“Farnsworth beautifully integrates his own observations with scores of quotations from Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne and others. This isn’t just a book to read—it’s a book to return to, a book that will provide perspective and consolation at times of heartbreak or calamity.”—The Washington Post
See more clearly, live more wisely, and bear the burdens of this life with greater ease—here are the greatest insights of the Stoics, in their own words, presented in twelve lessons. Ward Farnsworth systematically presents the heart of Stoic philosophy accompanied by commentary that is clear and concise.
In chapters including Emotion, Adversity, Virtue, and What Others Think, here is the most valuable wisdom about living a good life from ages past and now made available for our time.
Some of what’s inside
Practice saying to every harsh appearance, “You are just an appearance, and not at all what you appear.” If it has to do with something not up to us, let the thought be close at hand, “It is nothing to me.”—Epictetus, Enchiridion
The mind turns around every hindrance to its activity and converts it to further its purpose. The impediment to action becomes part of the action; the obstacle in our way becomes the way forward.—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
From What Others Think:
The paths most worn and used are also the most deceptive. So nothing needs to be emphasized more than that we should not, like sheep, follow the lead of the flock in front of us – heading not where we ought to go, but where it goes.—Seneca, On the Happy Life
Praise for Practicing Stoic
As befits a good Stoic, Farnsworth’s expository prose exhibits both clarity and an unflappable calm… Throughout The Practicing Stoic, Farnsworth beautifully integrates his own observations with scores of quotations from Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne and others. As a result, this isn’t just a book to read—it’s a book to return to, a book that will provide perspective and consolation at times of heartbreak or calamity. — Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
This sturdy and engaging introductory text consists mostly of excerpts from the ancient Greek and Roman Stoic philosophers, especially Seneca (4 BCE–65), Epictetus (c. 55–135) through his student Arrian, and Marcus Aurelius (121–80) as well as that trio’s philosophical confreres, from the earlier Hellenic Stoics and Cicero to such contemporaries as Plutarch to moderns, including Montaigne, Adam Smith, and Schopenhauer… A philosophy to live by, Stoicism may remind many of Buddhism and Quakerism, for it asks of practitioners something very similar to what those disciplines call mindfulness. — Booklist
A charming book, perfect for dipping, in which the calm and settling wisdom of the stoics shines forth with bracing clarity. — The New Criterion
The Practicing Stoic…provides insight, inspiration, and direction by combining ancient wisdom with modern context. That, supplemented with Dean Farnsworth’s own insightful commentary, makes the complex wisdom of these ancient philosophers accessible to everyone. — The American Law Institute