Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Each shape in the symbol represents one of the three elements of Loricism. The triangle represents Ingenium, the diamond represents Communicatio Ratio, and the circle represents Cultura.

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."

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 of 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, 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.

Level 1 - Tiro

Everyone begins as a tiro, or apprentice. Level 1 is about learning the fundamentals of Loricism, with specific regard to the 10 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. Practitioners must have at least 100 hours of praxi (practice) before promotion to Novicius. Students are awarded a gray shirt for Level 1.

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 10 keys to gain self-awareness, self-control, and self-confidence. More praxi 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. Practitioners must have at least 200 hours of praxi (practice) in this level before promotion to Opifex. Students are awarded a navy blue shirt for Level 2.

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, and must spend at least 300 hours at Opifex before promoting to Praeceptor. 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 for Level 3.

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, and must spend at least 400 hours at Peritum before promoting to Praeceptor. 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 for Level 4.

Level 5 - Praeceptor

Level 5 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 4; promotion to Level 5 requires a board of certifiers. Level 5 practitioners can be considered experts in self-control, confidence, awareness, and communication. Students are awarded a black shirt for Level 5.

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