William Irvine was a professor at Wright State University and is the author of seven books, including his best-seller, "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy." During our conversation, Bill talks about the history of the Stoics, an ancient school of philosophy that began in Athens in 300 B.C. He also talks about the psychological training that the Stoics encouraged, including negative visualization, a practice aimed at reducing the human tendency for insatiability and increasing our gratitude for the many gifts of our lives.
Bill's book helped to launch the modern renaissance of Stoicism. The Stoic's message - including those of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, and Musonius Rufus - emphasized the importance of intentional struggle and temporary hardship, to align one's body and one's mind with the reality of life itself. This message is evergreen in creating resilient and capable people, and ever more important in our increasingly super-convenient, super-addicted "Brave New World."
Stoicism reminds me of a quote from Veritas Savannah:
“Prepare your child for the road, not the road for your child.”