Frequently Asked Questions

In short, Loricism strives to improve the world through the spread of rational thinking and cultivating strong individuals of character. For a more comprehensive view on why Loricism was created exactly as it is, see the Loric Manifesto.

Loricism is best thought of as a system of "martial arts of the mind" (it is modeled after martial arts in execution and teaching style), which combines inner character development, critical thinking, and communication skills. As a philosophy, it aims to provide actionable wisdom for everyday living through self-control, self-awareness, and self-confidence building. It places heavy emphasis on internal locus of control, and similar to Stoicism, strives to help practitioners determine and excise anxiety over that which lies beyond our control. It also places a high value on the principle of reasonable individual autonomy (live your life as you wish doing your best to avoid inflicting suffering onto others). This is only one element of Loricism, called Ingenium (represented by the triangle in the symbol). Ingenium is comprised of 12 distinct virtues spread across 4 areas of focus (Autonomy, Duty, Will, Wisdom).

The second element is Communicatio Ratio, or reasonable communication. Where ingenium deals with the internals, this element aims to facilitate stronger and more effective communication skills. Here is a heavy focus on logic, rhetoric, and more cooperative interactions with others. The most important aspect of this is reasonableness and constant improvement of ideas. Many aspects of this tie directly in with the ingenium elements, such as dealing with manipulation and being assertive. This element is represented by the diamond shape in the symbol.

The third and final element is Cultura, or building a culture of strength of character and reasonable interaction. The aim of this is to work toward eliminating toxic cultural attributes like extremism, inadequate or dangerous ideology, and unethical majority or minority rule. Like the other elements, the concept of reasonableness plays a major role here, as does the "idea of best ideas." A strong foundation in the other two elements is necessary for cultura to work, as individuals should be proficient in recognizing faulty premises, manipulation, and other devices used for the purpose of developing unreasonable cultural control. This element is represented by the circle in the symbol.

The first core element of Loricism is called Ingenium, meaning character development. It is essentially thought of as "self defense against one's self." In other words, everything in this element is designed to help an individual recognize and deal with themselves and the common ways we act as obstacles in our own paths. Each virtue helps a person clear away an obstacle that gets in the way of success in some way.

Adequacy: Self-confidence and belief that one possesses the potential to succeed.
Authority: Ownership over one's life, one's actions, and one's choices.
Temperance: Self-control; the quality of being able to balance between two extremes.
Courage: The quality of being able to face and overcome one's fears.
Vitality: The quality of physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Resolve: The quality of perseverance, being able to finish what one starts and endure hardships.
Responsibility: The state or fact of being accountable for one's duties and actions.
Respect: Due regard for a person, institution, concept, tradition, etc.
Discipline: Activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill or trait.
Reflection: The practice of critically examining one's own thoughts, actions, and traits.
Prudence: The practice of care, caution, sound judgment, reason, and wisdom.
Justice: The practice of treating others with fairness and dignity.

One of Loricism's goals is to remain open to improvement. This is because of the principle called the Idea of Best Ideas. We are after the best ideas, even when it comes to the core system. Because ideology tends to solidify an idea and render it unable to evolve and advance, we have adopted an "ideology of no ideology" standpoint so as to remember not to be too rigid. It also takes inspiration from Bruce Lee's "way of no way" approach to martial arts.

A Litany is like a positive affirmation designed to help you internalize the essence of a particular virtue. They function the exact same way. While many religions use litanies, the term was adopted from the Litany Against Fear, as seen in Frank Herbert's Dune.

Below is the abbreviated Litanies:

1. I have all the necessary traits to achieve the life I want.
2. I am the authority in my thoughts and decisions.
3. My fears are a product of my mind, it is there that I subdue them.
4. I take care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually.
5. As long as I persevere, I will achieve the life I desire.
6. I respect myself and stand up for myself.
7. I am responsible for my thoughts, my actions, and my destiny.
8. I am diligent in doing what needs to be done, without complaint.
9. I focus on my own contributions to situations instead of seeking fault with others.
10. I am reasonable in thought and action.
11. I allow others authority over their lives. I treat them with fairness and dignity.

It is simply a cool symbol. Each triangle in it represents the three elements of Loricism: Ingenium, Communicatio Ratio, and Cultura.

From the actual question as seen on r/Loricism:

"The truth of it is, when I started putting these ideas together I had not even discovered Stoicism, or at least recognized it. It was only very recently that I started to take notice of it, and what I realized is that a lot of my ideas lined up with it. I haven't studied it in depth, though, beyond listening to one book on Audible. I do admit, however, that I like to hang out in the Stoicism group on Facebook. So the short answer: if it rips off Stoicism exactly, that's a really huge f*cking coincidence, considering. And truth be told, it's either an indictment of Stoicism (that a mind as mediocre as mine could come up with the exact same thing independently), haha, or it's a pretty big compliment toward me. I think, clearly, the most rational answer is that, yeah, any similarities are just happy accidents.

Not trying to make a name for myself really, it doesn't appear anywhere on the website or in the PDF (nor here, for that matter). I do promote it from my own social media, but only because I have a decently sized audience. I simply want to share the ideas, not necessary take ownership of them. In fact - and I think this is cool - lots of people have said they had no idea I was even associated with it in an official capacity, they just thought I thought it was cool or worth sharing.

I think it might be more apparent if I put forth an example. And even in doing so, this particular example is intended only to illustrate that there are differences. Also, I never start from Stoicism and go "how can I be different?" I don't start from anywhere. I just ponder. One example that sticks out in my mind is how people respond to emotion. If I'm not mistaken, Stoicism doesn't like demonstrations of anger, jealousy, etc. They're not trying to saying you have to be emotionless, but they're saying you should work to control what you can control. At least this is my understanding of the subject, I vaguely recall some of the Stoic writers mentioning things like joy and pleasure as well. They wanted people to experience a happy life. And of course, I could be completely wrong about it. You can see my understanding of Stoicism is very limited. So I don't start from a Stoic concept and make changes. I start from myself. The way Loricism views emotions is with temperance. In other words, we all have emotions, we're human. And it's not out of line to let them show, we just don't want them to control our actions without our consent. We don't try to suppress them or become emotionless (and to be fair, I don't think the Stoics are like this either, it's probably a misconception). With temperance, we can allow each emotion to happen, not be judgmental about it, and attempt to handle how we respond to them insomuch as we are able. In other words, we don't let them control us, but we don't try to suppress them.

I use the firefighter analogy to illustrate this. A fire can easily get out of control, especially if we're unaccustomed to using fire. An inexperienced person won't be as adept at handling fire as someone who has spent a lifetime understanding it. Yet a firefighter doesn't only put out fires. They are also able to do controlled burns. They are also able to use fire (as we all are) for beneficial things like cooking, or keeping us warm while camping, for making cool blades, etc. Which person has the greater mastery over fire, the person who avoids fire and puts it out at the first sight of smoke? Or the person who can wield it and control it in all its incarnations? Loricism advises to be like the firefighter with regards to emotions. I believe this differs from the Stoic approach, though I can't be certain, because I didn't look there before I fleshed it out. "

Loricism uses a level "ranking" system as a way of delineating progress with the material and ensuring that those in instructive positions are of enough proficiency to do so effectively. It is very similar to the way martial arts ranking is implemented, and there are actually several specific reasons for why we do it this way. See here for more on that.

Level 1 - Tiro

Everyone begins as a tiro, or apprentice. Level 1 is about learning the fundamentals of Loricism, with specific regard to the 11 Keys we use to get closer to inner prosperity. The communicatio ratio portion typically entails practicing interaction without losing control, and students begin to learn about logic and fallacies, being assertive, and other communication techniques. Students are awarded a gray shirt/lapel pin for Level 1, and can expect to spend about 1 year before being promoted to blue.

Level 2 - Novicius

Level 2 has a solid foundation from which to expand the basics learned in Level 1. The Novicius (novice) continues working closely with the 11 keys to gain self-awareness, self-control, and self-confidence. More praxi (practice) is given toward rational discussion and human interaction, ingenium, and mindfulness. Most of Level 2 is spent practicing and expanding on the fundamentals, building proficiency, and working toward mastery of the self. Students are awarded a navy blue shirt/lapel pin for Level 2, and can expect to spend about 2 years in blue before reaching red.

Level 3 - Opifex

Level 3 has a firm grasp on all the fundamentals of Loricism enough to begin teaching. The Opifex (artisan) can certify up to Level 2. Level 3 practitioners are well-versed in conversations and display enough confidence to maintain self-discipline, even when in the minority (i.e. they still to what is true, logical, or reasonable, even if they're the only ones doing so). They have a well-rounded understanding of logical fallacies and various rhetorical devices, and a higher than average degree of self-mastery. Opifices are expected to represent self-control and possess keen, reasonable communication skills. Students are awarded a dark red shirt/lapel pin for Level 3, and can expect to spend 2-3 years at red before reaching green.

Level 4 - Peritum

Level 4 has a more established mastery of the principles of Loricism, and are more skilled at teaching and facilitating praxi. The Peritum (expert) can certify up to Level 3. Level 4 practitioners are well-versed in rhetoric, debate, and all varieties of interpersonal communication. They have internalized the art of recognizing and countering logical fallacies and various rhetorical devices, and are more attuned to helping lower ranks identify problem areas and solutions. They must be skilled enough to teach others to teach Loricism. Students are awarded a dark green shirt/lapel pin for Level 4, and can expect to spend 2-3 years at green before reaching brown.

Level 5 - Princeps

Level 5 is an exemplar of the principles of Loricism, and are more skilled at teaching and facilitating praxi. The Princeps(expert) can certify up to Level 4. Princeps are extremely well-versed in rhetoric, debate, and all varieties of interpersonal communication. They have internalized the art of recognizing and countering logical fallacies and various rhetorical devices, and are more attuned to helping lower ranks identify problem areas and solutions. They are well-rounded and knowledgeable, and should set the example. Students are awarded a brown shirt/lapel pin for Level 5, and can expect to spend 2-3 years at brown before reaching black.

Level 6 - Praeceptor

Level 6 is considered a master of the principles of Loricism, having spent years practicing and working toward self-mastery. The Praeceptor (master) can certify up to Level 5; promotion to Level 6 requires a board of certifiers. Level 6 practitioners can be considered experts in self-control, confidence, awareness, and communication. Students are awarded a black shirt/lapel pin for Level 6. With consistent attendance and practice, students can expect to reach black in 9-12 years. It is roughly the same amount of time it takes to reach black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

If our goal is to give people the strength to rise above the need to cling to group ideology, it would be counter-intuitive for Loricism to become a cult.

The answer to this question has been taken straight from r/Loricism:

"Again, this is a fair question, and one I am happy to answer. Of course, though, because of the negative connotations surrounding that word, any time you ask the source whether they or their thing is a cult, they're going to say no. So take this for what it's worth. I hope my response is reasoned enough, and sincere enough, that people won't dismiss it simply because I might have a vested self-interest to distance Loricism from that word.

The short answer is no. I do not intend for it to be a cult. You are correct in that I had toyed around with the idea of making it a religion, but there is no deity, and clearly I dialed it way back because it is closer to a philosophy than a religion or a cult anyhow. The whole idea of Loricism is to be confident, practice humility, and self-reflection. Trying not to lie to yourself or others. Transparency. I believe that with confidence, people can be more genuine.

To best understand why I considered making it a religion, we must back up and go over why I bothered to create this in the first place.

1. I believe the single greatest change the world could see - the one that would make the biggest difference - is a culture of reasoned thinking. It has to be a culture. The world must value it, almost be indoctrinated in free thinking, a paradox of course, in order to combat indoctrination. There must be an ideology of no ideology. In order for humans to evolve, we have to rise above some of our flaws. In short, there must be more people who value free thinking than there are people who don't, and the only way to do that is to spread a new culture. Hence, the third element of Loricism, Cultura.

2. We cannot create a culture of reasoned thought without first teaching reasoned thought and communication skills. Hence, the second element of Loricism, Communicatio Ratio.

3. We cannot have a culture of reasoned thinking without shirking the need for groupthink and the need to belong. These are ingrained in us as humans, so it's a difficult thing to overcome - but it can be done. We also have a biological imperative to procreate, yet some cultures have successfully created an environment where sex is taboo. We can overcome our biological shortcomings (not that sexual desire is a shortcoming; the urge to blindly follow the herd is). This, however, cannot be done without raising the esteem of the individual. People must be strong enough to withstand the turbulent pull of the herd, the shaming, the manipulative social justice that occurs. We need these things now more than ever. It's only going to get worse.

Knowing now what the goals are, the mission, the plan, you can clearly see what the destination is. Replacing a culture of ignorance with one of reason. But how? Can we leverage the tools other systems have used in a way that doesn't contradict the principles? Absolutely. Businesses do it all the time. Marketing is all about creating viral sensations - cult followings. Unfortunately, this particular brand, Loricism, isn't a silver computer or type of tennis shoe. It's an idea, so that's a fine line to have to tread. If our goal is to give people the strength to rise above the need to cling to group ideology, it would be counter-intuitive for Loricism to become a cult.

The long answer: no, it's not a cult. But it will use aspects of cult that are beneficial toward the end mission, while attempting to avoid any of the pitfalls that come with playing with that kind of fire."

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