A Field Guide to a Happy Life: 53 Brief Lessons for Living
It turns out that a happy life is won through the ancient teachings of Epictetus. It also turns out that Pigliucci can ably write about Epictetus’ teachings of stoicism in a most readable and entertaining way. Whilst any teaching of philosophy can be difficult to understand, most of the book is accessible and straight forward. The emphasis to a happy life, it turns out, is to rely on oneself for comfort and also the source of harm. Looking to externals for happiness and fulfillment are ultimate sources of pain and anxiety. This is the heart of the stoic philosophy: to learn what is proper to desire and what to avoid. It is a lesson quite relevant to the materialism which pervades the dominant culture. To quote the author: Whenever externals are more important to you than your own integrity, then be prepared to serve them for the remainder of your life.
To add to his field guide, the author has crafted a chart of his new ideas which augment the basic philosophy of stoicism. This is a wonderful writer and a great book.
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