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Jim

Stoicism

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Hello,

I am not sure if this is an immediate help, but I thought I would pass on something I have found helpful - and that is about Stoicism.  Not so much fixing it, but more a long the lines of not caring about it.

I have blushed for 30+ years and I know full well it is very very tough to have.  I was reading how this army prisoner of war had survived in Vietnam.  He said he had used a book on philosophy once he was a prisoner of war "he entered the world of Epictetus".  (A choice between a life of blushing or a couple of years in a prisoner of war camp - I would choose the second any time.) Epictetus was the most respected Roman stoic and his main teaching was to separate things you can control in your life from things you cannot.  The things you cannot control you should on absolutely no account worry about.  It is not just advice to say dont worry about these things; it is actually a genuinely bad thing to worry about them.

So for example if you are playing a tennis game; you cannot control whether you win or lose as the other person might play better than even your best; but you can control how well you play.  So winning is irrelevant, only how well you played - as well as other things, like how honest and decent you were in the game (i.e. all the things you can control really matter) etc..

I found this helpful for blushing to some extent.  In this context, things that are out of our control are: bodily function (e.g. blushing), reputation (no need to worry about people gossiping about blushing).

The three main books on Stoicism are:

Seneca - The Letters

Epictetus - The Discourse (I found this a bit hard going)

Marcus Aurelius - Meditations (A bit all of the place, but some sound comments)

Seneca's letter 11 is all about blushing.  He saying many famous people did this - even Pompey (Magnus).  Here is a link if interested: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Moral_letters_to_Lucilius/Letter_11

And finally from Diogenes of Sinope "Blushing is the colour of virtue".  Virtue being seen as the highest ideal in any human; which this most respected of ancient philosophers though was most evident in the faces of people who blush - as it show to all around a true concern for the views of their fellow people. 

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