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Porch Talk

What is the Essence of Western Civilization? (5 of 6)

- by Kelly Kinkade

Your purpose in life is that need in Nature that made it necessary for Nature to bring you into existence. That means you are uniquely equipped by Nature to fill an important need; it also means that if you do not fulfill that vital need, you are fighting against the forces of Nature; and you will damage yourself severely, making your life much harder. You will be out of place in the world and will feel awkward in life.

Here’s a good way to look at it: a machinist makes each tool for a reason, and it is that reason that brings that idea of a hammer into the physical world; the need to drive nails ends up creating a physical hammer.

And that means a hammer is uniquely equipped to fill the important need of driving nails; it also means that if a hammer decided, “Driving nails is for suckers; I’m gonna saw wood instead,” it would be fighting against the very forces that brought it into the world; and the hammer would cause its own destruction, because what does a factory do if it produces a hammer that, for some reason, never drives a nail right? They throw it away and make a better one, don’t they? Nature is similarly severe with us and our purpose.

Man’s purpose is virtue. Virtue is what you and I are uniquely equipped by Nature to do that no other animal can do; and you put yourself at odds with Nature when you do not do virtue. Virtue is unlimited strength. Our ancestors called it virtue, because the Latin word for virtue means strength.

Can’t you feel that Nature made you to be strong? Look into yourself for a second. You want to be strong, energetic, healthy, happy to be alive, right? You don’t find yourself awake at night wishing you were weaker, do you? You don’t find yourself online trying to find a way to make yourself more exhausted and more ill, do you? It’s absurd, isn’t it?

So, regarding strength, the first amazing fact our relatives noticed about strength was that human strength must include more than physical power, like big muscles. Some soldiers who were stronger or faster than the others would flee the battlefield when the barbarians seemed to start getting the upper hand.

Related to this, our forefathers noticed that some of the strongest Olympians came to early deaths, because they took unnecessary risks with their lives in things like extreme sports. When an athletic person fled his duty or came to an early death, he exercised less physical influence in this world than those he left behind.

The weaker or slower soldiers were able to do more work than the more muscular ones. But, how could that be?

The second amazing fact that our ancestors noticed was that in every way they were strong, animals were stronger. Dogs ran faster, dolphins swam faster, oxen pulled more, and birds could fly, showing a mystical strength that nature banned for man. Yet man captured and used all of these animals to serve man, never the other way around. So they wondered what was this secret power that Nature gave man and banned from animals?

Well, the strength Nature gave only to man is direct access to the forces of Nature’s laws. A good thing to know about yourself is how you can access this unlimited strength deep inside you.

The final article in this series will show you how to access your full potential energy by influencing the very laws of Nature, because ancestors you did not even know about wrote all of it down to make sure you could access this power of Nature called VIRTUE.

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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

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 of 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) is a poor reason to commit to a member of the opposite sex. 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 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.

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

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