The terms stoicism and spirituality can sometimes be used interchangeably. Although the philosophies are quite similar, there are still diametrical differences between them. We’ll show you what are the differences and what the similarities are between stoicism and spirituality.
We’ll start with the definition of both terms.
Stoicism is the philosophical doctrine that practiced the control of the passions that disturb life using virtue and reason. As such, its object was to achieve happiness and wisdom regardless of comforts, material goods, and fortune.
Spiritualism is an idealistic doctrine according to which the spirit dominates nature. Spiritualists consider the soul, the spirit, as the only substance, while the body would only be the product of the soul. The adherents of spiritualism openly acknowledge that they have nothing in common with science. As idealists, they deny that matter exists objectively, independently of consciousness; they repudiate knowledge of the matter and substitute belief in spirits for it.
Now that we’ve somewhat explained the concepts of Spiritualism and Stoicism, we can draw from it the similarities and differences that exist.
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Differences between Spirituality and Stoicism
Acceptance is not the way spiritualists are passively satisfied with what’s present. For them, acceptance is a conscious choice to give up all forms of resistance to what has come at this moment. Acceptance is not about liking something. It’s about letting life flow and unfold. You mustn’t stand in the way of anything and resist what’s coming. Instead of focusing on the past or the future, spiritualists open themselves to what is true at the moment. This absence of „resistance” allows them to learn and strengthen their ability to function in this world.
For spiritualists, acceptance means trusting oneself that one will ascend at the first given opportunity. They are open to everything in life that comes their way.
Stoic acceptance means accepting things that are beyond their control. People often think about the future or the past. The Stoics always remain in the present. They accept everything that is out of their hands. Unlike spiritualists, they fight against things they can control.
It is important to note that Stoics do not suppress negative emotions. Stoics accept that they will experience negative emotions, but they will always focus on what is important.
They always expect things to go wrong in the outer and inner worlds. But Stoics are always able to accept the difficulties and move forward.
For spiritualists, faith is a belief that isn’t based on real evidence. The practice of faith for them includes faith in a power outside oneself, along with a conscious relationship with that “higher” force.
In spiritualism, faith doesn’t need to have anything to do with popular conceptions of God or any connection to organized religion. Spiritualists say that in addition to courage, you also need faith to go through what you are afraid of, and the greatest faith comes from consciously going through those situations that you are most afraid of.
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