Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Seneca ˈsɛnɪkə

(Lucius Annaeus)

4 BCE – 65 CE

Stoic philosopher, polititian, author, and first great Western thinker to describe the importance of relationship gratitude; Seneca taught and advised emperor Nero and for his efforts was forced to commit suicide. Humanist saint still popular and influential today, he influenced Dante, Chaucer, Petrarch, Erasmus, John Calvin, Shakespeare, Montaigne who was considered a "French Seneca,” and Joseph Hall considered “an English Seneca." Slandered by contemporaries, historians, and modern novelists as a sycophant to Nero and hypocrite, he did compromise to political expediency but also balanced faith and freedom promoting a simple and accepting lifestyle beyond anger, just politics, and global citizenship.

Eras

Unlisted Sources

Agamemnon

De Brevitate Vitae

De Tranquillitate Animi

Epistulae ad Lucilium

Letters to Lucilius

Quotes by Seneca (34 quotes)

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”

Chapters: 38. Fruit Over Flowers

Themes: Skillful Means

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“Illiterate leisure is a form of death, a living tomb.”

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“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”

Themes: Religion

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“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

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“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”

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“No man was ever wise by chance.”

Themes: Wisdom

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“We suffer more from imagination than from reality.”

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“No one is laughable who laughs at himself”

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“Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.”

Themes: Success

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“Everywhere is nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends.”

Themes: Friendship Travel

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“It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”

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“The way is long if one follows precepts, but short... if one follows patterns.”

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“Time heals what reason cannot and discovers the truth.”

from Agamemnon

Themes: Time Truth

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“There is no genius without a mixture of madness.”

from De Tranquillitate Animi

Themes: Crazy Wisdom

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“I am not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land.”

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“It is medicine, not scenery, for which a sick man must go searching.”

from Letters to Lucilius

Themes: Medicine

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“I am like one of those old books that ends up moldering for lack of having been read. There's nothing to do but spin out the thread of memory and—from time to time—wipe away the dust building up there.”

Themes: Forget Memory

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“[The problem] is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste so much of it... there is nothing the busy man is less busy with than living. [The wise] plan out every day as if it were the last.”

Themes: Time Carpe diem

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“The teachings of Epicurus are upright and holy and, if you consider them closely, austere.”

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“You will understand that there is nothing dreadful in this except fear itself.”

Themes: Fear

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“How does it help…to make troubles heavier by bemoaning them?”

Themes: Complaint

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“Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.”

Themes: Longevity

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“This is our big mistake: to think we look forward to death. Most of death is already gone. Whatever time has passed is owned by death.”

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“Whom they have injured, they also hate.”

Themes: Hate

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“Failure changes for the better, success for the worse.”

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“Fate leads the willing while the unwilling get dragged.”

Themes: Fate / Destiny

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“Even after a bad harvest there must be sowing.”

from Letters to Lucilius

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“The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”

Themes: Anger

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“There is nothing so bitter that a patient mind cannot find some solace for it.”

Themes: Patience

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“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

Themes: Longevity

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“To wish cannot be learned.”

Themes: Inspiration

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“A hungry people listens not to reason, nor cares for justice, nor is bent by any prayers.”

from De Brevitate Vitae

Themes: Justice Poverty

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“The greater part of progress is the desire to progress.”

from Epistulae ad Lucilium

Themes: Progress

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“What is freedom?... not being a slave to any circumstance... it means compelling Fortune to enter the lists on equal terms.”

from Epistulae ad Lucilium

Themes: Fate / Destiny

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Quotes about Seneca (4 quotes)

“I am like one of those old books that ends up moldering for lack of having been read. There's nothing to do but spin out the thread of memory and—from time to time—wipe away the dust building up there.”

Seneca ˈsɛnɪkə 4 BCE – 65 CE
(Lucius Annaeus)

Themes: Forget Memory

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“Seneca was a champion of moderation and self-control... His motto was unequivocal: 'nothing for pleasure's sake.'”

Roman Krznaric 1
Practical, popular, modern philosopher

from Carpe Diem Regained (2017)

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“In Seneca's letters, in the discourses of Epictetus, in Marcus Aurelius' diary, there is an atmosphere of purity, goodness, noble strength, such as pervades few books in all the literature of the world.”

Edith Hamilton 1867 – 1963 CE
from Roman Way

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“his style is for the most part corrupt and extremely dangerous because it abounds in attractive faults”

Quintilian 35 – 100 CE
from Institutio Oratoria

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