Instead of jumping straight into Day 2 of Stoic week, I shall begin with an epilogue of Day one – or Day one and a half if you wish.
After I finished writing yesterdays entry I had a highly unexpected challenge to my Stoic week, the offer of a supply of Lysergic acid diethylamide. According to my friend this has cured his depression and made him bulletproof to all that nature and beyond has to throw at him.
A younger version of myself would probably be sitting talking to an invisible German called Klaus right now and part of my current self would like to be with him.
The last time I took acid was at university and my only memory of the event was standing at Silly Mid-Off in a game of invisible cricket with my friend Andy. Incidentally this also happens to be the only time I have been on the winning side of a cricket match.
The fact that you are reading this, is a testament to my will power in a torrent of ‘go on, go on, go on’, from my friend. As I noted to Mrs OTStrange I had hoped by the time I reached my early late 40’s I would have moved beyond peer pressure to consume hallucinogenics.
For those who have known me (or at least the online version of me), will hopefully join my self back patting as will power when it comes to mood managing substances is not my ‘A-Game’. #YayforMe
Anyway, back to stoic week day 2 and today’s theme is ‘Happiness’.
In general I am a fairly accurate representation of the clown who cannot help trying to make folk laugh, if only to cover up a deep and unrelenting melancholy. Therefore the concept of attaining ‘happiness’ , seems harder than the acquisition of hallucinogenic drugs.
Within Stoic philosophy Happiness goes beyond an emotional level of a new phone or finding that you have been blocked on Twitter by a major celebrity, after calling them a fat talent-less cunt.
Happiness comes through being virtuous, on the face of it this seems a fairly attainable goal – as indicated yesterday, Don’t be a cunt.
However one of the virtues is Justice and this sadly is not in the sense of being Judge Dredd.
It actually means showing compassion and this is something which right now feels more difficult than Quantum Chess, or getting a straight answer from a politician.
My issue with this concept right now, is why should I be compassionate and understanding to someone who is a self absorbed or selfish cunt? Why should they get the easy ride of not being called up on their attitude?
The stoics would say that we cannot control other people and how they act, therefore it is not our concern and we should simply be.
I don’t have any answers right now and I suspect this will prove a challenge for me, as I am not someone who suffers fools, or cunts gladly. I can also incredibly vengeful given half a chance, one time as a young man I cheated on my then girlfriend, a ridiculous number of times purely because she offered my pal money so sleep with her.
The upshot of this particular tale is that she eventually left me for another of my friends, so clearly my ‘revenge’ was like cum off a whores back.
Perhaps therein lies the lesson, vengeance is largely pointless and self defeating – but just like hallucinogenic drugs – it feels so good!