Psychology, Stoic advice

Stoic advice for the Lobster king.


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Let’s talk about Jordan Peterson and his fascination with lobsters. I have to confess I read 12 Rules for Life in less than four days, it’s just amazing.

So, why lobsters?

In order to understand why, first we need to talk about hierarchies. What is a hierarchie? according to the urban dictionary: a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authorities.

Lobsters have been in the planet for a while, and when I say a while I’m saying before the dinosaurs, they are old, old beings. What caught Peterson’s attention so much was that lobsters arrange their societies with hierarchies.

Lobsters live deep in the ocean, right at the bottom.

They also shed their carcases several times during their lives and live with soft skin for a while, so during those times they need shelter. Shelter allows the lobster to grow a new carcass and be safe from other predators. Shelter however are on demand in the lobster world and so the lobsters have to fight for them. This is how the hierarchy starts. Whenever two lobster find themselves fighting for a shelter, several things happen. They encounter each other and measure each other out to see who’s better suited to keep the shelter. Some chemicals are thrown at each other and they can know because of the chemicals: size, mood and other factors to take into consideration. If they decide to fight, it becomes a life or dead challenge, so they measure each other out just to be sure they are not making a wrong decision. This is how the hierarchy is built.

There are stronger lobsters that get the best shelters and also they get all the lobster girls as they offer shelter and show that they are better suited to procreate. What is bloody interesting is that the same substances that flow through the lobster’s nervous system, tumblr_neyqf51MMC1qmbg8bo1_500.pngflow as well in ours. When a  lobsters wins, serotonin flows and it makes itself bigger, demonstrating his superiority. When a lobsters loses, it makes itself little and therefore lower in the hierarchie.

Interesting isn’t it? There’s more. Pareto’s law states for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In lobster world this means that 20% of the lobsters get the better shelters and so the hierarchy its triangular. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

We cannot fight the hierarchie, it something deep in our core. The lower people (or lobsters) are in the hierarchie, the more stressed and tired they are. It’s like being in a state of emergency the entire time. The rich get richer and the poor poorer.

This are strong news, there is nothing that can be done about the hierarchie, it is how we are structured. We have to play within it, there is no “outside” it is deep in our brains.

What can we do about it? I’m glad you asked, because as a stoic, there is a lot you and me can do.

Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on—it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, cropped-cropped-marcus-aurelious-head.jpgand endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

A stoic is perfectly fit for the top of thehierarchie. He is calmed and controlled. When danger or anything comes, a collected man is who we want to be our leader.

Courage, cheerfulness, inner joy. Does are the attributes of a stoic and paradoxically of the top leaders of the world. Tolerance to ambiguity and calmness define our hierarchies.

Stand up straight and with your shoulders back, that is peterson’s advice. Doing this automatically releases serotonin in ourselves and makes us lobster king immediately.

I have been watching people the whole day, thinking about this. It is true, try it yourself and you’ll notice. I was a bit weary about the whole thing, I mean, it is quite savage. Then I started thinking about everyone with more compassion, I mean, everyone is having a hard time. If you are feeling stressed, remember the stoic teachings, control what is in your control and slowly, but surely, you’ll rise like the sun.

If you are at the top, you have to be strong for others. You become literally the leader of humankind. Top lobsters can be tyrannic or benevolent but I’m sure that being at the top must be a place of courage, of cheerfulness and inner power. The top must be the example for everyone, this gives meaning to life.chess-1

Looking at your fellow human beings and knowing that everyone’s managing as best as they can, it is our duty to do as best as we can.

Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Live stoically.

 

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Short mornings, Stoic advice

Holding on to slavery


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Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long. Seneca

Sun rises, pink and red colors the sky. Great morning.epictetus writting

Epicurus argues that we should leave earth as free from care as we entered it.

Putting it shortly, we should not give a fuck about many things, in fact, no fucks at all.

But what does it mean to be free from care?

Seneca said as well that many men are slaves, but that many more hold fast to slavery. Especially in our times, we can see how everyone is working all the time to fulfill this “dreams”.

Think about yourself for a moment, think about your dream and your purpose? Is it to be a painter? A writer? A business person? Are you really doing it?

I believe the point is better illustrated in this manner:

why do we care so much about achieving money and leisure when we are going to die and in that moment we’ll realize how futile was the constant pursuit of riches?

I know, how is it that we are to live then? In the streets while pursuing our dreams?

I don’t think that not giving a fuck about anything is the correct manner of living and I don’t think that Epicurus meant that when he said we should leave life as careless as when we entered. What I think he meant is that we should not over complicate stuff.

trainWhat does it means to hold fast to slavery?

One time a professor of mine told me, that the moment you catch yourself saying “I have to do this” to put close attention, because in actuality, we don’t have to do anything. I guess this is true, but what happens if our children is sick? I mean we actually must take care of him.

So, we really don’t (actually) have to do anything, we just have to keep that in mind, but then, what is important to us? At least while we are here? Maybe taking care of our children? Maybe becoming a writer? It can be anything really and that is worth pursuing

There are traps in life. The trap of pursuing your parents dreams. The trap of being traditionally “successful” by society standards and many more things that are expected from us. Don’t you think that when we follow this things we are holding on to slavery? For fear of not belonging, of not doing what everybody else is doing? Don’t you think we care to much?

This is what carelessness means. We have to think for ourselves and do what only we know to do best.

David Gilmour loved music and we all know he definitely made his dream reality. But, when he was on his journey to become one of the members of Pink Floyd. One time, he got to the hospital with anemia because he hadn’t eaten anything in days.

It sounds easy to just leave everything and do what you want, but then doubt starts hitting the door. I don’t think that leaving everything is the right decision. But we are smart, so we should ask ourselves, what can we do to be where we want to be and we have to be even more smart to know where is it that we want to be, not anyone else.

This is a life lived nobly, if we live our lives truly, we make way for the others to live truly as well.

I want to end with the thought of completion. What is completion? Completion is thinking that there is going to come a time in our lives where we will be complete. With our house, with our wife, with our job and everything that society tells us is “the way”. hydraBut completion is not nature, incompletion is nature, the fight or the dance, during the time that we are alive, is never over. You care how long you live if you think that there is something that is going to make you complete like the dream you are sold, but you could die today you know? This is why caring to much about being complete does not matter. Being incomplete is enough, we can only live our lives nobly if we embrace this. We can only live if the moment if we embrace the fact that we are never going to be complete, so we should do the best with what we have right now. It’s not the goal what matters, it’s the process and the man that you become while living fully and nobly. This is the opposite of living lives of quiet desperation.

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