What do you think with the smell of coffee?
The content of the concept of spirituality and a variety of terms (spirit, spiritual) is given today to the power of mysticism and spiritualism, idealism. But not of the high idealism about which George Hegel wrote as a manifestation of the Absolute Spirit; but only that postulates the idea of the relative freedom of the soul and spirit from body. Therefore, today, spiritual exercises in the minds of people are, at best, associated with meditation and yoga, and at worst – with spiritualism.
However, the idea of spiritual exercises is deeply rooted in ancient philosophy. Ancient philosophers transmitted wisdom in letters to their friends, to the ones, who listened to speeches on the Agora, in diary entries.
Today we discover the pearls of philosophical wisdom in the works of the Stoics, including the work of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor and philosopher, who captured the path of his thought in private thoughts with himself:
Do everything, talk and think like a person who is already ready to die
It’s not scary to leave people, if there are gods, because they will not plunge you into evil. If they do not exist or they have no concern for human affairs, then why should I live in a world where there is no deity, where there is no craft?
From book 2, paragraph 11 of “Reflections” by Marcus Aurelius
Philosophical practice as the making of philosophy with the self in a new way reveals for us the wisdom of the ancients. Philosophical practice indicates the significance of philosophical ideas not in theoretical discourse (as I understood that I can write about it), but in the practice of their application (which I can learn from this to myself). Philosophical practice opens up a treasury of philosophical knowledge, developing and strengthening the spirit.
Wake up not with worries about matters, but with thoughts about what you can change and improve today inside the self. Fall asleep with thoughts about how you spent that day, what new things you found in yourself.
What spiritual exercises do you use?