Roman Calendar

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First post from Seneca's "De Constantia"

Today's Stoic meditation is from Seneca's De Constantia, a less "quotable" text than the De Providentia. 

The point for today is that the wise, sapiens, considers the only possession of value to be Virtue. All other things are mere attachments; they are not truly ours, but are "on loan" to us from Providence. So if the sapiens truly possesses naught but Virtue (of which one cannot be deprived by anyone but oneself), the sapiens cannot truly suffer any loss or injury. The trick, of course, is becoming a sapiens who can feel that nothing is a possession save Virtue. It's very much like becoming a buddha - it's not an easy path.

“Therefore the wise man will lose nothing which he will be able to regard as a loss’ for the only possession he has is virtue, and of this he can never be robbed. Of all else he has merely the use on sufferance. Who, however, is moved by the loss of that which is not his own?” – Seneca, De Constantia, V.5
“Itaque nihil perdet quod perire sensurus sit; unius enim in possessione virtutis est, ex qua depelli numquam potest, ceteris precario utitur; quis autem iactura moventur alieni?”

Reposted from "Florilegium Sapientiae"

Idibus Iuniis anno A.U.C. MMDCCLXV (Cn. Caesare C. Tullio consulibus)

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