The Goal Of Life Is Living In Agreement With Nature Essay

The Goal Of Life Is Living In Agreement With Nature Essay

The first meaning of “Living in harmony with nature” is to live in harmony with the entire universe. The Stoics believed that the universe was completely rational and a well-ordered system. Therefore, all events fit into a well-ordered scheme, where everything happens exactly when it is planned. Because of this reasoning, nature is identical to fate. The second is a character associated with individuals as such. This assigns us our particular characteristics, “the bending of our own particular nature” (1.31.110), which may be, in some ways, better or worse than other people. Cicero emphasizes that we cannot simply copy the properties of others and repress those who express our own tendencies. But we also need to find ways to adapt our own individual character to the larger whole. If you hear or read it for the first time, “in accordance with nature” sounds like a useful criterion that we could use to guide and measure our choices, beliefs, reasoning, desires, and actions.

But this creates confusion and concern. Indeed, without having a clear idea of what “nature” and “in agreement with” means, it would seem that we are only playing with generalities and that we are thus mistaken with words that have no particular meaning, but that challenge us on a purely emotional level. And that – if it really is – should be very worrying for a Stoic (pun intended)! Personally, I mean living in harmony with my nature. I listen to my feelings for comments on whether or not what I am doing corresponds to my own sense of virtue. If I feel like because of something I`ve done, I know I don`t have to make that mistake again. It helped me, but I understand that this is not the original intention of the words. Living in harmony with the natural world is part of what I mean. But I think there`s a greater nature that we don`t know. It is our inner nature, what makes us good and virtuous, the incredible potential we are endowed with. This is reflected both in our behavior and in our sense of reverence and gratitude. Seneca once reflected on the size of natural phenomena and how they pushed him to a sense of reverence.

I think that the understanding of the natural world, of which we are a part, and the virtuous life in it is the same thing. Thank you for your reply. The early Stoics liked intransigent dichotomies—all those who are not wise are fools, all those who are not free are slaves, all those who are not virtuous are malevolent, etc. Later Stoics distinguished between those who progressed and those who did not. Although the wise or wise man was considered rarer than the phoenix, it is useful to see the concept of the wise man as a prescriptive ideal that anyone can aim for. This ideal is therefore not an absolutely high goal, its quest is pure futility. On the contrary, all those who are not wise have the rational resources to persevere in their path to this ideal. Stoic teachers could use this sublime image as a pedagogical way to urge their students to constantly strive to improve and not fall into complacency. The Stoics were convinced that getting closer to this goal brought us closer to real and sure happiness. Whether or not we get the full expression of our genetic potential depends on both our circumstances (things beyond our control) and our choices (things under our control….. .

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