Of a Happy Life, Seneca

Of a Happy Life

De Vita Beata («On the Happy Life») is a dialogue written by Seneca the Younger around the year 58 AD. It was intended for his older brother Gallio, to whom Seneca also dedicated his dialogue entitled De Ira («On Anger»). It is divided into 28 chapters that present the moral thoughts of Seneca at their most mature. Seneca explains that the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of reason – reason meant not only using logic, but also understanding the processes of nature. Seneca, in agreement with Stoic doctrine, argues that Nature is Reason (logos) and that people must use their powers of reason to live in harmony with nature and thus achieve happiness. In his words, «rerum naturae adsentior; ab illa non deerrare et ad illius legem exemplumque formari sapientia est," which means «I follow nature; it is common sense not to stray from it but to be molded according to its law and example.» Seneca proposes to follow a logical sequence in this approach, starting with the definition of the objectives that the person wants to obtain. In decision-making he scorns the ways of the masses («the most beaten and frequented paths are the most deceptive») since people are "more willing to trust another than to judge for themselves" and "a mistake that has been passed on from hand to hand finally involves us and works our destruction."
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Ирина Осипенко
Ирина Осипенкоcompartió una citahace 3 meses
“They are ill at ease,” replies he, “because many things arise which distract their thoughts, and their minds are disquieted by conflicting opinions.” I admit that this is true: still these very men, foolish, inconsistent, and certain to feel remorse as they are, do nevertheless receive great pleasure, and we must allow that in so doing they are as far from feeling any trouble as they are from forming a right judgment, and that, as is the case with many people, they are possessed by a merry madness, and laugh while they rave. The pleasures of wise men, on the other hand, are mild, decorous, verging on dullness, kept under restraint and scarcely noticeable, and are neither invited to come nor received with honour when they come of their own accord, nor are they welcomed with any delight by those whom they visit, who mix them up with their lives and fill up empty spaces with them, like an amusing farce in the intervals of serious business.
roselyn chandiawijaya
roselyn chandiawijayacompartió una citael año pasado
like sheep, follow the flock that has gone before us, and thus proceed not whither we ought, but whither the rest are going
Julia Gorokhova
Julia Gorokhovacompartió una citahace 3 años
We must therefore first define clearly what it is at which we aim: next we must consider by what path we may most speedily reach it, for on our journey itself, provided it be made in the right direction, we shall learn how much progress we have made each day, and how much nearer we are to the goal towards which our natural desires urge us. But as long as we wander at random, not following any guide except the shouts and discordant clamours of those who invite us to proceed in different directions, our short life will be wasted in useless roamings, even if we labour both day and night to get a good understanding.

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