Integral Theory and Stoicism


#1

Integral and contemporary Stoicism can be the best of friends. Of course, Stoic teachings about virtue and how to live are immediately useful. But here is Ryan Holiday, Stoic author and creator of the Daily Stoic, demonstrating how to think integrally about the stupid, evil people we see all around us in today’s world.
"The last few years have shown us aspects of humanity, not-small parts of society, that repulse many of us. The events that have come to define these years have revealed the racists and the treasonous, the callous and the stupid. We’ve watched nihilists burn down our buildings and try to shut down our governments. We’ve watched anti-vaxxers and COVID-deniers overwhelm our hospitals and morgues. We’ve watched the self-righteous and the out-of-touch embarrass themselves with stupid slogans and impossibly wrongheaded policies.
And?
This surprises you? You need to remember: These people have always existed. Every era has had them. But more than that, as the Stoics would remind you, every era must have them. “All of us are working on the same project,” Marcus Aurelius writes, “Some consciously, with understanding; some without knowing it. Some of us work in one way, and some in others. And those who complain and try to obstruct and thwart things…the world needs them too.”
The world needs these types for many reasons. First, because a diversity of opinion is, in the aggregate, better than homogeneity. Second, because the obnoxious and the shameless and the evil do more for us than we think. They remind us of what virtue is. They give us something to struggle against. They prevent us from becoming complacent. They illustrate the terrible costs of being like them. They are, as Marcus Aurelius’s famous passage about obstacles was written about, the adversity that shows us the way.
By all means, fight against them. By all means, denounce what they represent. Just don’t buy the fantasy that they can ever be made to disappear. They can’t. And they shouldn’t. We need them. And they need us.”


#2

Yes, I still get a lot out of listening to Stoic teachings to this day.
I’m not an expert by any means, though.
The the next step beyond stoicism is to look for the humor in the absurdity. To be deadly serious while laughing joyfully. It might go something like grim conscious acceptance -> sarcastic dark humor -> oh, those morons are just living out the chaos of the universe.

I remember playing several computer real-time strategy games several years ago where there was a lone chaos peon phenomena. You drag your mouse over a formation of peons and tell them to move here, then there, or whatever action. But there was often one lone peon who would wander of in completely the wrong direction. We were often suspicious that this chaos factor might have been programmed in to make the game more entertaining (frustrating). What is the fun of a game that always goes exactly according to how you want it to? So often when I see some random moron doing something completely stupid, I often think of it as the game of life and just one peon is running a “chaos peon subroutine”


#3

Donald Trump as “chaos peon?”


#4

LOL - I wasn’t thinking of him in particular, but yeah - someone just going off in a random unexpected direction and screwing the whole plan up, lol. To bad we can’t load the 2015 saved game.

There’s also a kind of humor out there that in a way accepts “morons” as “glitched NPC’s”. Searching youtube for “Oblivion NPC” shows these people in a new humorous light.
“Skooma Addict” is also a fun one. “Skooma” is an addictive drink in the Elder Scrolls games.