Seneca On Living

BAFA8EA6-7CC8-4BF1-A084-515D5159D148Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD 65)

You are living as if destined to live for ever; your own frailty never occurs to you; you don’t notice how much time has already passed, but squander it as though you had a full and overflowing supply – though all the while that very day which you are devoting to somebody or something may be your last. You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire… How late it is to begin really to live just when life must end! How stupid to forget our mortality, and put off sensible plans to our fiftieth and sixtieth years, aiming to begin life from a point at which few have arrived!

Seneca On Giving

    Seneca   (c. 4 BC – AD 65) Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD 65)

The wise man… enjoys the giving more than the recipient enjoys the receiving… None but the wise man knows how to return a favour. Even a fool can return it in proportion to his knowledge and his power; his fault would be a lack of knowledge rather than a lack of will or desire.

Seneca On Life

   Seneca   (c. 4 BC – AD65)
Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD65)

Honors bind one man, wealth another; nobility oppresses some, humility others; some are held in subjection by an external power, while others obey the tyrant within; banishments keep some in one place, the priesthood others. All life is slavery. Therefore each one must accustom himself to his own condition and complain about it as little as possible, and lay hold of whatever good is to be found near him.

Seneca On Life And Death

   Seneca   (c. 4 BC – AD65)
Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD65)

If nature should demand of us that which she has previously entrusted to us, we will also say to her: “Take back a better mind than you gave: I seek no way of escape nor flee: I have voluntarily improved for you what you gave me without my knowledge; take it away.” What hardship is there in returning to the place whence one has come? That man lives badly who does not know how to die well.

Seneca On Happiness

   Seneca   (c. 4 BC – AD65) 
Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD65) 

It was nature’s intention that there should be no need of great equipment for a good life: every individual can make himself happy. External goods are of trivial importance and without much influence in either direction: prosperity does not elevate the sage and adversity does not depress him. For he has always made the effort to rely as much as possible on himself and to derive all delight from himself.

Seneca On Sorrow

   Seneca   (c. 4 BC – AD65)
Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD65)

Let those people go on weeping and wailing whose self-indulgent minds have been weakened by long prosperity, let them collapse at the threat of the most trivial injuries; but let those who have spent all their years suffering disasters endure the worst afflictions with a brave and resolute staunchness.

Everlasting misfortune does have one blessing, that it ends up by toughening those whom it constantly afflicts.