This evening three of us met at Dudley’s coffee shop for the first meeting of Stoics here in Central Oregon. After I read the opening paragraphs of Epictetus’s book known as The Enchiridion, we talked about coping with life from the point of view of a Stoic.
“Some things are within our power to influence such as our thoughts, opinions, emotions, physical actions and creation of personal habits. Some things are outside of our power to control such as the past, remote things, our body up to this moment, our legal rights such as ownership of property, our reputation and holding public office. Those things are not of our personal control, and our relationship with them must be distant. The things within our power are naturally free for our personal use, and they can not be restrained by others.”
The meeting was scheduled to go from 6pm to 8pm but after Dudley’s closed we talked on the street until about 10pm. This is reminiscent of my many years at the Caffè Mediterraneum coffee shop back in Berkeley.
It closed at midnight but there were many conversations that went past 1am on the sidewalk out front. I loved those standing conversations perhaps even more than the ones inside because they had an even more free-form style than those sitting at the tables. And so it was.
There is a parent group of which we are also members which meets in the same venue on the second and fourth Thursdays. The discussions in that group are formalized and facilitated in a fairly strict way but as there were only three of us present this meeting was totally a conversation.
This was the fifth Thursday of the month but that would be rare for meetings, so the third Thursday is probably open and perhaps once a month would be okay, but there is a music group that plays downstairs on that day, so it would be too noisy. Perhaps a different meeting place or time would be better. I will check on that.
We need a Stoic society here in Bend. It is different from the UU and the Socrates Cafe.