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Porch Talk

On Love

- by Seneca the Younger

Since the Woodstock era, the West has tried to define love as a noun, rather than a verb.

This means Western nations are trying to claim love is something a person feels, rather than something a person does toward another person. This is unprecedented in the West and reveals an inhumanity regarding social and personal relationships.

Getting straight to the point, the West has the most adult understanding of love. There are four distinct loves. They all involve what we do more than they involve what we feel. The feeling Western popular culture calls love is actually lust or infatuation.

Adult love starts with Agape. This is principled love. It is the actions you take to help someone simply because he is a human. This is the love you see when a fireman runs into a building to save someone he does not know. You show Agape when you see somebody drop some money and you pick it up and give it to them. This is also manifest in the videos on YouTube when strangers "pay it forward" or on the signs we see telling us to "pass it on."

The second adult love is Philia. This is the love of friends, comrades, or teammates engaged in a common endeavor. This love is seen in actions between people on the same sports team, people in the same civic organization, people in the same line of work, etc. Philia actions come from the natural familiarity you instantly have with someone with whom you share a major interest or personality trait.

The third love is Storge. This is the love that comes from respecting what another person likes and respecting what they do not like. It follows that this love only comes from close personal contact over a long time. It is the natural actions that accompany family members, roommates, co-workers and other relationships where you get to know intimate details of others. Storge love is the process of using intimate information about another person to respect them rather than to berate them.

The fourth adult love is Eros. The West is most messed up about this love. Many Western nations consider erotic material to be "adult content." In reality, erotic feelings begin in the teen-age years or before, so much of the West is claiming adulthood does not go past the time when teenagers begin feeling sexual urges. Nevertheless, the Stoic School teaches that there is much more to adulthood than what a teenager feels. Eros is the action of creation. Of course it is pleasurable; creating something is pretty amazing. It is what brought about the Cosmos. However, the West condemns itself when it is all about the pleasure and they make procreation out to be a bad thing. Procreation through Eros is the only love necessary to continue humanity and civilization.

An interesting side note is that all four of these loves intersect only in the traditional Western definition of marriage.That is why the West has historically given special consideration to "nuclear families."

This is sufficient to introduce the Stoic teaching of emotions and actions regarding loves.

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We are the oldest continuous organization in history

The Stoic School has a continuous history of more than 23 centuries. However, we are not an academic organization in the sense of being a university or college as those terms are used today. We have thorny differences with the Academics.

The Stoic School has been the creative force for Western civilization since Zeno of Citium started this School in Athens in 300 BC. As the Stoic School Institute, we show the world the practical benefits of Stoicism, what the Stoic School's spiritual outlook means, and how the Stoic School's sacred geometry connects people with the very forces of divine nature.

If you want to make your modern lifestyle happy and efficient, if you've wished that being healthier was easier, or if you feel something might not be excellent in your life, then you will find the Stoic School enjoyable, interesting, and something that you owe yourself.

From the Scholarch

Never put your doctor in your will.

From the Scholarch

Flirting can be false.

Prettiness always fades.

But Virtue lasts forever.

From the Scholarch

Tell others things they need to know, not things you feel a need to say.

From the Scholarch

All things considered, we must never give up loving life no matter what.

From the Scholarch

A person is only forged into a Stoic after the crucible of suffering.

From the Scholarch

It's better to be the predator than the prey.

From the Scholarch

The essence of conversation is hearing what the other person is actually saying.

From the Scholarch

We all make bad decisions. When that happens, it is honorable to do our best to improve our next decision in similar circumstances. Otherwise, we would make another bad decision by repeating our prior bad decision. 

From the Scholarch

As fire refines gold, suffering refines strong men.

This is why prolonged prosperity often corrupts the men of that society.

Since the West has the greatest prosperity in history, it is no wonder that its masculinity is the lowest in history.

From the Scholarch

Please join us in fighting modern-day slavery.

Here is one way to do that: 

3Strands

From the Scholarch

Those who choose to imitate rabid animals must be treated as rabid animals.

From the Scholarch

Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked.

This is one reason the West has gone weak. For example, the cost of committing the worst crimes against society used to be death or long-term punishment in a penitentiary ("place of punishment," id est "place of penance"). Today, the idea of punishment is abhorrent to the masses, as can be seen by labeling our prisons as "correctional facilities." So, instead of punishment, the West offers criminals "correction," which is a kindness.

That is why the wicked set it in their hearts to do bad. 

From the Scholarch

When someone cuts you off in traffic, remember that he is either (1) making a correct judgment about his situation or is (2) making a false judgment about his situation.

1) If he is correct in his judgment (such as being in a medical emergency), then be happy to yield for the benefit of another with a greater need. You have been given the opportunity to help a friend you have not yet met to get needed assistance.

2) If he is incorrect in his judgment (such as being enraged by having a boss that is difficult to please), then be happy you are not so enraged as to endanger yourself or others. You have been given the opportunity to help an unknown friend to get safely to where he is going and to continue growing in Virtue as Nature sees fit for him.

From the Scholarch

One culture sees women and thinks of FGM and burkas. They are eager to fight to acquire many wives. The West sees women and thinks of a beautiful flower that should be glorified. They do not want to leave their true love and only do it to protect her. Why is that? Erika

From the Scholarch

Those who claim that all we see is a dream, are actually claiming it is all real, because they take as a fact that dreams are real.

From the Scholarch

The purpose of marriage and erotic love is to perpetuate society. Romantic love (eros), however, is a poor basis for a marriage. It is with good reason that it is only in fairy tales that couples live "happily ever after," because infatuation is not the purpose of male and female, and it is not what fulfills male or female. Erotic love comes and goes. One minute a man and woman lust for one another,  and the next minute they might lust for another one.

Rather, the best basis for marriage and perpetuating society is storge love, which causes the man and the woman to respect what the other partner likes and to respect what the other partner dislikes.

This is the reason the West has always honored marriages that strengthen and perpetuate society.

From the Scholarch

The problems in the West are caused by men (males), not because of how Nature made them but because of their cowardice to become what Nature made them.

From the Scholarch

When you encounter people who are aggressive about their political differences, first hear their side. Ask questions to understand why they believe as they do. Then, weigh their judgments on the scales of your reason to determine if they are better judgments, worse judgments, or neutral compared to your judgments about politics. Be grateful for them, because they are necessary for you to develop Right Reason just as gravity is necessary to develop strong muscles.

From the Scholarch:

The only problem with receiving criticism is if it is something true about your character.

Then, it is in your power to change the cause of the criticism and end the only problem it can cause you.

From Epictetus

No man who loves money, and loves pleasure, and loves fame, also loves mankind, but only he who loves virtue.

Handbook XIII

“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in so far as it stands ready against the accidental and the unforeseen, and is not apt to fall.”

by Marcus Aurelius, an ancient emperor who practiced Stoicism

We Are Building the Eighth Wonder of the World. Here is what was said about the first seven.

The Seven Wonders of the World

"I have gazed on the walls of impregnable Babylon, along which chariots may race, and on the Zeus by the banks of the Alpahaeus. I have seen the Hanging Gardens and the Colossus of Helios, the great man-made mountains of the lofty pyramids, and the gigantic tomb of Maussollos. But when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, the others were placed in the shade, for the sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus."

by Antipater of Sidon an ancient poet who loved to visit new places

Slave, poor as Irus, halting as I trod,

I, Epictetus, was the friend of God.

by an ancient poet who did not give us his name