On the Shortness of Life | Seneca

Nejlepsi uryvky z nadcasove klasiky, kterou netreba vice predstavovat. Pouhy prehled techto nekolika kratkych ukazek o ni rekne vice nez 1000 slov (jo, mam rad Raffaelo, no a co). Moje komentare by stejne zadnou pridanou hodnotu neprinesly a co si budeme povidat, zabraly by mi nejaky cas. A s casem jest radno nakladat rozumne, jak pravi Seneca. Dokonale ctivo.

Zvyraznene pasaze z meho kindlu

  • It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.
  • Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing.
  • So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short
  • But learning how to live takes a whole life, and, which may surprise you more, it takes a whole life to learn how to die.
  • ‘It is a small part of life we really live.’ Indeed, all the rest is not life but merely time.
  • Everyone hustles his life along, and is troubled by a longing for the future and weariness of the present. But the man who spends all his time on his own needs, who organizes every day as though it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the next day.
  • So you must not think a man has lived long because he has white hair and wrinkles: he has not lived long, just existed long.
  • You have been preoccupied while life hastens on. Meanwhile death will arrive, and you have no choice in making yourself available for that
  • 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? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
  • The man who must fear his own memory is the one who has been ambitious in his greed, arrogant in his contempt, uncontrolled in his victories, treacherous in his deceptions, rapacious in his plundering, and wasteful in his squandering.
  •  Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only those are really alive.
  •  We are in the habit of saying that it was not in our power to choose the parents who were allotted to us, that they were given to us by chance. But we can choose whose children we would like to be
  • But life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future
  • The body’s needs are few: it wants to be free from cold, to banish hunger and thirst with nourishment; if we long for anything more we are exerting ourselves to serve our vices, not our needs
  • Therefore, though you may increase your income and extend your estates, you will never increase the capacity of your bodies.
  • How then can you think that it is the amount of money that matters and not the attitude of mind?
  • I imagine many people could have achieved wisdom if they had not imagined they had already achieved it
  • Often a very old man has no other proof of his long life than his age.
  • So we must bear in mind how much lighter is the pain of not having money than of losing it
  • You can make the same point that rich and poor suffer equal distress: for both groups cling to their money and suffer if it is torn away from them. But, as I said, it is easier to bear and simpler not to acquire than to lose, so you will notice that those people are more cheerful whom Fortune has never favoured than those whom she has deserted.
  • So let us get used to dining without a mass of people, to being slave to fewer slaves, to acquiring clothes for their proper purpose, and to living in more restricted quarters. Not only in running and the contests of the Circus, but in this race course of our lives we must keep to the inner track.
  • In the same way you will find that many people who lack even elementary culture keep books not as tools of learning but as decoration for their dining-rooms.
  • So we should buy enough books for use, and none just for embellishment. ‘But this,’ you say, ‘is a more honourable expense than squandering money on Corinthian bronzes and on pictures.’ But excess in any sphere is reprehensible. How can you excuse a man who collects bookcases of citron-wood and ivory, amasses the works of unknown or third-rate authors, and then sits yawning among all his thousands of books and gets most enjoyment out of the appearance of his volumes and their labels?
  • So you have to get used to your circumstances, complain about them as little as possible, and grasp whatever advantage they have to offer
  • To quote Cicero, we hate gladiators if they are keen to save their life by any means; we favour them if they openly show contempt for it.
  • He who fears death will never do anything worthy of a living man
  • We must indulge the mind and from time to time allow it the leisure which is its food and strength. We must go for walks out of doors, so that the mind can be strengthened and invigorated by a clear sky and plenty of fresh air. At times it will acquire fresh energy from a journey by carriage and a change of scene, or from socializing and drinking freely.
  • Occasionally we should even come to the point of intoxication, sinking into drink but not being totally flooded by it; for it does wash away cares, and stirs the mind to its depths, and heals sorrow just as it heals certain diseases.
  • Aristotle that ‘No great intellect has been without a touch of madness
  • Only a mind that is deeply stirred can utter something noble and beyond the power of others.

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