> The Stoic Attitude
The Stoic Attitude
- Positive Traits:
Accepting the way the world works, Calm, Can handle most things, Makes the
best out of life, Peaceful, Stable, Surrendering, Tranquil
- Negative Traits:
Emotionally withdrawn, Exhausted, Non-confrontational, Poker-Faced, Resigned to their
fate, Unexpressive, Unusually quiet
The Stoic attitude is often selected when
the virtues required to fulfill the soul's agenda are patience and endurance.
Think of Sisyphus as he stoically muscled his boulder up that hill, only to watch
it tumble down again; think of Job, who weathered calamity after calamity, only
to lose everything. The Stoic bears suffering without complaint.
How Stoics Look:
Stoics appear emotionally detached and resigned, as if they feel a quiet resolve about something that cannot be
altered. They mask the countenance of the classic "poker-face," making
them difficult to read by friends, family, and co-workers. In fact, their
like masks and are often long-drawn as if weighted by the gravity of their
burdens. When their eyes are not frustratingly impassive, they can appear, in a
poetic sense, like dark chasms that act as reservoirs for the failures,
disappointments, and losses of humanity. In the gaze of the Stoic you may
see the flickering images of what the whole of mankind has endured in the world,
and for that reason alone -- and perhaps more so than the other attitudes -- the Stoic is
perhaps closer to understanding what is truly required to be human.
Tranquility & Resignation - How To Identify What
The Positive and Negative Poles Feel Like:
In the positive pole of Tranquility,
feelings of calmness and serenity comprise the emotional tones. The pulse is
even, the posture relaxed, the limbs are loose, the movement of the body is
languid and unhurried, and there is a sense of satisfaction in everyday tasks,
with a feeling that everything in the world is connected just the way it should
Thought processes at this state of
composure are level-headed and without stress, and can feel like the placid
waters of a secluded mountain lake that sway and lap against smooth and rounded
pebbles on the shore.
In the negative pole, the feeling of
resignation leads to a decrease of confidence and a "sinking sensation"
in the body. The posture stoops, the shoulders slump, the eyes stare into space,
the face sags, and there may be frequent sighs and mutterings.
The mental focus may also shift
erratically, making concentration more difficult. Feelings of emptiness may
ensue, leading to emotional indifference and sensations of isolation, like being
marooned in the cold, dark, vastness of space.
Interaction: The first
rule in getting along with the Stoic is to honor their natural penchant for
being quiet and taciturn. Indeed, the Stoic's detached and deadpan delivery can lend an
inscrutable air to their mannerisms but their willingness to stand unruffled
the bustle of life can also be a source of serenity to those around
them. Learn to enjoy this silence with the Stoic as a tranquil truce
with the incessant fury of a clamorous world.
Stoics are people of few words, and
never wanting to belabor a point, they favor direct communication that cuts to the
chase without unnecessary tangents or verbal flourishes. A simple thumbs up or
down will often suffice when communicating with them.
Preferred Surroundings: Stoics
are temperamentally equipped to work long hours provided that their work is not
subject to pointless interruption. More than the other attitudes, they prefer
peaceful environments where they can focus, like a Zen Monk, on the task at
Literature and Films: Along with Job from the bible
and Sisyphus from mythological lore, the Stoic has enjoyed a long tradition as a
hero in Western films. Actors like Gary Cooper or John Wayne catapulted
themselves into stardom portraying heroic stoics enduring the machinations of evil cattle barons
or lawless frontier towns.
Literature offers volumes of stoical
characters, including Brutus in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and the
head-hunting Queequeg from Melville's Moby Dick.
In crime fiction, Philip Marlowe, the
protagonist in Raymond Chandler's novels, is certainly an unflappable stoic, as
is Jeeves, the butler from the P.G. Wodehouse romps. In films, stoics are
represented by Humphrey Bogart's character in Casablanca, Atticus Finch
from To Kill a Mockingbird, Macon Leary from The Accidental Tourist,
and even Yoda from Star Wars.
Perhaps the most well-known stoic
is Mr. Spock, the emotionally reserved Vulcan from Star Trek -- though he
could run a close tie with the stoic believer Fox Mulder from the TV series, The X-Files.
One could argue that Mulder's partner Scully is also a stoic, but unlike Fox,
Scully's dispassionate demeanor is more clinical, like the Pragmatist.
World: Parts of the Asian world are almost a clichι of
Stoicism, and Great Britain, with its Buckingham Palace guards and a national
pride that stands resolute and "keeps a stiff upper lip" in the
face of adversity, is widely known for posturing stoic virtues.
Buddhism, a religion that preaches
calmness and emotional temperance, is inherently stoic in the way it seeks peace
and mindfulness in the present moment.
Personal Application: If
you are a Stoic, it is important to avoid the feeling of being resigned to your
fate. This a the product of the negative pole and may be alleviated by sliding
to "Verification," the positive pole of the
Spiritualist attitude. In this case, you would verify your feelings about a
situation and use that truth to help pull you out of any feelings of resignation.
In more extreme cases, where emotions
stir the chief features into action, you slide to "Faith," the negative
pole of Spiritualist. This is blind faith, however, and it will only
fuels more incendiary feelings. Once again, the solution is to slide to a
positive emotion, ultimately landing at the neutral point that creates a septant
between the pairing of Stoic and Spiritualist.
When your chief feature does squarely
entrench you in "Faith," one solution is to slide to the positive pole of that
feature. For instance, a Stoic with a chief feature of
could slide to the positive pole of "Determination," and use that sense of
determination to find a way back to a more comfortable footing.
Here is channeling
concerning what Michael feels the Stoic should know:
When the Stoic
learns that there is a discernable difference between being withdrawn and
simply reticent, they have won half the battle in understanding how to best
manifest this attitude. To be a Stoic or not to be is the question many
Stoics struggle with as they compare themselves to the more exuberant
expressions of the other attitudes. Of course, being stoical brings
innumerable rewards on an essence level, but since these perks are not
readily noticeable to friends and family who insist that their beloved Stoic
"come out of his shell" more often, we will add that there has been a
stoical tradition in every evolving society and culture since this
experiment in sentience began, and without stoical temperaments, the
framework of civilization as you know it would have experienced far less
To use an old
nautical directive: Stay the course. As a Stoic you are a grounding force in
peoples lives and that is both valuable and needed.
-- David Gregg
Kate Bush, Cher, Hillary Clinton (freq.
slides to Stoic), Gary Cooper, Johnny Depp, Edward Norton, David Shire, Andy
Stoics can be described as the pessimistic Attitude. It isn't
that Stoics perceive everything as contemptible like the
Cynic does, or that
they perceive everything to be questionable like the Skeptic does. It is that
there is very little that is of much importance. A Stoic finds the world bland,
uninspiring and drab, perhaps even dreary "Things are tough all
over". This has the advantage that Stoics are not easily upset because they
can put up with much negativity. It is as if they were insulated from it. Nor
are they deceived by false hopes. On the other hand, there is the disadvantage
that Stoics do not "fight the system" when it is in need of reform.
They may not see real dangers to avoid.
Stoics have a mood of insensitivity to what is happening
around them "Who cares?". They are psychologically
"nearsighted", so to speak. They are unaffected by things that provoke
others, and indifferent to things that draw others "I'm not
impressed". Because they tend to minimize what they see, it often takes the
proverbial two-by-four to hit them between the eyes to get their attention. Only
in severe trauma do they realize that something serious is happening.
The Stoic Attitude is the complement of the
Attitude. Both are in the Inspiration axis. Both cause the person to perceive
the world in terms of qualities or values, to perceive the essence more than the
action or the mental content of their experiences. Sometimes Spiritualists and
Stoics have difficulty telling what happened or what was said other than to
describe the mood and impression of the events or the words. Interestingly
enough, a religious temperament is present in people with both Attitudes. Both
think of life in terms of "destiny", but in opposite ways. The
Spiritualist sees creation evolving freely in the abundance and beneficence of
"Providence". The Stoic feels the creation is trapped in the
deterministic rule of omnipotent "Fate". Spiritualists see God
"up there" beyond nature, but Stoics see the hand of God "down
here" in nature. Spiritualists look to heaven and Stoics look to earth.
Spiritualists see the world as more than real. Stoics see it as less than real,
Stoics can be deadly sober. Rarely are they frivolous. Also,
Stoics are certainly not "touchy" people. The
counterpart of the Stoic Attitude is the Emotional Center. People in both are
very mundane in their approach they are physical rather than psychological.
That is, they prefer the body to the mind. People in both have a certain
moodiness about them. The difference between the two is that the Emotional
Center is the feeling response of the personality to the qualities one sees, and
the Stoic Attitude is one's view of the qualities of the world.
Positive Pole (Tranquility)
The Positive Pole is +Tranquility, and people in this Pole are
typically at peace with themselves and the world. They regard the world as a
pleasant place, and are contented to have their small part in it. They consider
most disturbances to be petty, so they overlook them as not worth getting
bothered about. They have a high tolerance for irritations. In situations that
would upset others, they are "cool, calm and collected". In
circumstances that would perturb others, they are serene and relaxed. Few things
can shake their composure.
Negative Pole (Resignation)
The Negative Pole is -Resignation. This is a fatalistic,
gloomy, somber attitude. People in this Pole believe that events are
predetermined anyway, so why fight them? If it is inevitable, so there is no use
getting upset about them "Why bother?". Such people feel
overwhelmed by the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", so they
just keep cool in the adversity. Such people are so turned off to the world that
they will not try to exercise their power against it "What's the
use?". Stoics in this Pole believe in luck bad luck. One sad thing
about this is that they may blame fate rather than learn from their mistakes.
Another sad thing is that because they anticipate things will get worse, they do
not get upset when things do get worse upset enough to do something about
it. Yet another sad thing is that they do not get excited when things get better
because they figure it will just turn bad again. In the extreme case this
pessimism is spiritlessness, hopelessness and apathy.
The fear that drives -Resignation is the fear of getting one's
hopes up, only to have them dashed to pieces. -Resignation is therefore a hedge
against disappointment. -Resignation is sometimes driven by a fear of going
against the will of God. Stoics see the hand of God (or it's equivalent,
whatever they call it) in everything, so they do not want to be guilty of
opposing His ordained law. The way to transcend this fear is to consider and
apply the Positive Pole of the Complementary Attitude, which is +Verification
seek the truth about good and evil. Attune to the higher qualities and
values of life. Do not get dragged down by the misery that is in the world
things may not be good right now, but they will improve at least enough to
balance out in the long run. Bring to mind the better things, be optimistic, and
look beyond this "veil of tears".
-- Phil Wittmeyer
Stoic is the ordinal inspiration attitude. Stoics stay within
(the inspiration axis is the inner world, and the ordinal side is contracted).
Stoics look at the world through a lens that says, "It doesn't matter so much
what's out there; what matters is that I stay in a state of serenity and not let
things bother me." This is the most ordinal way of looking at the world. It is a
way of framing life based on what you experience internally.
The stoic attitude is great for people who are in difficult,
perhaps service-oriented positions where it is hard to please people. Let's say
you have the thankless task of waiting on people at the DMV. Your ability to
weather their discontent for having to wait so long and still be courteous is an
asset in that work. Stoics cultivate serenity by not being so concerned about
the outer world. There is a buffer around them. The positive pole is
"tranquility"; the negative pole is "resignation."
In the negative pole, stoics don't speak up about something that they do care
about. Instead of being truly serene, they are disturbed but then deny it; they
sigh and says, "Oh well, what can you do?" when perhaps there is something they
could do. Even though they may want to live, say, seventy-five percent of their
life unconcerned about the outer world, being human, there is always going to be
some concern about the outer world. You cannot be one hundred percent buffered.
Therefore, when they actually do care, let's say about a choice being made, it
behooves them to speak up, preferably in a way that maintains their serenity but
also makes their voice heard. Part of this is not saying yes when they are
The attitude opposite stoic is spiritualist; spiritualists are visionary. So
stoics who are resigned might look at the outer world in a visionary way, and
say, "What would I like to see here? What would be possible?" It might be
something as mundane as, "We could go to a different restaurant."
-- Shepherd Hoodwin
In the true stoic, there is
detached acceptance of the controlling forces of the universe.
Stoics are not devoid of all feelings; they can merely detach themselves in a
fairly lofty manner from the pain involved. Of course, they also detach
themselves from much of the pleasure also.
Comparisons of the Seven Attitudes ]
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