It’s snowing and thank god we needed it. Jazz is playing and the pines on the hillside are covered in a soft white flufiey fluff that makes the world softer. I’m full swing into this semester, and so far I’m truly enjoying my classes. I have wonderful students, and the conversations and ideas that are being expressed are inspirational. I really do believe in the virtue of humanity.
On April 2017, Time Ferris produced a TED Talk called Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals . The talk discusses the philosophy of stoicism. His presentation quickly lead me to reading more about the principals of stoicism in the article, ” What Is Stoicism? A Definition & 9 Stoic Exercises To Get You Started” from the website, Daily Stoic. In a way, this cabin in the depths of a winter wonderland is an excellent encapsulation of the subject matter couching stoicism. It is tucked into the crevice of a mountain valley clothed in snow, which could be a trying time depending on resources; however, in this picture, the cabin relinquishes, in my stoic eyes, a peaceful setting. A cozy space for solitude and reflection. A space to meet the weather with an acceptance of fate.
In our busy world, sometimes the idea of getting snowed-in feels like a saving grace. A chance to not be their; a chance to give up on some aspects of accountability, due to the cruelties of fate.
As I sit with the snow falling and my love pulling out my skis to take on the winter mountain slopes, I am practicing the AMOR FATI: LOVE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS .
According to the Daily Stoic article mentioned above, “Emperor Marcus Aurelius would say: ‘A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it.’ Another Stoic, Epictetus, who as a crippled slave has faced adversity after adversity, echoed the same: ‘Do not seek for things to happen the way you want them to; rather, wish that what happens happen the way it happens: then you will be happy.’ “
These two quotes to me speak of Buddhism in the act of letting go of expectation or “not seeking for things to happen.” They speak of Hinduism in the sense of allowing oneself to blend into the environment surrounding a person, and “to wish that what happens happen the way it happens.” In Hindiusim being in align with the moment and not resting the natural flow of the universe is a type of bliss, known as samadhi. This principal also rings true in Taoism or Doaism.
These quotes also echo out toward the transcendentalism ideologies of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Both men wrote critically-acclaimed works about the divinity of nature and humanity, which the two men believed pervades everything in the world. A type of intrinsic intelligence was found inherent in nature; as such, the two men held observation of the natural world from a “witnessing” perspective in high regard for personal development.
As such, I find this stoic principal to love everything that happens to be a key feature crafted with slightly different signatures throughout the world of thought and religion. To find these intersections in the way the world works is ponderous and pleasing, at least to myself.
So now that we dragged our feet and have decided to move skiing to tomorrow, I still feel this concept of making the most out of life’s outcomes. It’s the concept of if life gives you lemons make lemonade, but with a twist. It’s not just a way to look at the beauty in the sorrow but also a way to seek out opportunitites in the muck of uninvited outcomes.
Daily Stoic end by mentioning that Amor Fati is, “treating each and every moment—no matter how challenging—as something to be embraced, not avoided. To not only be okay with it, but love it and be better for it. So that like oxygen to a fire, obstacles and adversity become fuel for your potential.”
With that, I am off to pursue other scholarly matters, like paper grading. I leave this platform grateful for the moment that fate provided myself to write this post, loving everything that happens: the intersects, the questions, and the grammar errors—-if there are any.