Bookcover - Letters from a Stoic

Letters from a Stoic

by Seneca

Rating: 8/10


Complaining against fate and what the future holds, is not valuable. You should instead take everything the world throws at you with grace and humility. Staying in one place, reading the same books, not jumping around, is a source of strength and personal growth. Being content with what you have, is the skill necessary to be happy. If you can't be happy with what you have, you'll never be.

Main Ideas

Sticking with one place, one set of people, one set of good books, and digging into these relationships, savouring and valuing them, for finding the small details and the beauty close to you, is a good way of living life.

We have a choice when we are agitated and irritated by things, and we can choose not to be. We often make the opposite choice and make our lives miserable because of it.

Living life, in such a way, that there are no "weak spots" to attack for an enemy, that you have nothing that you are ashamed of, or that you want to hide, but can share, with full trust and confidence, everything that you do, with anyone, is a great relief. It means that you are virtuous.

Money, even back then, didn't change anything. The troubles people have, adapt to the amount of money they have. The rich and the poor are both troubled, not because they have or don't have money, but because they think of the things they don't have instead of the ones they have. The problems adapt, the mind finds other things to be displeased about in this world. Don't let it.

Thinking makes things good or bad. It's not that things themselves have this quality inherent in them, but that our minds make them have those qualities. And we have control over our minds. We can change them to think differently, albeit only slowly and over time. This is what the process of enlightenment takes.

One way to adapt to this, "non-hankering" of the mind, is to consciously choose displeasure. Living life, with nothing, just to see and taste how it is, and then go back to the normal ways, knowing, what you can endure, with calm, because you chose to do so.

Favorite Quote

If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you're needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.

ā€“ Lucius Seneca

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