Why isn’t Stoicism more popular in the west?

Maybe it’s because when we think of Stoics, we think of the Vulcan part of Spock: logical, emotionless, scientific. Bones’ summary seems a pretty good popular stereotype of a stoic: “Heartless, no good, inhuman, green blooded, pointy eared devil.”

Not something that would appeal to anyone who isn’t already extremely afraid of their own emotions and wish to completely expunge them. And maybe that’s the reason why I found the conflict between the two halves of early Spock, the rational and the emotional, so compelling.

But what about the latter Spock?

The latter Spock has come to terms with both his halves and through this integration, the Spock that sacrifices himself for the good of others emerges.

To my mind, the quote that best captures the latter Spock is  “I have been and always shall be your friend.” While this is directed to Jim, I think that it also reflects the latter Spock’s approach to life.

This, I think, is what the ideal Stoic is.

How do you deal with your two halves? Would you be a Stoic if the poster boy was the latter Spock?

2 thoughts on “Stoic

  1. I think in one of the episodes of Enterprise, a Vulcan says that it is not a matter of Vulcans not having emotions, simply that they choose not to be ruled by them. This seems an appealing philosophy to me.

    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      There’s some very cool stuff in Seneca’s writings especially his letters of consolation that are particularly relevant to the difference between experiencing emotions versus being ruled by them. One of the posts I’ve got planned is about the subject of grief and it’ll be Seneca that I’ll be looking to.

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