Seneca

CR,
Going through some jour­nal entries from a few months ago and found this from a Seneca quote:

[The wise man] does not have to walk ner­vous­ly or cau­tious­ly, for he has such self con­fi­dence that he does not hes­i­tate to make a stand against for­tune and will nev­er give ground to her.  He has no rea­son to fear her, since he regards as held on suf­fer­ance not only his goods and pos­ses­sions and sta­tus, but even his body, his eyes and hand, and all that makes life more dear, and his very self; and he lives as though he were lent to him­self and bound to return the loan on demand with­out complaint.

Nor is he there­by cheap in his own eyes because he knows he is not his own, but he will act in all things as care­ful­ly and metic­u­lous­ly as a devout and holy man guards any­thing entrust­ed to him.  And when­ev­er he is ordered to repay his debt he will not com­plain to For­tune, but he will say;

I thank you for what I have pos­sessed and held.  I have looked after your prop­er­ty to my great ben­e­fit, but at your com­mand I give and yield it with grat­i­tude and good will.  If you want me still to have any­thing of yours I shall keep it safe; if you wish oth­er­wise, I give back and restore to you my sil­ver, both coined and plate, my house, and my household.”

Should Nature demand back what she pre­vi­ous­ly entrust­ed to us we shall say to her too: “Take back my spir­it in bet­ter shape than when you gave it.  I do not quib­ble or hang back:  I am will­ing for you to have straight away what you gave me before I was conscious–take it.”  What is the harm in return­ing to the point from whence you came?”
‑Seneca, On the Short­ness of Life

This flesh­es out the basic ideas of non-attach­ment and how it ensures tran­quil­i­ty.  I espe­cial­ly like the idea of “take back my spir­it in bet­ter shape than you found.”  Liv­ing well for the expe­ri­ence alone of liv­ing well and right­eous­ly.  This whole of idea of not being a slave to any­thing lends free­dom to my thoughts and ideas.

See you soon.
NFH

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