Seneca Natural Questions

Seneca; natural questions lessons

human (moral philosophy) vs divine (philosophy)

contemplate on the littleness of the earth and earthly life!

the mind of man attains its true height in the contemplation and investigation of sublime facts of universe.

escape slavery to self; study of the universe— exalts us!

we cannot escape death (we learn this by studying universe) — page 225

our fears are due to ignorance — fear may be removed by knowledge !

Life hangs on a thread; why should one dread the loss of it? the greatness of the cause of death is no source of terror,

fear of death magnifies all human risks.

do not dread death; long for it, and don’t meet it half-way — page 265



humility as becoming in investigators of the nature of heavens as in worshippers. God has revealed but a little of himself to man — humble myself to god.— page 304

Not everything has been discovered yet! we must leave something in succeeding generations. we are not yet fully proficient in vice, although we have striven so longa nd hard. we still retain, some traces of manhood.

we have given up to low pleasures and vices, and devote out strength to them . don’t give myself up to low pleasures and vices! — page 307



why has wisdom not yet attained her perfect work?

Discover what older generations left insufficiently investigated in philosophy.

On the soul of honor, if we urged on this task with all our powers, even then scarce should we reach the bottom of the well in which truth lies.

Search for truth; wisdom!

Man’s life is a paltry affair but a mighty affair is the contempt of life.

he who can despise life may look unmoved upon the tossing of the sea. unmoved, he will behold the fierce forbidding aspect of the thundering heavens.

unmoved, he will behold earths framework rent and earths foundations underneath.

what is it to me how great the powers by which i perish? to perish is itself no great matter.

if we desire to be happy, to be harassed by no fear either of men or gods, or circumstance, to despise fortune with her superfluous promises and contemptible threats, if we desire to live the peaceful life, and to vie with the very gods in happiness, then we must carry our life in our right hand.

whether snares or diseases attack it, the swords of foes or the crash of falling tenements, or the downfall of earth itself, or the violence of widespread fire enveloping city and field in common disaster, let who will take it.

what more do i owe life than to encourage it on its journey and to despatch it with good wishes?

go resolutely, go prosperously!

there must be no hesitation in rendering back life.

what you are doing must be done some day.

What you are doing — you must do it today!

shall i rebel against my end (death) when i know that i am not endless? nay, when i am fully assured that all things come to an end, shall i fear my latest sigh?

wherefore steel yourself, friend, with all your might against fear of death. this fear it is that drags us down; this is it that torments and destroys the life it tries to preserve. it magnifies all those dangers, earthquakes and lightnings, and the rest.

you will be able to bear them all resolutely if you but reflect that short and long in life make no difference.

No difference between living to age 50, to age 120

reflect that short and long in life make no difference. It is but hours we lose.

Time flows on; it leaves behind those most eager to seize it.

i am poised upon a point of fleeting time; it is a great thing to have been moderate in one’s ambitions.

be more moderate in my ambitions.

You are no longer 60 years old

Laeliius the Wise: to someone who said i am sixty years old, you mean, “The 60 years you no longer age.”

Reckoning that our years that are now lost.

Let us fix this in our minds, and constantly remind ourselves, **I MUST DIE*

When will i die? what matter is that to you/ death is a law of nature; death is a tribute and a duty imposed on mortals; it is the remedy of all ills. whoever now fears it will one day long for it. giving up all else, make this your one meditation, not to dread the name death.

By long reflection make death an intimate friend, that, if so required, you may be able even to go forth to welcome it.

different things will fall at different times.

‘fear is but folly when there is no escape to it.’

‘Philosophy delivers the wise from fear’

“If I must fall, I should desire to fall from the height of heaven.” – Vagellius

If I fall, let the earth be shaken at my fall.

life would be useless gift; if i cannot contemplate the universe?

life is a great gift; make the best of it!

rise above the earth!

lightly equipped, nimble, and modest in his wants.

freed from the shackles of the earth; soul reaches the highest regions!

God is the universal intelligence.

Soul Photography Book (iBooks Author) — or indesign?

“High is the courage that inspires me, great the work, but short The time in which to plan.”

Speed on! // hurry up

when the midday of life is past; i have entered upon a difficult, serious, listless task.

i must hurry on, and without excuse go on my task.

swell with pride in magnitude of my undertaking

don’t waste my efforts as a writer.

don’t narrate the doings of foreign kings; waste of time

telling the sufferings, history, of the past — waste of time

surely it is wiser to end ones ills, than tell the ills of others.

make my life the theme of the works of Gods! ***

Focus on giving benefits ; making my life the work of Gods!

no fortune is stable.

all human gifts more fickle than the air!

let us inquire what ought to be done; rather than what has (already) been done.

fortune cannot rest— she delights to match sadness with joy, and to mingle smiles with tears.

“In the day of prosperity let no man exult, in the day of adversity let no man faint: the successions of fortune alternate.” – Seneca

“You have been carried down to the lowest point (nadir/opposite of zenith); now is the chance of rising again. Adversity alters for the better, success for the worse.” – Seneca

Change of the kind must be anticipated, not merely in private families, but from dynasties.

What is the principal thing in human life? Not to fill the seas with fleets, nor to have planted the standard of the nation on the shores of the Red Sea, nor when the land has been exhausted, to have wandered for the injury of others in the ocean for the quest of the unknown.

Rather it is to have grasped in mind the whole universe, and to have gained what is the greatest of all victories; the mastery over besetting sins.

There are hosts of conquerers who have had cities and nations under their power, but a few who have subdued themselves.

What is the principal thing? I say again: To raise the soul above the threats and promises of fortune; to consider nothing as worth hoping for. For what does fortune possess worth setting your heart upon?

Why as often as you lapse from converse with what is divine back to what is human, your eyes will be blinded just like the eyes of those who have returned from bright sunlight into gross darkness.

What is the principal thing? To be able to endure adversity with joyful heart; to bear whatever betide just as if it were the very thing you desired to happen.

For you would have felt it your duty to desire it, had you known that all things happen by God’s decree.

My duty to desire adversity with joyful heart— because it happens with God’s decree (everything happens for a reason; via god).

Tears, complaints, lamentation, are rebellion.

Never complain, cry, or lament.

What is the principle thing? A heart in the face of calamity: resolute and invincible.

Be invincible against calamity!

We need an adversary, a sworn foe, to luxury, neither anxious to meet nor anxious to shun peril; a heart that knows how to fashion fortune to its will without waiting ro her; which can go forth to face ill or good dauntless and unembarrassed, paralyzed neither by the tumult or the one nor glamour of the other.

What is the principal thing? not to admit evil counsel into the heart, and to lift up clean hands to heaven; to seek for no advantage which some one must give and some one lose in order that it may reach you.

to pray a prayer that no one will envy for purity of heart; as for other blessings which are highly esteemed by the world, even should they by chance bring into your home, to regard them as sure to depart by the same door in which they entered.

What is the principal thing? To lift one’s courage high above all that depends upon chance; to remember what man is, so that whether you be fortunate, you may know that this will not be for long; or whether you be unfortunate, you may be sure that you are not so if you do not think yourself so.

You are not fortunate unless you think of yourself as fortunate

The principal thing is to have life on the very lips, ready to issue when summoned.

This makes a man free, not by right of Roman citizenship, but by right of nature.

He is the true freeman who has escaped from bondage to self.

Free myself from my own inner-slavery.

That slavery is constant, from it there is no deliverance; it pressures us day and night alike, without pause, without respite. To be a slave to self is the most grievous kind of slavery; yet its fetters may easily be struck off, if you will but cease to make large demands upon yourself, if you will cease to seek a personal reward for your services, if you will set clearly before your nature and your time of life, even though it will be the bloom of youth; if you will say to yourself, Why do I rave, and pant, and sweat? Why do I ply the earth? Why do I haunt the forum?

Man needs but little, nor needs that little long.

Man needs little to survive in life, and we don’t need that little to survive for very long.

To this end it will be profitable for us to examine the nature of the universe — study the universe !

In the first place we shall rise above what is base; secondly, we shall set the spirit free from the body, imparting to it that courage and elevation of which it stands in need.

Abandon the faults we condemn!

you are a stranger to ambition; and a friend to the peaceful life of letters (blog posts)

I am a man of letters; i am a blogging man.

i can bear; and i love my own company!

‘When you have closed every loophole, flattery will still wound you through your harness’

loophole: arrow slit in a wall // people can still attack me through the arrow slits in my fortress!

my thriftiness; so indifferent to money, it was like i neither possess it nor condemn it.

indifferent to money: don’t praise it; or condemn it

keep a long distance from myself and flatter; like in war, don’t do hand-to-hand combat.

“When you desire to have genuine praise, why should you be indebted to another for it? Yourself commend your own efforts.” – Seneca

focus on liberal pursuits; not applications for a quick return n.

i turned aside to the unremunerative domains of poetry!

i bestowed upon myself the wholesome study of philosophy.

i have showed that seeds of virtue are planted in every breast.

i have gained a positional level with the highest of god.

‘i risked my head for my loyalty’

one must flee from the world; and return to oneself.

escape from myself

‘nothing can please luxury unless it is expensive’

Paying for water

nothing can please luxury unless it is expensive. Water was the one thing that used to bring down
the rich to the level of the common herd, in which
the wealthy could not surpass the very poorest. Those who found their riches a burden have devised
a plan whereby water should become a luxury.

reward of labor: knowledge of nature!

dwell on the sight of my own grandeur

study nature not for hope of gain; but for wonderment and excitement it gains us!