen in sync.. so bets a leap for 8b people 2\ most/all do need help (imagine a turtle.. et al).. we need some sort of detox as we leap.. so again.. imagine if we .. to leap w detox embed..

but.. bottom line to all that is.. it won’t work if not assuming (like passage said) that 8b people are capable of thinking/freeing/whatever for themselves.. just that we need to re\set the environ.. ie: from sea world back/to rat park


in both s and e.. philosophizing was a continuous act.. permanent and identical w life itself.. which had to be renewed at each instant.. an orientation of the attention

yeah.. fittingness ness.. and listening to what is within .. (itch-in-the-soul) .. every day/moment anew


philosophy incapable of being reduced to philosophical discourse or to a body of knowledge..

ie: language as control/enclosure et al


postscript: an interview w hadot