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  • Doug Belshaw 6:17 am on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Seneca   

    Can anything be more thoughtless than the judgement of those men who boast of their forethought? They keep themselves inordinately busy with the task of how they may be able to live better, but they use up life in preparing themselves for life. They organise their thoughts with the distant future in mind; but the greatest waste of life consists in postponement: that is what takes away each day as it comes, that is what snatches away the present while promising something to follow. The greatest obstacle to living is expectation, which depends on tomorrow and wastes today.

    Seneca, ‘On the Shortness of Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:13 am on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , regret, Seneca   

    No one will restore your years, no one will restore you once more to yourself. Your life will pursue the path it started on, and will no more check than reverse its course; it will create no uproar, give no warning of its speed: silently it will glide on its way. No further will it extend its course at the command of a king, or because of the people’s approval; just as its path was set from your first day, so will it run, nowhere deviating, nowhere delaying. What will the outcome be? You have busies yourself, life hurries on: death meanwhile will arrive, and for it you must find time, whether you wish it or not.

    Seneca, ‘On the Shortness of Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:08 am on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , busyness, Seneca   

    Finally, it is generally agreed that no a activity can be properly undertaken by a man who is busy with many things – not eloquence, and not the liberal arts – since the mind, stretched in different directions, takes nothing at any depth but spits out everything that has been, so to speak, crammed into it. Nothing concerns the busy man less than the business of living: nothing is so difficult to learn.

    Seneca, ‘On the Shortness of Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:06 am on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Seneca   

    This length of time you have, that reason prolongs, however swift nature makes its sojourn, is bound to pass quickly through your fingers; for you do not grasp it, or seek to hold onto it, or try to delay the passing of the swiftest thing of all, but allow it to depart, as if it were something surplus to requirement and easily replaced.

    Seneca, ‘On the Shortness of Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:02 am on May 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Seneca   

    It is not that we have a brief length of time to live, but that we squander a great deal of that time.

    Seneca, ‘On the Shortness of Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:30 am on April 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Seneca   

    We must also make ourselves flexible, to avoid becoming too devoted to the plans we have formed, and we should make the transition to the state that chance has brought us to without dreading a change either in our purpose or our condition, provided that we are not falling prey to fickleness, a vice entirely at odds with repose. For stubbornness, from which Fortune often forces some concession, must involve anxiety and wretchedness, and at the same time fickleness is much harder to bear when it fails to control itself in any situation. Both are hostile to tranquility, both the inability to undergo any change and the ability to show endurance. Above all it is necessary for the mind to be withdrawn into itself, abjuring all external interests; let it have confidence in itself and take pleasure in itself, let it admire its own possessions, withdraw as far as possible from those of others, let it not feel losses and put a kind interpretation even kn adversities.

    Seneca, ‘On the Tranquility of the Mind’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 6:00 pm on April 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Seneca, ,   

    [Y]ou take your ease amid your possessions without a thought for all the misfortunes that threaten them on every side, poised any moment now to carry off the valuable spoils. But in the case of the wise man, if anyone steals his wealth, he will still leave to him all that he truly posseses; for he lives happy in the present and untroubled by what the future holds.

    Seneca, ‘On the Happy Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 12:00 pm on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Seneca   

    The happy man, therefore, possesses sound judgement; the happy man is satisfied with his present situation, no matter what it is, and eyes his fortune with contentment, the happy man is the one who permits reason to evaluate every condition of his existence.

    Seneca, ‘On the Happy Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 10:00 am on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Seneca   

    We may also odd the following definition, that of calling that man happy who recognizes no good and evil apart from a good and an evil mind, who holds honour dear and is content with virtue, who is not the sort of person to let the workings of chance go to his head or crush his spirit, who does not recognize any good greater than the one he alone can confer upon himself, and who will find true pleasure in despising pleasures.

    Seneca, ‘On the Happy Life’

     
  • Doug Belshaw 8:00 am on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body, , , , Seneca   

    Accordingly, the happy life is the one that is in harmony with its own nature, and the only way it can be achieved is if, first, the mind is sound and constantly in possession of its sanity, and secondly, if it is brave and vigorous, and, in addition, capable of the noblest endurance, adapting to every new situation, attentive to the body and to all that affects it, but not in an anxious way, and finally, if it concerns itself with all the things that enhance life, without showing indie respect for any one of them, taking advantage of Fortune’s gifts, but not becoming their slave.

    Seneca, ‘On the Happy Life’

     
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