Which stoic philosopher is your favorite

The Stoa and Moving Thinking

The idea of ​​running while thinking and thinking while running is neither new nor an invention of Zen running, but has been known since ancient times.

From Plato to Aristotle and his peripatetic school, to Rene 'Descartes, who begins his famous meditations with a walk, there is a connection between physical and mental movement. And the literary figure Albert Camus even created the term “Mediterranean thinking” on the basis of his trips to Tipasa. However, one of those schools of thought that practically cultivated this connection was the philosophical school of the Stoa, which was named after the colonnade that was used to walk through when thinking.

Founded in Athens by Zenon from Kition, the Stoa primarily endeavored to connect Cynical teachings with the thoughts of various other philosophers. Although the Stoics divided their teachings into three parts, the focus was on logic and physics, ethics. It is the most important part of stoic philosophy. Stoic ethics was the conviction that man, as a reasonable being, could recognize the universal law and that it was virtuous to live according to it. According to the Stoa, this is the only possible, true bliss. Everything that a person values ​​highly and that he strives for throughout his life, such as B. a long life, health, honor or property, just like what he constantly tries to avoid, such as illness, death and poverty, is neither good nor bad, but simply indifferent.

The task of man can therefore only be the constant fight against his affects, which pretend to him indifferent and bad things as valuable. The goal of the Stoic must therefore be the absolute overcoming of these affects. Stoicism demands that all events, both negative and positive, be met with dispassion. Only those who have achieved this are truly wise. However, stoicism is a bit restrictive and, in contrast to the Cynics and the rest of ancient thought, demands general justice and philanthropy in a different way. The Stoics were therefore also the first philosophers to combine the idea of ​​comprehensive humanity with that of conscious cosmopolitanism in ancient times.

In this way, stoicism became the leading philosophical direction in the entire Roman Empire in the medium term. The mindset of the Romans and stoicism were ultimately so closely linked that it is difficult to say which influences and thoughts are actually decisive.

Movement, thinking and humanitarian action are values ​​that are very similar to the conceptual background of Zen running. Therefore, dear Zen runners: “Let's keep running and stay a little stoic, in the spirit of Zenon and his successors. So we don't have to be indifferent to everything right away. Not even the time you ran in the next marathon! ”Just keeping our affects in check a little can be good for you and it can also be reassuring.

Dr. Günter Heidinger