As former tutor and adviser to Emperor Nero, philosopher and statesman Seneca was acutely aware of how short life can be - his own life was cut short when the emperor ordered him to commit suicide (for alleged involvement in a conspiracy). And Seneca proved true to his words - his lifelong avowal to Stoicism enabled him to conduct himself with dignity to the end.
During his rich and busy life, Seneca wrote a series of essays that have advised and enriched the lives of generations down to the present day. This collection contains five of the key essays - 'On the Shortness of Life', 'On the Happy Life', 'On the Tranquil Mind', 'On Providence' and 'On the Firmness of the Wise Person' - and they are replete with observations to remember.
'Those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear for the future have a life that is very brief and troubled,' Seneca warns.
'You have all the fears of mortals and all the desires of immortals.'
'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.'
Clarity, steadfastness and true enjoyment are his watchwords.
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The easiest Stoic to study
Stewart offers a wonderful, definitive reading
The reason I gave it a "4" overall is that it should have come with a track guide. This would have made it much easier to follow along in a text.
- Ron Peters
The Stoic Has Spoken!
yes. It felt like listening to an elderly grandfather pass on his wisdom on life before he goes. It's filled with life-strengthening lessons and highly inspirational anecdotes. It's so different to hear about discipline in this light.
The way Seneca talks to a young student and you feel like his lessons are out of pure caring and not for profit or networking when the same topics come from a different source in the 21st century.
I found that having a strong male voice was perfect because it was like having Seneca speaking. It made the advice authoritative.
- Andreea Marin