Stoic Breath w/ Steve Beattie. Every Wednesday @ 7:00 AM ET. RSVP here.
February 2nd, 2021
The last few sessions at The Stoa have been particularly rejuvenating for me, especially in an ideational sense, and synchronicities are emerging.
I just came out of one of the “Ontological Design Sessions,” and Chris Gabriel from MemeAnalysis mentioned something that stayed with me, and that is the phenomena of the “desire path.” To quote the Wikipedia page: a path created as a consequence of erosion caused by human or animal foot traffic. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination.
I engaged in some “concept unfolding” during the Q&A and a parallel concept of the “beauty path” emerged. The beauty path emerges when one follows what is most beautiful. This is basically my modus operandi of stewarding The Stoa.
I want everything to be beautiful here, or at least beautiful enough to invoke a sense of beauty in me. All of the aspects of the project follow this sense of beauty: my journals, the guest selection, the event titles, the session design, the intro/outro music, the quirky illustrations, my coaching conversations, etc.
Things like YouTube comments or Discord servers do not invoke a sense of beauty in me, and it takes me off the beauty path when engaging in such things. This is not to shame those who may find beauty in those things, as not everyone finds beauty in the same thing. I also think it is important to be on guard with an elegant resilience so as not to be pushed off the path by the envious, the hungry ghosts, and others who serve as Stoic opportunities.
A reader recently sent me an excellent quote from Brené Brown: If you're not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback. It is a good heuristic, and I largely ignore people whose desire path is the egoic pleasure of knocking others off their beauty paths, perhaps because they lack self-belief in a way that perversely manifests as a “Crab mentality,” which can be best summarized in this context as: if I cannot walk the beauty path, neither can you.
The thing that makes Stoicism beautiful to me is that it embraces reality as is, which includes all the people who have a shadowy reason in uglifying somebody else’s path. Stoicism is not just a philosophy, it is also an alchemic process: those who try to throw a Stoic off the beauty path become a part of the Stoic’s beauty path. The obstacle is the way, amor fati, and all that good shit.
Given this, I bow in deep gratitude for the past, present, and future opportunities that are making my path more beautiful, either from a “find the others” love or from a shadowy reason.
Andrew Sweeney brought up virtue in today’s conversation, with the perspective of virtuosity. I have not reflected much on that word, and I sense it would be good for me to do so. The virtuosity of the beauty path. I like that. This is a lifework I can dedicate my life to.
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