The Stoic Jew

Does Stoicism Promote Catastrophizing? (Seneca – Letter #91: On the Lesson to be Drawn From the Burning of Lyons)

September 02, 2021 Rabbi Matt Schneeweiss Season 5 Episode 33
The Stoic Jew
Does Stoicism Promote Catastrophizing? (Seneca – Letter #91: On the Lesson to be Drawn From the Burning of Lyons)
Show Notes

Synopsis: In today’s episode (#192) we examine the distinction between the beneficial Stoic technique of “Premeditatio Malorum” (the Rehearsing of Harms) and the unhealthy activity of “catastrophizing.” We begin with the definition of the latter from the American Psychological Association; next, we see how both types of mental activity are acknowledged by Shlomo ha’Melech in Mishlei; lastly, we apply these insights to a real-world scenario, involving the crazy weather from Hurricane Ida that battered the East Coast last night.

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Related Rabbi Schneeweiss Content:
- The Medallion Experiment

Sources:
- Seneca, Letter #91: On the Lesson to be Drawn from the Burning of Lyons
- Tim Ferris’s interview with Dr. Sue Johnson
- Definition of “Catastrophize” (Merriam Webster)
- Definition of “Catastrophize” (APA)
- Mishlei 28:14 with the commentary of Malbim and R’ Yosef Kimchi
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