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Synopsis

In the course of this compact and insightful work, Dr. Ronald Pies, tells us a little about what happiness is, and a lot about how to achieve it. The first chapter begins with a reminder from the great Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, that "things do not touch the soul." This, explains Pies, "is the keystone in the arch of Stoic philosophy." In a sense, then, the rest of the book is an extended meditation on how we might avoid letting things touch our souls too much. But, it is much more than simply a meditation. From here, Pies goes on to offer readers a well-researched, often witty explanation of how Stoic philosophy—as it resonates not only with Christian and Judaic, but also with Buddhist and Hindu worldviews—can guide and improve their lives. In the process, he draws on his own considerable clinical experience to offer composite case vignettes, both positive and negative, that illustrate the principles he is discussing.

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