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How to Eat Like a Stoic: The Ancient Diets of Cynicism and Stoicism

by on January 15, 2021

Donald J. Robertson, Writer and Cognitive-behavioural Psychotherapist, author of “The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy”

Is Karma REAL?

by on January 11, 2021

History is replete with examples of those getting what they deserve… as well as those who do not.
Living in a land where so many Nazis fled is proof enough. One of the main organizers of the ‘final solution,’ Adolf Eichman was kidnapped from a well-to-do neighborhood and shipped to Israel for trial. Meanwhile the evil doctor Mengele, who at one point lived up the road in Buenos Aires, enjoyed a long life traveling around the world, taking ski holidays and infamously never once felt repentant.
So… what gives? Doesn’t really seem fair, does it? It begs the question, does Karma exist?
Well, the ancients would have most definitely said yes. Not only did they feel consequences would follow actions, they deified it.

Psyche and Cupid: Mythology’s Greatest Love Story

by on January 8, 2021

Written by Edward Whelan, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom
There are many beautiful myths from Classical civilization. One of the most beautiful of all is that of Psyche and Cupid. Unlike most ancient legends, it is a romantic tale and has a happy ending. This myth has been enormously influential, and it has helped to shape modern romantic literature and even modern conceptions of love.
Origin of the myth
The main source for this myth is one of the greatest Roman novels, the Metamorphoses by Apuleius, which dates to the second half of the 2nd century AD. The story is narrated by the main character Lucius to a young bride who has been kidnapped by pirates. However, the story is much older and there are depictions of Cupid and Psyche in Hellenistic Greek art. Many believe that there are elements taken from Mystery Religions in the story. These were cults that promised their adherents salvation, which were popular throughout the Classical era.

Meditations on the Rise of Stoicism

by on January 6, 2021

Written by Alex Barrientos, Associate Editor, Classical Wisdom
Stoicism, as a philosophy of life, has become increasingly popular amongst the general public.
With practical lessons on how to control our temper, how to have good friendships, prioritizing what’s important, facing death, avoiding the pitfalls of consumer culture, and how to live the good life, it is no surprise that Stoicism would have much to offer those of us living in the 21st century.
I myself have improved much in my life due to my readings of Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius.

What have we learned in 2020? And how do we plan for 2021?

by on January 4, 2021

I’m always a big fan of liminality. For those unfamiliar with the word, it is an anthropological term, coming from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”. The concept is easy enough to grasp; it’s that strange moment in between two boundaries, the transition between one stage and another. It’s a point of ritual, a rite of passage that is both poignant and ambiguous.
It can include initiation into a group, like a wedding… or a transition in one’s life, such as achieving a puberty… or moving to a new location or situation.
Of course, liminality can be found in the ancient world…. Whether over the literal threshold of the Delphic Oracle (of which today’s mailbag responses pertain to), the sacred acts of the numerous mystery cults, or interwoven again and again in the mythology.
Delphi

Ruins of forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where know thyself was once said to be inscribed

The epic tale of Cupid and Psyche, for instance, is a classic example of liminality in myth.