By Maurizio Bisogno
|Esotericism/Occultism: we are not just our physical body.
|Historical Materialism: Society and history are the result of material forces, economic, political.
|Stoicism: how do I act, what do I have to do, how my thinking is linked to my wellbeing.
Historical Materialism explains the reality without referring to another external reality made not of matter. The connection with the Stoicism could be the word realist, realism, anti-idealism. Stoicism admits the existence of the divine, of a Logos, a Providence, an Order.
Social fight is part of the materialistic view, meanwhile Esotericism would stress the importance of a personal evolution acting on the plane of the consciousness. In this sense, the action on the things of the world would happen by operating on yourself and on the immaterial forces. Stoicism is also focused on the personal development, but by the means of reason and reflection. A materialist sees the forces of the society and of nature as completely external to us and strictly speaking it equates the brain with the mind, in this sense is walking alongside with empirical science.
In other words, historical materialists work at changing the world, esoterism at changing yourself. The stoics act upon the world but put more attention on how to manage emotions and thoughts that could happen in any circumstances. For instance, a politician with a project aiming at realizing change in the system and the society, will certainly face upsets, struggles, difficulties, delusions, etc. He or she would benefit enormously in applying the stoic attitude and method to his life in order to be able to overcome the upheavals of his tough activity. On the other hand, esoterism would join in by providing a guidance connected with forces that are not appearing as material and physical in the world of manifest phenomena.
The stoic method is reason based and gives relevance to what we think of what is materially and physically happening. It aims at a clear understanding of the phenomena and at a balanced thought. This is important as what happens in the world affects us according to what we think of it. Our consciousness of the phenomenon affects how we feel and act. If we ask What forces are moving us to act in the world? Are there forces independent from us, or it is in our power to act on the phenomenon? The stoics would say that we only have control of our own thoughts – but this is an extremist tenet due to Epictetus, although other Stoics may admit a relatively larger sphere of action.
In different ways, stoicism and esoterism both intend to produce a better man, with an expanded consciousness, capable of reaching realization and wellbeing.
Considering that the phenomenon is what happens, then there are our thoughts about it, and finally our understanding. Based on that, the politician, ideally, takes decisions which have a relevance for the entire society. The action on the material world, nevertheless, faces personal upheaval which can be overcome with the stoic method. A realistic view of the situation, considering the order of things, allows a more balanced emotional state and consequently a higher level of well-being.