Manage episode 281069648 series 2821125
4:26 – You have seen those things, look now at these: do not trouble yourself, make yourself simple. Does a man do wrong? He does wrong to himself. Has some chance befallen you? It is well; from Universal Nature, from the beginning, all that befalls has been apportioned for you and the thread was spun. The sum of the matter is this: life is short; the present must be turned to profit by the aid of reason and righteousness. Be sober in your relaxation.
But see, this I did find: God has made man upright, but they have sought many schemes.
Seneca – On the Shortness of Life
 Here is a summary indication that these men's lives are short: see how eager they are for a long life! Decrepit old men beg and pray for the addition of a few more years; they pretend they are younger than they are; they flatter themselves with a lie, and are as pleased with their deception as if they were deluding Fate at the same time. And in the end, when some sickness reminds them of their mortality, they die in a panic, not as if they were departing from life, but as if they were being dragged out of it. They cry out that they were fools not to have lived and declare they will live at leisure if only they survive their sickness. Only then do they reflect how futile was their acquisition of things they would never enjoy, how vain was all their labor. But life is ample, of course, for men who keep themselves detached from involvement. None of their time is transferred to others, none is frittered away in this direction and that, none is committed to Fortune, none perishes of neglect, none is squandered in lavishness, none is idle: all of it, so to speak, produces income. A very little is therefore amply sufficient, and hence, when his last day comes, the philosopher goes to meet his death with a steady step.
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Farquharson translation of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Gummere translation of Letters from a Stoic Master (Seneca)
Long translation of The Discourses of Epictetus
Carter translation of The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
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