Life is long enough to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested. But when it is squandered in luxury and carelessness we perceive that it has passed away before we were aware that it was passing.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, called Seneca the Younger, was a Roman philosopher, playwright, naturalist, politician and, as a Stoic, one of the most widely read writers of his time. Seneca saw himself as a philosopher who continued the teachings of the Stoa, formulated his own philosophical insights on this ground in a contemporary way and pleaded for lifelong learning.
On the summit postulated by Seneca, the one who has ascended in tenacious determination attains unshakable peace of mind, which is at the same time peace with the nature and cosmic order. The highest good is the harmony of the soul. Only reason can lead to peace of mind, which is described by Seneca as ‘part of the divine spirit, immersed in the human body.’ Only reason can control the affects, the mastery of which, according to Stoic doctrine, paves the way to the highest good. Only reason can lead the philosopher to the realization that life time is limited, that all men are equal before death, and that the wise man should spend his short time in serenity and peace working for the increase of the common goods and philosophical insight.
Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, and playwright. Born in Corduba (modern-day Córdoba, Spain), he became one of the most prominent Stoic philosophers of his time.
Seneca served as an advisor to Emperor Nero and held various political positions. Despite his political involvement, he remained committed to Stoic principles, which emphasized reason, virtue, and self-discipline.
His philosophical writings, including essays, letters, and dialogues, offer insights into Stoic ethics and the pursuit of wisdom. Seneca's works address topics such as the importance of self-control, the nature of virtue, and the acceptance of fate.
Seneca's letters, known as "Epistulae Morales," provide practical guidance for living a virtuous life and facing challenges with equanimity. He emphasized the importance of inner tranquility and the ability to maintain a sense of virtue in the face of adversity.
Seneca's plays, though less known, also reflect his philosophical ideas and explore themes of human nature, morality, and fate. His works were influential not only in his own time but also during the Renaissance and beyond.
Despite his political career and association with Nero, Seneca's commitment to Stoicism and his emphasis on living a virtuous and meaningful life have continued to resonate with individuals seeking guidance on personal ethics and the pursuit of wisdom.