De brevitate vitae

De brevitate vitae☄ [PDF / Epub] ☃ De brevitate vitae By Seneca ✓ – The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living the importance of reason and morality and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their elouen The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of De brevitate PDF or living the importance of reason and morality and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their elouence lucidity and timeless wisdomThroughout history some books have changed the world They have transformed the way we see ourselves—and each other They have inspired debate dissent war and revolution They have enlightened outraged provoked and comforted They have enriched lives—and destroyed themNow Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers pioneers radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers and each volume is beautifully packaged with a uniue type drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art Offering great literature in great packages at great prices this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. The great Roman philosopher statesman dramatist Seneca BC 4 – AD 64 wrote many letters encouraging friends to apply themselves to the task of living a free wise tranuil and joyful life On the Shortness of Life is one of my personal favorites since Seneca ever the true eclectic brilliantly draws from the various streams of ancient wisdom Stoic Epicurean Platonic Skeptic and Cynic as he addresses some of the most important uestions we face as humans Below are several uotes along with my comments“It is not that we have a short space of time but that we waste much of it Life is long enough and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested But when it is suandered in luxury and carelessness when it is devoted to no good end forced at last by the ultimate necessity we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing So it is – the life we receive is not short but we make it so nor do we have any lack of it but as wasteful of it” One thing I personally find highly distasteful television sets in hospital rooms I wonder how many men and women have spent their last hours watching Daffy Duck cartoons or a weather report When in the hospital several years ago I insisted on a room where the television would not be on As an adult I’ve always recognized every single moment of life is precious not to be wasted on silliness or surrendered to commercialized mind control“Many are kept busy either in the pursuit of other men’s fortune or in complaining of their own; in following no fixed aim shifting and inconstant and dissatisfied are plunged by their fickleness into plans that are ever new some have no fixed principle by which to direct their course but Fate takes them unawares while they loll and yawn” As a teenager I distinctly recall lolling around the house bored out of my skull Fortunately once I encountered philosophy and literature in college boredom completely dissolved And why do people continually complain or gab incessantly or become easily bored? According to Seneca such a person knows nothing about the art of living“You will hear many men saying ‘After my fiftieth year I shall retire to leisure my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties’ And what guarantee pray have you that your life will last longer?” How many people project their happiness into their retirement years? My modest advice life is too short for drudgery – If you don’t like your current job find another one; if you don’t like your current life; it’s time for serious transformationThere is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living there is nothing that is harder to learn it takes the whole of life to learn how to live and – what will perhaps make you wonder – it takes the whole of life to learn how to die” This uote from Seneca reminds me of a Japanese aphorism Life without death isn’t life it’s self preservation Death as a taboo subject is one of the tragedies of modern cultureAnd so there is no reason for you to think that any man has lived long because he has grey hairs or wrinkles he has no lived long – he has existed long For what if you should think that man had had a long voyage who had been caught by a fierce storm as soon as he left harbor and swept hither and thither by a succession of winds that raged from different uarters had been driven in a circle around the same course? Not much voyaging did he have but much tossing about” Such a vivid image If you feel your life is an endless cycle of frantic activity time to step back and take a deep breath with Seneca“Unless you seize the day it flees” Carpe diem It has been said so many times it sounds like a cliché But in this case the cliché is spot on true“Of all men they alone are at leisure who take time for philosophy they alone really live We may argue with Socrates we may doubt with Carneades find peace with Epicurus overcome human nature with the Stoics exceed it Cynics The world expands for us when we participate in the great wisdom of the philosophical tradition This is one way to view the Platonic ideas For the great philosophers of the ancient Greek and Roman world philosophy was a path to personal transformation and liberation And this path is still open to us today Now that I've read a few philosophical essays by Seneca the Younger I am inclined to believe every bad thing I have ever heard about himBefore this I've cut him some slack Sure he—along with his cronies one of whom was Burrus prefect of the Praetorian Guard—ruled Rome during his pupil Nero's young manhood but the edicts and laws of this period are much humane than the bloody despotic measures which followed True his The Pumpkinification of Claudius—a vicious satire attacking the newly dead Emperor is morally repulsive but Claudius exiled Seneca and almost had him killed so Seneca had a reason He also almost certainly had a hand—either in the crime or the cover up in Nero's murder of his mother Agrippina but then it was probably very hard saying “no” to a personal reuest from Nero His tragedies are marred by rhetorical excess and oddly clotted with bloody descriptions but they also contain much good and sensible advice True it is disturbing that many of his contemporaries labeled him a serial adulterer and a money grubber but then again they were his enemies And besides Tacitus seemed to like himBut now that I've read the three philosophical essays in this book I have difficulty in standing up for Seneca any longer for Seneca in these his most moral works seems to lack the philosophical attitude and the courage of his convictions Unlike Marcus Aurelius who took the Stoic perspective to heart and put it into action as well as reflecting upon it in clear tranuil meditations Seneca argues for Stoic positions like a lawyer vigorously asserting—although he is not uite convinced—that his client is telling the truth It is rather sad listening to someone argue the benefits of tranuility when he argues them in a hurried and turbulent mannerOf the three essays included here the “Consolation to Helvia” is the most historically interesting for in it Seneca addresses his mother on the occasion of his exile arguing that exile itself is a benefit not a punishment I never believed him for a second “On Tranuility of Mind” is convincing making the case that a balance of leisure and public service can help a man dispel boredom and achieve inner peace particularly when it is joined with self knowledge an ordering of priorities and the mastery of fear My favorite essay though is “On the the Shortness of Life” for it is filled with precise satirical examples of how the typical upper class Roman wastes his time Come to think of it if Seneca had concentrated on satire he might have been a much greater writer In this passage from “On the Shortness of Life” Seneca catalogues the many stupid kinds of busyness with which a wealthy Roman spends his “leisure” time Do you call a man leisured who arranges with anxious precision his Corinthian bronzes the cost of which is inflated by the mania of a few collectors and spends most of the day on rusty bits of metal? Who sits at a wrestling ring for shame on us We suffer from vices that are not even Roman keenly following the bouts between boys? Who classifies his herds of pack animals into pairs according to age and colour? Who pays for the maintenance of the latest athletes? Again do you call those men leisured who spend many hours at the barber's simply to cut whatever grew overnight to have a serious debate about every separate hair to tidy up disarranged locks or to train thinning ones from the sides to lie over the forehead?And good heavens as for their banuets I would not reckon on them as leisure times when I see how anxiously they arrange their silver how carefully they gird up the tunics of their page boys how on tenterhooks they are to see how the cook has dealt with the boar with what speed the smooth faced slaves rush around on their duties with what skill birds are carved into appropriate portions how carefully wretched little slaves wipe up the spittle of drunkards The problem Paulinus is not that we have a short life but that we waste timeLife is long and there is enough of it for satisfying personal accomplishments if we use our hours wellBut when time is suandered in the pursuit of pleasure or vain idleness when it is spent with no real purpose the finality of death fast approachesThat notion is the book You surely used different ways to rephrase the essence of your thoughts Seneca which are mainly intended to point out that despite our whiny attitude we have time The problem is that we don’t use it wisely I can’t say I didn’t feel slightly guilty while reading those words as I remembered all the times I just stayed here lying down on a couch looking at the ceiling planning things I was never going to say or do or cook or fix If I express that point of view using those exact words it might sound like life going to waste But what if I say “I stayed at home wistfully looking at the whitness of my wall savoring my fictitious freedom uestioning my own existence and contemplating the futilily of life as I obstinately keep searching for meaning?” A elegant way to convey the same thing the waste of time On the other hand what if I actually enjoy that? What if I think that discussing in my head the nature of thinking and the possible conseuences of things that I’ll probably never do is for me another manifestation of life? I know some people think that staying at home reading is not living life fully Neither going to the park with your backpack full of books nor hoping for a rainy Sunday since it’s the perfect excuse to stay at home reading and writing and not looking like a dull creature surrounded by coffee and blueberry muffins that taste like heaven However the fact that one might be able to find enjoyment in such activities should be enough to avoid regret right? No regret is an inherent part of my nature and can’t be avoided by reading nor bungee jumping – it doesn’t matter the degree of passiveness or risk I can’t relate to the meaning of your affirmation which by the way brims over with prejudice I may not be a fascinating riddle but you can’t know everything about me pal I’m aware of the passage of time on a level that could be considered almost unhealthy Yeah that’s how I live life I hear ya Although one might wonder what the on earth is living life? Couch rollercoaster? Cake or salad? Silence or crowds? Love or complete independence? All? Oh jeez none? Choosing nothing is still a choice What kind of sick little game is this? You’re writing and talking to the screen You're typing exactly what you're thinking I wish I could say that’s normal You should leave this paragraph alone Now Thank you I thought I was ready to grab a sword and become Highlander My birthday is next week please come and say exactly those words we’ll have a blast Though your presence might be the real news – and rather unsettling if I’m the only one who can see you This review was written before my birthday actually I don’t think watching videos with cats sleeping or jumping like ninjas should be considered trivia Neither it’s binge watching series and sitcoms on Netflix There’s a lot to learn even from women who spent 15 years in a bunker high fives The last part sounds familiar; a constant source of disappointment I think that’s all the help we can provide to the mortal who have the time to read thisThis little chat in the form of a “review” has been pure joy and I’m sure you are now bursting with a contagious can do spirit feeling positive than Enthusiastic Parker Or maybe you’re looking at the ceiling immobile sensing the minutes that will never return seeing life as a choice between a path that leads to an abyss and another path that leads to well another darker abyss – I bet Melodrama Cioran sounds like a peppy cheerleader to you now Searching for meaning is philosophical suicide How does anyone do anything when you understand the fleeting nature of existence? It wasn’t Camus or Sartre It wasn’t a half asleep Kierkegaard nor a drunk nihilist but the point is still valid You keep going they said You just keep writingPS I feel awkward writing Holiday wishes after this little ode to the shortness of a meaningless life but still Merry Christmas everyoneDec 24 17Review written on Nov 2017 Also on my blog Can anything be idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future But 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 future 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? This is an excellent philosophical essay written by Seneca one of the most significant Roman philosophers and one whom we might call the father of Stoicism The problem is simple we are never content and happy with our lives and at the end we think it was too short The solution is even simpler; we must start living today We must find pleasure in today rather then burn the midnight’s oil for a better tomorrow Seneca is very pissed off on those who waste their present for the sake of past or future Today is what matters we have no control over what will happen tomorrow nor can we change the past What we have is ‘today’ right now so we better live it before it’s too late Seneca contends that the pursuit of philosophy is the finest example of a time well spent He advises us to read philosophy and ponder upon its great principles and that he believes will greatly enrich us He dismisses other pleasure for they don’t improve us as person nor they stimulate our intellectual abilities We must abstain from idleness and treasure the time we have by doing something positively invigoratingBut I guess we must do what makes us happy we don’t have to read Nietzsche or Plato all the time we can watch great movies listen to good music read books that entertain us acuire knowledge and skills help the people around us and try to do at least one thing that makes the world a better place to live I think Seneca would have agreed that just reading philosophy all the time sort of takes the fun out of it While reading this I was constantly reminded of a beautiful poem by WHDavies which is uite congruent with the essence of this essay I am sure Seneca would have greatly appreciated Davies’s poemLeisureWHAT is this life if full of careWe have no time to stand and stare?No time to stand beneath the boughsAnd stare as long as sheep and cowsNo time to see when woods we passWhere suirrels hide their nuts in grassNo time to see in broad daylightStreams full of stars like skies at nightNo time to turn at Beauty's glanceAnd watch her feet how they can danceNo time to wait till her mouth canEnrich that smile her eyes began?A poor life this if full of careWe have no time to stand and stare This Stoic's three writings in this book came at a perfect time for me I feel that I'm at a point when you want to look at your life and make sure the rest of it goes in the way you want It's true that the life is likely to be longer now than how it was then even for the richest and luckiest but the advice here is timelessThe book has three writings On Shortness Of Life Consolation To Helvia his mother and On Tranuility Of Mind The writings have a certain connection so it was good to put them together I will now write about each separately1 How the complaint on the shortness of life happens in all classes of life wasted in the useless and achieving nothing activities Wearing it out in cultivating bad habit wearing yourself out in things like overworking or people pleasing on being miserly or temperamental He then shows how time should be better used including spending time studying wisdom and the 'view each day as if it was your last' One shouldn't procrastinate nor retire from work so late that there is not much time left before illness or something similar comes I feel this text fits everyone even though it probably is the beast for those in the middle of their life or later Time wasting can start early ;2 A letter of consolation to his mother mourning the writer's recent exciling away from her He tells her he has accepted his exile that though he is now exiled he still has enough to live on he can still study the skies and nature and ponder on wisdom His poverty has brought him some freedom wealthier people don't have He praises her virtues and ask her to dry her tears now She can now study wisdom books and has comfort of her other relatives including the two other sons and her good friend who has experienced losses also She should think of him happy even though he's not there3 Starting with a uestion from the writer's friend he is troubled he has found his ideal ways of living but he still gets the 'grass always greener' feels when looking at those living the opposite way how to uieten this?view spoilerHe needs to find confidence at being the right path; he should count himself lucky at having found exactly what he values and not settling for the first choice or moving from one thing to another The writer presents various solutions like helping people even if all we can do is offer a smile; also taking tasks possible to finish and choosing people we will be around with well Also the fewer our possessions the better things that we really use How we should view the circumstances and practice detachment letting things go with thankfulnessWe should balance action and rest work and freetime well hide spoiler It is amazing how something written so long ago can have such relevance today I found this essay really inspiringhere is a good uoteLife is long enough and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested But when it is suandered in luxury and carelessness when it is devoted to no good end forced at last by the ultimate necessity we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing So it is—the life we receive is not short but we make it so nor do we have any lack of it but are wasteful of it Just as great and princely wealth is scattered in a moment when it comes into the hands of a bad owner while wealth however limited if it is entrusted to a good guardian increases by use so our life is amply long for him who orders it properly It takes the whole of life to learn how to live and what will perhaps make you wonder it takes the whole of life to learn how to die Seneca the Younger c 4 BC – AD 65 fully Lucius Annaeus Seneca is undoubtedly one of the greatest thinkers of all times In this book he forces us to ask ourselves the uestion if this was your last day on earth how would you live it? And importantly how would a life lived as if any day was the last one look like and why don't all our lives look like that? As Horace the poet said dum louimur fugerit invidaaetas carpe diem uam minimum credula posteroin the moment of our talking envious time has ebb'd awaySeize the present; trust tomorrow e'en as little as you mayIn this brief dissertation the author reviews all the different ways in which people especially wealthy people waste their time on Earth by being generous with it but stingy with their money as the latter was important and limited than the first; by carrying their existences projected onto the future delaying living their lives to the fullest to the moment of retirement as if it was guaranteed for them that they will actually see that day; by wasting it in the empty pleasures of the flesh lust greed gluttony; by trying to do so many things at the same time that they can never master any of them A person who has lived a long life like this has not lived long he has existed long Any philosopher thinker life coach therapist author singer parent etc we listen to tries to tell us how to live our lives in a satisfactory way as not to waste them But why are we so preoccupied by living our lives to the fullest in the first place? Isn't it because we fear than anything that when our final moments will come we'll regret wasting our mortal days? Has there even lived even one man or woman who died completely satisfied without any kind of regret because he or she followed any of these sets of ideas? I do believe that everything is how you see it and that the only way to be completely satisfied with one's life is just to be satisfied with one's life I know people who have every human possession or blessing imaginable and are miserable and others who have so little yet they thrive I do believe the key is to be thankful for what we have and count our blessing instead of our sorrows With that being said even though I don't completely agree with Seneca's way of seeing life and the human condition I do consider this one of his most illuminating works and a great food for thought It has been a pleasure re reading it after the college years So we know we are not supposed to live our life by projecting to the future one thing that I as a Christian woman consider an especially important caveat as to not just live for the afterlife discarding my mortal existence by giving our time to others instead of ourselves by throwing it away in empty pleasures So the final uestion is how are we supposed to live our lives so as not to waste them? The answer is very simple we should be philosophers and study the work of other philosophers By studying the lives and ideas of wise men who lived before us we will make our lives hundreds of times longer because their lives will add to our time on earth making us virtually immortal Incidentally it is especially interesting that Seneca would tell us that in order to be satisfied with our lives we should live like him considering that at it is well known and as it emerges from his work he was uite miserable; but at least he was conscious of it so I guess it's better to live a sad life but knowing and owning it than live a life full of pleasures without even knowing it So at the end of the day know thyself live mindfully and never stop learning After all as Ghandi supposedly said Live as if you were to die tomorrow Learn as if you were to live forever As a general rule avoid any translation of a classic work that comes up with its own new title It normally means that the author is trying to appeal to contemporary readers than the spirit of the original work They'd rather have some catchy name than describe it as the anthology it actually is This was the reason I was skeptical of reading On the Shortness of Life since Seneca wrote no such collection it's the title of one of his essays but I was thankfully proven wrong Although there are some instances where the author is pandering it is for the most part accurate and reads much like Letters from a Stoic Penguin ClassicsHowever there aren't any footnotes an introduction or a conclusion important parts of a classic work that you only miss when they're gone The first essay is probably the best See Seneca's concept of slavery That we would never let someone steal our money or property but we give them free reign to take our time from us If you're in a hurry skip the consolation to his mother and finish the third essay about tranuility See having faith in your position as peace is the assuredness that you're going in the right direction Seneca does it again big life lessons delivered simply sternly and sagely I heartily recommend the translation by Gareth Williams whose introductory remarks distill Seneca and Stoicism into their absolute essentials and provide valuable historical context4 stars uite strong when used as a daily devotional but by the nature of its form very brief Letters like these serve as a good jumping off point into deeper reflection

De brevitate vitae PDF/EPUB ´ De brevitate  PDF or
  • Paperback
  • 106 pages
  • De brevitate vitae
  • Seneca
  • English
  • 14 April 2014
  • 9780141018812