Summary:

If a Stoic philosopher is supposed to die in the mist of active work, why then is Seneca always shut away at home? He states that he can help a greater number of people by staying in and writing for future generations.  He states that he works/studies even at night and doesn’t schedule sleep. Instead he works until his body makes him sleep.  He “points men to the right path” “Avoid whatever pleases the masses and avoid the gifts of chance”.  The gifts of chance are more like snares that when lost will cause us pain like a sinking ship dashing us against the rocks.  He recommends living a strenuous life to make the body obey the mind. Only to eat to quench hunger, drink to quench thirst etc. A thatch roof keeps the rain off of you just as well as a gold roof does.  This whole reading goes along with the theme that we don’t really own anything we just borrow them and some things should be avoided or we should soften and become weak Stoics.

 

Thoughts: I don’t think I’ll ever be as extreme in my stoicism as Seneca or Epictetus, but then again, they were preachers of the philosophy not necessarily how the “every day” roman implemented the teachings.  But I should cut back on my desires for things, maybe even get rid of some of what I do have. I should also cut down on excessive drinking/eating.  But set Seneca up as a sage and lean in that direction, I may never be close to a Zeno or a Epictetus,  become more like them over time. I for one am soft and should lead a more strenuous life.  Try to give up the love of the gifts of fortune, wealth, possessions, praise etc. are all things that you may or may not get and only cause greif when lost.

Reading: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Moral_letters_to_Lucilius/Letter_8

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