“Living by nature”: as a student of stoicism, one must understand this sentence, for it appears as a Stoic of fundamental importance. I wonder how my understanding less than science is consistent with those who have a much deeper understanding of it. So it was with interest that I read Sadler`s blog. It`s illuminating, and I`m glad he wrote it. Personally, I take this as living in harmony with my nature. I listen to my feelings when I realize whether or not what I am doing corresponds to my own sense of virtue. If I feel like because of something I`ve done, I know I can`t make that mistake again. It helped me, but I understand that this is not the original intent of the words. Several other Stoics added Chrysippus` statement, as Laertes recounts. His successor as a scholar, Diogenes of Babylon, “explicitly declares the end, with a good reason to act in the choice of what corresponds to nature.” Archedemus of Tarsus extends this to “the realization of all appropriate actions.” Keep in mind that in these two formulas, what we see, emphasizing reasoning is more practical – in some cases as in general – which means “in accordance with nature”. Diogenes stresses the need to decide (and act) competently on one of a number of possible things in accordance with nature, that is, one chooses carefully. Archedemus emphasizes the whole field of real duties (in Greek, kathekonta, Latin, officia) as part and package of life in accordance with nature.
In man, which is becoming a broader agreement with nature, the basis from which we begin, that is precisely that, is a starting point. There is a rational process that leads from basic impulse to self-preservation in rationality and usability. Here are my reflections on life after nature, which I have been trying to understand for a few years. As an Occam razor practitioner, I prefer simpler explanations to complex explanations, even if they are sometimes more precise. When he says, “Self-examination is applied with kindness,” I think the most important lesson here is self-knowledge. It is very easy to ask critical questions and immediately feel shame, despair and even anger. Be yourself, sure, but also realize that this is what everyone is experiencing, so that it is not shameful. The idea is to become aware of a false faith or a bad habit, and then to apply with kindness a solution that can lead to lasting change.
Each type of thing within the universe has its own specific constitution and character. This second feeling of “nature” is what we use when we say that it is the nature of fire to move upwards. The way in which living beings are born, transformed and beleaded distinguishes them from the way things do not become alive, change and cease to be. Thus, the nature of the plants is very different from the nature of the rocks and sand. Living “in accordance with nature” in this second sense would include, for example, metabolic functions: diet, growth, reproduction and waste disposal. A plant that successfully performs these functions is a healthy and thriving specimen. In his tenth letter to Lucillius, Seneca said to his disciple: “Virtue is in nature; it`s against and hostile. What remains is really determining what a “virtue” is.
And that`s something we need to understand in order to “live by nature.” The art of life teaches us to do exactly that: live well. Sharon Lebell`s wisdom and interpretation outlined in this book are so clear that, page after page, words should strike a cord and give a sense of clarity and direction.