Chapters Bookshelf

Stoic Stronghold

The terror of avatarís harrowing experience of nearly drowning in the ocean is portrayed, with hostile creatures bent on inflicting great harm or even death.

“I got stung by a jellyfish while a horrible sea bird pecked at my head. There was a shark. It was awful, HORRIBLE!”

Distressed, you feel anger welling up as you glare at Diogenes. “It’s all YOUR fault. I should never have said ‘yes’ to you and gone on this stupid adventure!”

Diogenes is about to respond when a spectacled Albert Ellis interrupts, looking straight at you. “Oh, what crap! You’ve just made all kinds of irrational judgments that are causing you to feel badly. The storm and the raging ocean were not in your control. That’s in the past, which cannot be changed. But now you are drowning is a sea of negative thought and emotion of your own making. Why on earth are you doing that to yourself?”

You are stunned and stare at him in disbelief. Diogenes speaks softly, “You are safe on this island and with others of a like mind. This is Albert Ellis and Debbie Joffe Ellis.[1] They are both psychotherapists.”

Your jaw drops open. “You think I need a couple of shrinks! If I’m crazy, it is for going on this stupid quest with so many dangers and landing here on Lunatic Island with you and these two nutjobs!”

[1] Everything Al and Debbie say in this enclave can be traced to quotes and paraphrases of what they’ve said in print, interviews, and on YouTube. For more, you might start with Debbie’s moving comments on life’s hardships at Read her being interviewed about Stoicism and her work with her husband Albert Ellis. Visit her home page at For a sense of attention-grabbing ways Albert Ellis used to convey his concepts, see