The Daily Stoic for September 2nd, “The Philosopher’s School Is A Hospital”.
“Men, the philosopher’s lecture-hall is a hospital—you shouldn’t walk out of it feeling pleasure, but pain, for you aren’t well when you enter it.”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.23.30
Given that I have spent the last week hospitalized with a severe infection, I find today’s stoic meditation quite appropriate.
I have learned these days more about myself than during the last year. Seriously.
The Philosopher’s School Is A Hospital
Recovering is sometimes a lengthy, painful process. It’s going to take me almost one month of antibiotics and rest to completely recover. There’s just so many things I would love to do, like going to the gym, get out for a long long walk… but it will have to wait. Even though I am getting better every day, I still have this uneasy feeling that something still may be wrong… I am of course rationalizing it, and stoicism helps, but there it is.
In the same way, going through stoicism has been a lengthy and sometimes even painful process. It has forced me to re-evaluate lots of my beliefs and look at things from different angles. As with anything that shakes your foundations or values, it takes some time to digest.
Looking back at some of my stoic posts from months ago, I realize how stubborn I always am. I tend to stick to my ideas and try to rationalize and fight for them, sometimes to the point of preventing me to embrace new ideas or points of view.
That’s what I mean with “painful”. Stoicism touches some points of pressure that cause your mind to rethink things again. Just like when you are a teenager and you suddenly start doing yourself “the big questions“. In the end, just as in your boyhood, the results were positive, I think this process is also being beneficial already.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “The Philosopher’s School Is A Hospital”, really touched me. Having spent some days at the hospital recently forced me to reevaluate lots of my beliefs, thoughts, and biases. The process did hurt as much as the recovery itself.