Fourth School

sapere aude

Black Eagle Monastery

Monasterium Stoicorum. Monastery of the Stoics. Maxwell Stanisforth (1893-1985), Oxford scholar and parish priest, wrote in the introduction to his translation of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations (Penguin Classics, 1964), "...the Stoic professor was accustomed to withdraw from society and meditate in solitude...In the Stoic vocabulary one who went into retreat was an 'anchorite'; one who practiced self-discipline was an 'ascetic', those who lived apart from their fellows were 'monachi', and the place of their retreat was a 'monasterium'."

Welcome to Black Eagle Monastery, the restoration of the Stoic monasterium. We know almost nothing about the original Stoic monasteries of ancient Rome, but this lack of information is both an advantage and disadvantage. It is advantageous because we are not constrained by traditions or outmoded rules and expectations. It is more difficult for the very same reason—we don't have the comfort of traditions or expectations to guide us. We are on our own.

We are building the Fourth School as a monastery, because we are investigating the abstruse branch of philosophy known as metaphysics. This kind of work requires the inner focus of a monk. In the monasterium stoicorum you will be dealing with the first principles of existence, causality, and truth. But, because we are an online monastery, you do not need to move. You do not need to quit your job and leave your family. If at any time you wish to stop, you are free to do so. You will not be making a commitment to the monastery; you will be making the commitment to yourself.

To be admitted to the Fourth School, the school of metaphysics, you must be a graduate of the College of Stoic Philosophers' School of Essential Studies. Then, you will take Four Tests that judge your fitness for becoming a Stoicus Monachus, a Stoic monk. When you have successfully completed the Four Tests, you will be invited to become an Initiate to decide whether you wish to join the monachi.

To request the Fourth School syllabus, please contact

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