True and steadfast judgment

This can be swiftly taught in very few words: Virtue is the only good; There is no certain good without virtue; And virtue resides in our nobler part, which is the rational one. And what can this virtue be? True and steadfast judgment.

~ Seneca

Those defiant words

I am unafraid as I prepare myself for that day when the artifices and disguises will be stripped away and I shall make judgment of myself. Is it just brave talk, or do I mean what I say? Were they for real, those defiant words I spoke aginst fortune, or were they just theatre – Just acting a part?

~ Seneca

Only when you breath your last

Lectures and learned seminars and sayings culled from the teachings of philosophers and educated conversation do not reveal the mind’s real strength. For speech is bold even where the speaker is timorous. What you have achieved will be revealed only when you breathe your last.

~ Seneca

Your clear conscience

https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/seneca-to-lucilius-courage-in-a-threatening-situation/

Your clear conscience gives reason to be confident; still, since many external factors have a bearing on the outcome, hope for the best but prepare yourself for the worst. Remember above all to get rid of the commotion. Observe what each thing has inside, and you will learn: there is nothing to fear in your affairs but fear itself.

~ Seneca

What — exactly, specifically — is under your control?

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Live immediately

Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: It snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the futre. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: Live immediately.

~ Seneca

On the shortness of life

http://www.lettersfromastoic.net/letter-49-on-the-shortness-of-life/

Relax the straitened limits of the time which is allotted me. Show me that the good in life does not depend upon life’s length, but upon the use we make of it; also, that it is possible, or rather usual, for a man who has lived long to have lived too little. Say to me when I lie down to sleep: “You may not wake again!” And when I have waked: “You may not go to sleep again!” Say to me when I go forth from my house: “You may not return!” And when I return: “You may never go forth again!” You are mistaken if you think that only on an ocean voyage there is a very slight space between life and death. No, the distance between is just as narrow everywhere. It is not everywhere that death shows himself so near at hand; yet everywhere he is as near at hand.

~ Seneca

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Letter 52: On Choosing Our Teachers

http://www.lettersfromastoic.net/letter-52-on-choosing-our-teachers/

You may be sure that this refractory nature, which demands much toil, has been implanted in us. There are obstacles in our path; so let us fight, and call to our assistance some helpers. “Whom,” you say, “shall I call upon? Shall it be this man or that?” There is another choice also open to you; you may go to the ancients; for they have the time to help you. We can get assistance not only from the living, but from those of the past. Let us choose, however, from among the living, not men who pour forth their words with the greatest glibness, turning out commonplaces and holding. as it were, their own little private exhibitions, – not these, I say, but men who teach us by their lives, men who tell us what we ought to do and then prove it by practice, who show us what we should avoid, and then are never caught doing that which they have ordered us to avoid.

~ Seneca

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Long was I Marcellinus!

(Part 36 of 73 in My Journey)

Nevertheless I shall brave this danger and be bold enough to show [Marcellinus] his faults. He will act in his usual way; he will have recourse to his wit, – the wit that can call forth smiles even from mourners. He will turn the jest, first against himself, and then against me. He will forestall every word which I am about to utter.

~ Seneca ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneca_the_Younger ), from “Letters From A Stoic: Letter 29” ( http://www.lettersfromastoic.net/letter-29/ )

Many of Seneca’s letters are pretty obtuse after all this time. But this one… this one jumped out at me as being really apropos of modern life. And, uh, painfully on point for myself.

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Reckon the worth of each day

The largest portion of life passes while we are doing ill, a good share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose. What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; The major portion of death is already passed. Whatever years be behind us are in death’s hands.

~ Seneca