The Colorado Springs Stoa is a group open to anyone interested in the ancient philosophy and modern practice of Stoicism. The purpose of this Meetup page is to facilitate in-person discussion of ideas that encourage progress towards a life of optimal human flourishing.
• What is Stoicism?
The Stoic school was a philosophical movement begun by Zeno of Citium in 3rd Century B.C. Athens, and it became one of the most prominent philosophical traditions during the Hellenistic Period and into the Roman Empire. Although the organized school faded, many Stoic ideas were absorbed into the western philosophical tradition, and would become influential again during the Renaissance and Enlightenment thanks to the preserved writings of Seneca, Epictetus, and Cicero. Today, Stoicism is experiencing a renewed level of popularity thanks to the work of contemporary authors including William Irvine, Donald Robertson, and Massimo Pigliucci.
The primary aim of Stoic philosophy is to discover how humans can attain a life of "eudaimonia," usually translated as happiness, flourishing, or living up to our optimal human potential. The ancient Stoics held that we reach this condition when we fully embrace our capabilities as rational and social animals, when our behavior is shaped by the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, and courage, and by focusing our attention on matters that are truly important and within our power to control.
• Why study Stoicism today?
The word "stoic" has come to refer generically to behavior that is unemotional and unflinching in the face of difficulties, and while Stoic philosophy does promise to produce mental toughness (Epictetus even suggests we can become invincible), and teaches that control over negative emotions is important, Stoicism offers a complete system for understanding the world and shaping our behavior.
Other ideas from Stoicism include the notion that we should respect all of our fellow human beings, that we should prefer to live in societies where justice prevails, and that true personal freedom is available when we develop our capacity for reason and virtue. These ideas from the ancient Stoics and the practical advice for life they provide remain relevant for modern times.