In the previous article I dealt with the root question of Stoicism, in this one I will go further and examine where happiness lies for human beings.
What does really matter to us as human beings.
Virtue = Good – Only virtue can bring happiness.
Live virtuously = goal of humans, the rest is indifferent.
When we embark on the path to satisfy our desires, we start a chain of events that will be infinite. No desire satisfaction lasts for ever, after each desire satisfied another one rises and so for ever. How can happiness be based on that never-ending research of a new satisfaction?
And yet we can’t stay still and desire nothing. Although, external objects and achievements will not make us happy, at least not durably.
We need to make it clear that Stoicism is not a doctrine of renunciation, indeed the opposite is true, in fact, in defining virtue as the cause of true happiness, that is, in announcing the being, i.e. what you are, the foundation of living well, Seneca, as the greatest representative of Roman Stoicism, puts the properties, that is, the material goods, riches and honors among the preferable. These latter cannot be a source of happiness, they are external elements to man, and they are not part of virtue. Virtue, nature, reason, logos are the ground of true happiness. To which we can associate: inner harmony, harmony of human being with himself, with the things of the world and with the divine. The Stoa School taught us to accept reality, reality as it is, but not to have a passive attitude to life. The active part of stoic thought consists in the constant interpretation of events through reason; interpretation that is resolved, therefore, in a conscious life not governed by irrational impulses or uncontrolled emotions, as well as to the practice of fundamental virtues such as courage and justice.