Eric Maroney, author of Religious Syncretism, The Other Zions, & published fiction
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Irvine’s A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
Irvine’s A Guide to the
Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy has a
slightly misleading title, as Irvine is just as much pouring Stoicism into a
modern mold as he is presenting an ancient art.
There is nothing wrong with this, and he repeatedly
stresses that his Stoicism is a product of ancient Stoicism, but is even more
so a new creation. In fact, some of the techniques he provides to become
a Stoic are not found in ancient sources (again, he points this out).
This does not detract from the book, in fact, it brings
Stoicism to our age. Irvin eliminates the ancient religious elements from
Stoicism. Any and all metaphysics is removed. You won’t find
reference to God, gods, Zeus or the World-Fire. For that, use Irvin’s
helpful list of books from Stoics at the end of this guide.
Controlling our emotions is probably one of the most
difficult challenges in life. Irvine provides a fine avenue to approach this