Keep reading for FREE
Lucius Annaeus Seneca and also known simply as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and the advisor of the Rome's King Neron.
The works written about stoicism are known as often present the school of thought in hypothetical terms, however, Seneca's this essay focuses on constructive and practicable advice.
"There is nothing on earth so sacred as not to be liable to sacrilege; yet holy things exist on high none the less because there are men who strike at a greatness which is far above themselves, though with no hope of reaching it. The invulnerable is not that which is never struck, but that which is never wounded."
That such a wise man is invulnerable against all injury;it matters not,therefore,how many darts be hurled at him,since he can be pierced by none of them.Just as the hardness of some stones is impervious to steel,and adamant can neither be cut,broken,or ground,but blunts all instruments used upon it;just as some things can't be destroyed by fire,but when encircled by flame still retain their hardness and shape;just as some tall projecting cliffs break the waves of the sea,and though lashed by them through many centuries,yet show no traces of their rage; even so the mind of the wise man is firm
"... and fortune can take nothing away save what she gave. Now fortune does not give virtue; therefore, she does not take it away. Virtue is free, inviolable, not to be moved, not to be shaken, and so hardened against misfortunes that she cannot be bent, let alone overcome by them. She looks unfalteringly on while tortures are being prepared for her; she makes no change of countenance, whether misery or pleasure be offered to her. The wise man therefore can lose nothing of whose loss he will be sensible, for he is the property of virtue alone, from whom he never can be taken away."
"Under the direction of that destroyer of so many cities, walls may be shaken by the stroke of the ram, lofty towers may be suddenly brought low by galleries and hidden mines, and mounds arise so high as to rival the highest citadel, yet that no siege engines can be discovered which can shake a well-established mind."
" I see rich men who have lost their estates; lustful men who have lost their loves, the courtesans whom they cherished at the cost of much shame; ambitious men who have lost the senate, the law courts, the places set apart for the public display of men's vices; usurers who have lost their account-books, in which avarice vainly enjoyed an unreal wealth; but I possess everything whole and uninjured.
See then, Serenus, that the perfect man, full of human and divine virtues, can lose nothing; his goods are surrounded by strong and impassable walls."
"He therefore who is affected by insult shows that he possesses neither sense nor trustfulness; for he considers it certain that he is scorned, and this vexation affects him with a certain sense of degradation, as he effaces himself and takes a lower room; whereas the wise man is scorned by no one, for he knows his own greatness, gives himself to understand that he allows no one to have such power over him, and as for all of what I should not so much call distress as uneasiness of mind, he does not overcome it, but never so much as feels."
"He will not rise in his own esteem if a beggar pays his court to him, and he will not think it an affront if one of the dregs of the people does not return his greeting. So also he will not admire himself even if many rich men admire him; for he knows that they differ in no respect from beggars—nay, are even more wretched than they; for beggars want but a little, whereas rich men want a great deal."
"He will not, then, be moved by an insult from any man for though all men differ one from another, yet the wise man regards them all as alike on account of their equal folly; for should he once lower himself to the point of being affected by either injury or insult, he could never feel safe afterwards, and safety is the especial advantage of the wise man, and he will not be guilty of showing respect to the man who has done him an injury by admitting that he has received one, because it necessarily follows that he who is disquieted at any one's scorn would value that person's admiration."
"Epicurus says that injuries may be endured by the wise man, we say that they do not exist for him
...We do not deny that it is an unpleasant thing to be beaten or struck, or to lose one of our limbs, but we say that none of these things are injuries
...You ask what difference there is between them? All that there is between two very brave gladiators, one of whom conceals his wound and holds his ground, while the other turns round to the shouting populace, gives them to understand that his wound is nothing, and does not permit them to interfere on his behalf."
"...since those who are most eager to offer affronts are least able to endure them"
" As for insults, offensive language, marks of disgrace, and such-like disfigurements, he ought to bear them as he would bear the shouts of the enemy, and darts or stones flung from a distance, which rattle upon his helmet without causing a wound; while he should look upon injuries as wounds, some received on his armour and others on his body, which he endures without falling or even leaving his place in the ranks. Even though you be hard pressed and violently attacked by the enemy, still it is base to give way; hold the post assigned to you by nature."
In this book; There are so many thoughts that can guide us about life, virtue and how to have a strong character. As a beginner philosophy reader, i have compiled some ideas that i think can shape human life with my own references.
MORE LIKE THIS
Joseph H. Ellis
Ready for the next level?
Read Like a Pro
Explore the World’s
Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.
# Personal Growth
Take Your Ideas
Just press play and we take care of the words.
No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.
Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.
2 Million Stashers
This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!
Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.
Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.
Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.
Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.
Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.
Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.
I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!
Read & Learn
Access to 200,000+ ideas
Access to the mobile app
Unlimited idea saving & library
Unlimited listening to ideas
Downloading & offline access
Claim Your Limited Offer
Get Deepstash Pro
Supercharge your mind with one idea per day
Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.
I agree to receive email updates