Bound By Fate: Stoic Philosophy In Paranormal Investigaions

by Matt Shamblin

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.

– Marcus Aurelius

A stoic philosophy can be an asset during paranormal investigations. With it you will have a cool head and your emotions will be under control. Also there is the added benefit of professionalism it can give you when you see that shadow moving down the hallway and you don’t run and scream.

Basically stoicism is living in harmony with nature and accepting that which it deals to you. Not living “contrary to nature” is a key theme you will find. One must stand in the face of danger with composure. Whatever happens isn’t contrary to nature and fate has bound you to it.

Stoicism teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions; the philosophy holds that becoming a clear and unbiased thinker allows one to understand the universal reason. A primary aspect of Stoicism involves improving the individual’s ethical and moral well-being: “Virtue consists in a will which is in agreement with Nature.” This principle also applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships; “to be free from anger, envy, and jealousy,” and to accept even slaves as “equals of other men, because all alike are sons of God.”

The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective; in regards to those who lack Stoic virtue, Cleanthes once said that the wicked man is “like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes.”  A Stoic  would amend his will to suit the world and remain, “sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy,” positing a “completely autonomous” individual will, and at the same time a universe that is “a rigidly deterministic single whole.”

“Make for yourself a definition or description of the thing which is presented to you, so as to see distinctly what kind of a thing it is in its substance, in its nudity, in its complete entirety, and tell yourself its proper name, and the names of the things of which it has been compounded, and into which it will be resolved. For nothing is so productive of elevation of mind as to be able to examine methodically and truly every object which is presented to you in life, and always to look at things so as to see at the same time what kind of universe this is, and what kind of use everything performs in it, and what value everything has with reference to the whole.”

-Marcus Aurelius

For Stoics, reason means not only using logic, but also understanding the processes of nature; the logos(universal reason) inherent in all things. Living according to reason and virtue is to live in harmony with the divine order of the universe, in recognition of the common reason and essential value of all people. The four cardinal virtues of the Stoic philosophy are wisdom, courage,  justice, and temperance.

Stoicism, as regarded today, is seen as being emotionless and that’s simply not the case. As I’ve tried to get across to you that everything is filtered through reason. You can see that a stoic philosophy can help you in a paranormal investigation. Not only that it will help you with life and your interpersonal relationships. I’m sure you can tell that Marcus Aurelius is my favorite. It’s a good place to start and there’s a good modern translation of the Meditations called The Emperors Handbook. Check it out!

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