A collection of meditations in the Stoic tradition. Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure provides access to the ruminations, practices, and applications of ancient Stoic philosophy as deployed by a contemporary professional philosopher with twenty five years of experience teaching, researching, and publishing articles in academic journals. Each meditation is presented in the second person, encouraging the reader to examine their struggles and failures in the pursuit of self-improvement and enlightenment.
Reviews and Endorsements:
How You Can Learn and Apply Eternal Wisdom This is a book of advice, planning, instruction, mentality, perception, and self-control, and so much more. Meditation is used as the title because it means to comtemplate, to self-examine. The initial question is why are you unable to handle your life? The answer lies in simply reading the meditations and considering whether it applies to your life and struggles. I found myself amused at how eloquently the author expresses himself within the opening introduction. He reveals the common predicament that most people find themselves in at some time throughout their lives. The author encourages you to think for yourself. He expresses that it is not an easy read, but nothing worthwhile ever is. He asks, "what kind of person do you want to be? You just need to look inside yourself." This message repeats itself in a plethora of examples. Other people are not yours to control. You may speak to them, cajole them, debate them, show them evidence, present them with the dictates of reason, you may even threaten them—but their minds are their own. You invite needless frustration, anger, animosity, and discontent every time you insist that they must agree with you, respect you, love you, or adopt any particular cast of mind. Their will is beyond your direct control. Another important statement made was "Do not allow your contentment to depend upon anyone else’s mental state or other measurement of wellbeing." (My friends would love that!) Focus on understanding the world around you, your place in it, and your duties as a rational and decent human being. The rest is theater. Leave it to the actors. (Now there's a great quote!) There are a lot of thought-provoking questions that struck a chord in me and I'm sure you will find trigger some emotions and opposite answers in your own mind as well. One of my favorite meditations is Number 6. (You need not pet every snake and porcupine you encounter. A skunk is not entitled to an embrace, and a lion has no desire to sit content in your lap.) So true! Number 8 talks about how you will encounter stupidity, lies and corruption daily. You must do everything in your power to ensure that it does not originate with you. He says their character is their punishment. So many excellent references and points are made that you will be remiss to argue with the reasoning. Funniest line in the book is - If you wish to live as a clown, there are still circuses that may take you in. In conclusion, we are admonished to accept what is or look for a way out. We can only change and control ourselves. The wisdom to become a decent and honorable human being is our ultimate goal. I highly encourage you to read this book as if your life depended on it. There are many reasons within these pages as to why I could say this. Look inside and discover the gems of wisdom for yourself! ~ Lorraine Price, Co-Author of My Big Idea Book
In this wonderful book of bracing thoughts, questions, and guidance, William Ferraiolo provides a modern version of the challenges presented to us in the ancient past by such philosophers as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. You can read just a few pages at a time, and have much to ponder about your life, day-to-day. ~ Tom Morris, bestselling author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors, The Stoic Art of Living, The Oasis Within
Ferraiolo offers a provocative contemporary adaptation of his reading of the Stoic philosophers Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus and other ancient philosophers of similar minds. The book is well-organized and easy to read. It will be welcomed by anyone fascinated with or open to meditative philosophy of the Roman Stoic variety. An interesting and worthwhile read. ~ Dr. Hugh Benson, author of Socratic Wisdom: The Model of Knowledge in Plato's Early Dialogues
Written in the spirit of Epictetus' Manual, Bill Ferraiolo's Meditations exposes the common human fallacies that lead to depression, anxiety, guilt, anger, and other toxic emotions. From the self-defeating desire to control the minds of others to the unrealistic demand that politicians tell the truth, Ferraiolo challenges the most insidious human tendencies to undermine one's own peace and solemnity. Read it, and always keep a copy close at hand. ~ Elliot D. Cohen PhD, author of What Would Aristotle Do? Self-Control through the Power of Reason
"This short book is packed full of useful reminders, reflections, and exhortations, drawing upon and digesting resources stemming from classic Stoic philosophy and other sources of wisdom. The real test of Stoicism lies in its application to specific problems, situations, and challenges faced by particular people. That is precisely what Ferraiolo offers to the reader, a wealth of advice separated out into paragraphs, each of which focuses on one timely topic." ~ Gregory Sadler, Ph.D., editor of Stoicism Today and author of Reason Fulfilled By Revelation ~ Gregory Sadler, LinkedIn
Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure will make you pause and reflect, whether or not you agree with any or all of its contents. Written in the style of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, and with a strong flavor of Epictetus, it confronts the reader with what happens if one looks at reality in the eyes and considers regulating his life accordingly. To do so takes both wisdom and courage, but Ferraiolo argues that it is well worth the effort. ~ Massimo Pigliucci PhD, author of How to Be Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life
About the Author:
William Ferraiolo received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in 1997. Since then, William has taught philosophy at San Joaquin Delta College in California. He lives in Lodi, CA.