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Friday, February 6, 2009


On the first day of this year, a Humanist in Florida named John sent me an email with a wealth of interesting information, and has sent more since then. Many thanks John! Among the things he's sent me has been a link to a fascinating Wikipedia article on Greco-Buddhism. I have been discovering the similarities in Greek Stoicism and Buddhism for a while now, so it was wonderful to find I'm not the only person out there thinking along these lines.

Click here for the Wikipedia article on Greco-Buddhism

In addition to the above, I should also note that in a previous philosophy site of mine I posted a rather lengthy discussion I had on the International Stoic Forum with several others regarding the differences and similarities between Buddhism and Stoicism: Click HERE for the article.

Speaking personally, I have found that Stoicism has been marvelous in terms of helping me to attain detachment and see the world more clearly. I think Buddhism could benefit from its teachings and practices. At the same time, I've found that Stoicism isn't as strong in the area of Compassion or active practices (over philosophic concepts) that raise mindfulness, and Buddhism has been wonderful for that.

After a period in which I, using Buddhism in part, actively sought to open up my compassion, I ended up experiencing a lot of pain as a result of the suffering of others and some treatment I received. So I asked other Buddhists how we can increase our compassion for others, without then suffering along with their own suffering? The answer was that it takes both compassion and wisdom. Stoicism has provided much of that wisdom, in which we see what is a true good and a true evil, and what are merely indifferents. Now, getting the fine details down of how these things balance and interact is likely the continual progressive search in which I'll find myself.

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