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Mark has an interesting story to tell — he was a priest, who then left Christianity and found an alternative in Greek philosophy particularly Plato and depth psychology. As for me, I was never a Christian, but found a form of practical spirituality in ancient philosophy.
Here are some initial thoughts, please chime in with your own thoughts too. We should also note that the Stoics were monotheists — they followed Heraclitus in believing in one Logos. In this they can be compared to the evolving monotheism of Judaism, particularly that of Moses around two centuries earlier.
Later Christians would draw on the Stoic concept of the Logos, particularly in the marvelous opening to the Gospel of St John. I wonder if one could argue that Stoicism is in some ways more monotheistic than Christianity, in that there is no opposing Enemy, no angels and demons, and no Trinity?
There is just the Logos. Anyway, back to this idea of giving up your will and serving the Logos. O God, without you nothing comes to be on earth, neither in the region of the heavenly poles, nor in the sea, except what evil men do in their folly.
But you know how to make extraordinary things suitable, and how to bring order forth from chaos; and even that which is unlovely is lovely to you.
For thus you have joined all things, the good with the bad, into one, so that the eternal Word of all came to be one. But they are senselessly driven to one evil after another: They do these foolish things, time and again, and are swept along, eagerly defeating all they really wish for. O Zeus, giver of all, shrouded in dark clouds and holding the vivid bright lightning, rescue men from painful ignorance.
Scatter that ignorance far from their hearts. Who or what are you serving? Another important idea in both Stoicism and Christianity is the question of what is the most important thing in your life. What do you serve? What is your god or master?
Because everything will follow from that. If you make money your god, then you will have to dance to that tune, and bend and twist in accordance with your master. One of the things I think I have been searching for in life is something or someone to serve.
And in a way, my career initially involved serving a succession of bad masters. I have been trying, not entirely successfully, to switch from serving the outer master of public approval, to serving what Epictetus calls the God Within, what Jesus calls the Kingdom.
Because that is a master worthy of service. That involves a switch in the centre of your self, an an evolution from a self based on appearances looking good to others to a self rooted in service to God.
The idea of askesis is still strong in Orthodox Christianity, which in general seems to me much closer to Greek philosophy, while modern Evangelicalism seems to have thrown that entire tradition out in favour of loud and slightly soupy declarations of love for Jesus.
This is a radical idea, in that it breaks through tribal and racial barriers and insists that all humans share a divine nature. What a beautiful idea it is. OK, so what are the differences?
Differences 1 The Logos made flesh While Christianity drew on the Stoic idea of the Logos, there is a crucial difference. Christ is, according to St John, the Logos made flesh.
I think in some ways it is easier emotionally to love and serve a person rather than a pantheistic force — though it is also perhaps harder intellectually! The relationship with God is more emotional, more sensual, more dare I say it erotic than in Greek philosophy although there is an argument that this erotic aspect of worship is in Plato too.
The Jewish God is hungry for our love, for our praise, and when we turn to Him he runs to meet us. Just to elaborate on the point above — Christianity is far more emotional, it seems to me, than Greek philosophy — full of sobs, and groans, and wails of anger or despair, as well as exultation and ecstasy.
Again, the Psalms of David are a good indication of this. Though of course there are traditions in Christianity that are more wary of the emotions — particularly Orthodox Christianity. This is very different to the proud self-reliance of Stoicism.
The Stoics think any help must come from your reason, not from God although our reason of course comes from God.Compare and contrast two people whom you admire. I believe that human will only keep on moving when there is a motivator for them. For me, what motivates me to be a kind and helpful person are the two people whom I admire.
Check out these 70 compare and contrast essay topics, each with a link to a sample essay for even more inspiration. Comparing two people from a similar background is pretty easy.
But surprising comparisons—such as those between fictional characters and real-life people or between people from different epochs—can lead to the most. This Example Essay contrasting Two Cities (Comparison – Contrast Essay) While the cities have some similarities and may be attractive to various people depending on their lifestyles and preferences, New York City and Los Angeles are vastly different, especially in their climate, housing, population, and transportation.
Example Essay. Students like writing compare and contrast essays as they have enough space for creativity. Such papers allow expressing your thoughts regarding some contradictive issues. It makes more fun to draw a parallel between two people or objects instead of describing a single issue.
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In the simplest terms, a compare and contrast essay takes two subjects (i.e., objects, events, people, or places)—closely related or vastly different—and focuses on what about them is the same or what’s different or focuses on .