I thought I’d make another rather calm post, more directly informative – like my meditation guide. This one, as the name suggests is a personal reading list of mine that covers my own growth as a stoic, a Taoist, and a philosopher – if I can call myself that.
So without further a-do:
- Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
- Rather infamously at this point, my go to starting point. Digestible and easy to pick up where you left off for passages.
- How to be a Stoic, Prof Massimo Pigliucci
- A modern exploration of stoicism and actually really funny.
- Letters from a Stoic, Seneca
- The next upcoming quote source – a collection of letters and correspondence from Seneca to his friend throughout his life.
- Discourses and Selected Writings, Epictetus
- Considered the ultimate handbook on stoicism and source of the wealth of information in How to be a Stoic.
- The Analects, Confucius
- While not stoicism, the analects lays out a rather structured view on vice and virtue from various narrators and writers noting the lessons and legacy of Confucius.
- Tao Te Ching, Lao Tze
- The primary text of Taoism formed by a collection of chapters and verses.
- The Book of Chaung Tzu, Chuang Tzu
- A contemporary of Confucius, this book is a collection of tales and accounts of the applications of The Way.
Now for books that I have no idea what I’m letting myself in for with. Hot of the presses arriving today via the brutal efficiency of Amazon:
- The Cynic Philosophers from Diogenes to Julian
- This book was picked up because of the story recounted within How to be a Stoic about Diogenes which has stuck with me since reading that book quite a while ago now. Diogenes was in his bucket-thing in the centre of Athens relaxing in the sunshine as he did. Alexander of Macedon, the great conqueror arrived in the city with his entourage followed by an adoring crowd to seek the wisdom of the philosopher. He said, “What can you say to your Emperor?”, or something to the effect – I can’t remember the exact quote. Diogenes replied: “Move you’re blocking the sun.”
- Selected Works, Cicero.
- What shelf of Greco-Roman philosophy would be complete without Cicero?
More works are to follow on this reading list, from Plato to Aristotle and the myriad of Buddhist texts will soon appear now doubt. Yet for now, this is a start and I recommend that you, like me, start here.