Daily Jiddu – January 16

Is Stoicism a wisdom to thrive competitively? It feels like it when I listen/read to some modern adopters. I haven’t yet managed to go through Marcus Aurelius and Seneca and I’m curious about the competitive aspects in their words. Be stronger and better than others modern Stoicism seems to say. Be more virtuous I would imagine the Romans saying.

According to Krishnamurti today ‘virtue has no authority’. The moment we strive to be virtuous as society describes virtue the virtue itself ceases to exist. The moment virtue is a state described by authority, anything other than yourself, it becomes a competition. I guess the moment we strive to be anything regulated by the outside it becomes a competition. True virtue has to come from oneself.

Now, I don’t think Stoicism dictates you to take standards of virtue from an authority. However, in the modern texts I read a lot about giving yourself the tools to do the right thing. What that ‘right thing’ is is given little attention about, but what is repeated is the fact that you can use the tools out-compete others. To me it feels like a pity to use such wonderful tools for such an egocentric goal.