Indifferents Quarterly
Anchored in Virtue
APRIL 2020

Message from the Board

“It does not matter what you bear, but how you bear it.”

Seneca — On Providence, Book 2

Greetings,

The Stoic Fellowship’s theme this year is “Anchored in Virtue.” Given the current COVID-19 crisis, this theme is particularly important. 

As practicing Stoics, reminding ourselves that the pursuit of virtue can anchor our every action as often as possible can allow us to act well and with ease during this difficult time. Human virtue consists in two things: being rational and prosocial.

You can practice being rational by catching and examining your first impressions about things and thinking things through clearly. It’s also rational to defer to domain experts by following the advice of health experts like the World Health Organization and your local health authorities to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as fate allows.

You can practice being prosocial by being there for your friends, family, and acquaintances, and strangers as your own physical and mental resources allow, and by keeping the wellbeing of your community and the world at large safer by maintaining good hygiene practices and minimizing physical contact.

The Stoic Fellowship is doing its prosocial part by attempting to support its members with online meetups. If you’ve been looking to attend more Stoic meetings, now is a great opportunity, since many of our member groups are holding meetings online to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Check out the member group updates below to see which groups are holding meetings online. This is a unique opportunity to travel and sample the world’s Stoas from the comfort of your couch!

If you’d like to practice prosociality by helping The Stoic Fellowship help others, feel free to reply to this email. Perhaps you’d like to facilitate online meetings? Or you can offer video conferencing services? Start your own local meeting? Just want to donate? Offer us legal consultation? Or do you have another idea to help? If so, feel free to reach out.

Also reach out to us if we can help you. Remember to take care of yourself and know your limits, which all non-sages have. It’s hard to help others when you yourself are suffering, and it’s time like these where these words of Marcus ring particularly true:

“Human beings exist for the sake of one another.”
Marcus Aurelius — Meditations VIII.59


Ad astra per aspera,

Greg, James, Nick, Peter, and Scot

Your Board of Directors

 

Stoics Around the World

Welcome to Our New Stoic Communities

We would like to welcome the following 10 new Stoic communities to The Stoic Fellowship!


Regional Support

      

The TSF Regions are:

East Coast, Australia

Southwest, U.S.A.

Brazil

Western Europe

Western, Canada

Southeast U.S.A.

NW European Islands

Central Europe

West Coast, U.S.A.

Northeast U.S.A.

Scandinavia

 

Each region has a dedicated volunteer helping to build, foster, and connect communities. If you are interested in becoming a Regional Support Volunteer, please reply to this email to contact the Board for more information.

Inquiries into The Stoic Fellowship

This past quarter, 150 people reached out to The Stoic Fellowship from all across the globe, 16% of whom showed interest in starting a community! Here’s a list of places where communities may pop up in the future, so if you’re from around any of the parts listed below, reach out to us and we can put you in contact with current or potential founder of new Stoic groups in your area!

Call for Online Stoic Group Leaders

The Stoic Fellowship’s mission is to build, foster, and connect Stoic communities around the world. However, one challenge we’ve seen is that a lot of people don’t live in areas with enough population density to support regular in-person Stoic meetings. And one benefit we’ve seen from the COVID-19 pandemic is that a lot of people are realizing that you can connect well with other people through video conferencing.

Thus, we’re putting out a call for group facilitators for online-only meetings. If you’re interested in facilitating an online Stoic group through video conferencing that’s affiliated with The Stoic Fellowship, fill out this form and put “online” under the potential stoa location and we’ll get back to you ASAP with more info!

Updates from Stoas Around the World

Des Moines Stoics

Meetings are now done via Google Meet, which has worked well. The group is currently reading and discussing Seneca’s On Anger. We are also experimenting with once a week informal Discord voice chats. 

Estoicos de Championsgate

This is the bilingual (Spanish and English) group in Florida. We have converted to monthly meetings on Zoom, and most of our members are in sales. We have a strong sense of community, and the conversations often relate Stoicism to business / work.

Estoicos de Millenia

This is the bilingual (Portuguese and English) group in Florida. Attendance is low, and some members were displaced by pandemic, but we are patient and will continue promoting the group.

Fremont Stoics

We’ve managed a few newcomers and they seem to be enjoying the lively stoic discussions around Pigliucci and Lopez’ book. We also are going through the weekly email digest from James Clear (“Atomic Habits”). A writeup I did recently is on the modern stoicism web-site, here: My Personal Stoic Journey  All is well.

Intergalactic Stoic School (In Fremont) working on a New Website and created a Study Guide for the basic Stoic texts.  Looking for reviewers.  This term, the school is also adding the lessons of sports psychology to the application of Stoic practice and the pursuit of excellence. Monthly Meetups have moved to online video Zoom calls and have been fun and productive. 

Los Angeles Stoics

Check out our website at www.losangelesstoics.com … As with other groups, we have shifted our meetings online using "Google Hangouts Meet." Feel free to join us: we are getting through the Meditations in our regular meetings and Margaret Graver's Stoicism and Emotion in our 'theory meetings'... We are also holding more casual meetups to maintain a sense of community while isolated. And on April 25, we will be commemorating the trial of Socrates with a special meeting on that. RSVP at our Meetup site. Lastly, there are continual developments concerning Stoicon-X Los Angeles on October 10th. Stay tuned for updates! Again, check out our main website but also our fledgling Patreon.

Melbourne City Stoics

Since restrictions came into effect we have been conducting our meetups online through Cisco Webex. Currently discussing on a weekly basis the Moral Letters to Lucilius by Seneca. Also, we are planning a once a month session to discuss coping with isolation through the Stoic lens.

And please feel free to join us whether you are local or not!

Visit Melbourne City Stoics & register to be notified of our upcoming events.

Milwaukee Stoic Fellowship

After the stay-at-home order for Wisconsin was announced, we shifted to virtual meetings.  The weekly Stoic-Walk-And-Talk sessions (led by Dan Hayes), have been meeting via Google Hangouts, and are working their way through A Handbook for New Stoics by Massimo Pigliucci and Gregory Lopez.  The main monthly meeting (led by Greg Sadler and Dan Hayes), has been meeting via Zoom, discussing applications of Stoic practices, and working through Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

NYC Stoics

Our meetings are now being held online for the immediate future, for probably obvious reasons. You're welcome to join us, whether you're local or not! Just visit NYC Stoics on Meeup.com for info. You'll get the Google Meet link for each meeting when you register. We're mostly continuing with our year's theme of Cicero, although we've also been holding a few more general meetings on Stoicism to cater to a broader audience while we're all cooped up. We also have a few more single rooms available for Stoic Camp NY 2020. As of now, we're still aiming to hold it in early September, although that may change depending on the COVID-19 situation. 

Orlando Stoics

Our meetings are online via ZOOM. Attendance for Monday and Friday night meetings (weekly) have returned to normal. We’ve also enjoyed the company of former members who moved away to other states - but they have returned to the ZOOM meetings. Also, in April 2020, our online membership is 920+, making us one of the largest Stoic groups in North America!

Oslo Stoics

We have had several virtual meetings with members from the three stoas in Norway. We have mostly followed Pigliucci and Lopez’ book. The attendance has been mostly good, and we seem to be growing these days, which is nice, since we seemed to be about to die out some months ago. 

Pórtico de Epicteto:

During the pandemics, we are holding virtual meetings once a week via Skype, discussing topics concerning Epictetus’ philosophy. The members involved is this activity are Aldo Dinucci (Aracaju), Antonio Taquinio (Sao Paulo), Danilo Patutti  (Sao Paulo), Diogo Luz (Porto Alegre), Fernando Fontoura (Porto Alegre), Carlos Eneas (Rio de Janeiro) and Fernanda Lopes (Rio de Janeiro). 

Redwood Stoa

Our regular face-to-face meetings are on hold now, due to CoViD-19 precautions, and we're having our monthly meetings online.  The topic to discuss at our April meeting will be "What is up to me?", the measure to use in life, the Rule, the question that clarifies so much.  

One of our own is among the Bay Area's first responders and so, while I doubt he'll have time to join us this April, he will be on our minds. Moreover, he'll be testing Stoic philosophical notions against trying situations, internal and external, in the real world.  I do hope Fortune treats you agreeably, Seamus.  

Stoics of Daytona Beach

We are meeting monthly on Zoom, but attendance is still low. We will continue meetings anyway, knowing it takes time to build an active membership.

Strasbourg Stoa

There were two meetings in the last semester of 2019. No one was planned since the beginning of 2020 because we were trying to find a bigger place to welcome more people. We will probably be back after the coronavirus crisis. We just need to find the right place; people seem still interested into Stoicism and there is definitely something to be done in Strasbourg :) 

Tampa Stoics

Our monthly meeting is on ZOOM now, and we’ve invited people from St. Pete and Sarasota, Florida. We’ve completed our review of Meditations, and starting next month, we’ll cover new topics.

The Vernon BC Stoics

The Vernon Stoics have stopped meeting for obvious reasons but we are endeavoring to meet online. We have taken the opportunity of online meetings to reach out to our neighbouring stoas in Calgary and Vancouver. There are a few bugs to work out but I'm confident that the response to the pandemic will ultimately lead to better Communications and Outreach for the Stoic Fellowship.

Trondheim Stoics

Our group has held a few online meetings since the corona situation has started. The Google Meet functions very well, and we are planning to have more meetings going forward. In addition, we have had joint meetings with the Oslo Stoics to ensure enough members for every online meeting. 

Viva Vox

In April, Dr. Aldo Dinucci will start to dictate a course on Stoic Logic via Skype (from Thursday 16th on). The participants (around ten) are from the Northeast of Brazil (Sergipe and Bahia)

 


Stoa Madrid is the first school of stoic philosophy for modern life in Spain.

Our goal is to spread and implement the Stoic philosophy and its practical potential to answer the eternal question of how to practice the art of living and lead a happy or eudaimonic life that is in harmony with our best version.

We are a fundamentally practical school. Based on Stoic thought, we deepen its application by using stoic exercises for the cultivation and training of excellence, values ​​and virtues as the basis for conquering a happy and serene life.

Through talks, workshops, coaching processes and meetings, we work in three lines of action:

We have a community vocation. Therefore, in addition to our private study and training activities every month we generate open spaces to share experiences, reflections, doubts, practices and daily exercises of the stoic life as well as discussing topics of the past, present and future from the perspective of this philosophy of life.

For more information, check our website, or find us on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Meetup.

The Virtual Stoa - Stoicism in VR

As we know, a life philosophy in trying times can be very helpful. The potential need for Stoicism is coupled with the fact that many people will be spending more time online than normal, which is an opportunity for the Fellowship to grow while giving our fellow humans something to do other than fixate on news about things they cannot control.

The Virtual Stoa in some ways replicates the Stoa Poikile in Virtual Reality.  Virtual Reality is a medium that is taking off now, and is approaching the mainstream: there are affordable stand-alone headsets and even things like google cardboard (a cardboard frame you can put on a mobile phone to experience VR).  It is a unique way to meet, be present, and interact.  It has to be experienced to be truly understood.

The Virtual Stoa has three basic aims: introduce new people to Stoicism, provide a space with a virtual presence to discuss and develop Stoic ideas and perhaps (in time) to provide a place for guided Stoic practise.  So far just organising events and posting them in one environment has introduced quite a few people to Stoicism, but going forward I would like to have prominent speakers speak at the Stoa, have guided practice led by knowledgeable practitioners of Stoicism and to build a VR community.  It has the potential to reach people that might not otherwise find us.

Currently the Stoa is in two places. The first is AltSpace — a VR environment that requires installed software and is best enjoyed with a VR headset (but can be used on a normal Windows PC).  There is also a Stoa in Mozilla Hubs, which does not require any preinstalled software.  They currently both meet on Mondays.  Times and instructions are posted on the Virtual Stoa Website (www.TheVirtualStoa.org) or the Facebook page.  If you are interested in helping out, have questions or comments you can email [email protected].  We need a wide range of participants to make this work so if you are interested please give it a go.

Month of Service

April is the Stoic Fellowship “Month of Service.”   Visit the following link for pdf flyers with some ideas for getting involved in helping others.

Support The Stoic Fellowship




Check out our new Stoic Wares store.
Donate $30+ and choose your gift of a t-shirt, beanie, or hat.

 
Stoic Pioneers Program
With the goal of being financially self-sufficient by 2021, the Stoic Pioneer’s Program aims to raise $19,000 over the next three years for the group’s endowment. Reaching this goal will allow the organization to pay all its general operating expenses directly from the proceeds of the endowment fund, without annual pledge drives or charging dues. Join today and make a lasting impact on the community’s future.

More than a donation, joining the Pioneers program will add your story to the official history of The Stoic Fellowship and be a legacy for future generations looking to be inspired.
 
Interested in starting or joining a Stoic community? That’s why we’re here.
Just reply directly to this email to learn more.
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