2. Learn as much as you can about a few well known writers
3. Judge a man before you make him your friend, afterwards keep nothing from him. Avoid extremes of work and relaxation
5. Don't strive for wealth but don't repudiate it either. Live in moderation as not to dissuade others from the pursuit of philosophy by austere life or looks. Cease to hope and cease to fear.
6. There is no enjoying anything unless someone has someone else to share it with, including knowledge. Daily intimacy is better than any discourse.
7. Associating with large groups of people will corrupt. associate with people who will improve you. Learn for your own benefit not approval of the masses.
8. Avoid whatever is approved of by the mob and whatever is a gift of chance. Satisfy your needs and beyond that focus on merits of the spirit.

All grief is stubborn. Pg 4.

External goods are of trivial importance and without much influence in either direction: prosperity does not elevate the sage and adversity does not depress him. For he has always made the effort to rely as much as possible on himself and to derive all delight from himself. Pg 6

They have ordered me to take a firm stand, like a sentry on guard, and to foresee all the attacks and onslaughts of Fortune long before they hit me. She falls heavy on those to whom she is unexpected; the man who is always expecting her easily withstands her. For an enemy’s arrival too scatters those whom it catches off guard; but those who have prepared in advance for the coming conflict, being properly drawn up and equipped, easily withstand the first onslaught, which is the most violent. Never have I trusted Fortune, even when she seemed to offer peace. All those blessings which she kindly bestowed on me – money, public office, influence – I relegated to a place whence she could claim them back without bothering me. I kept a wide gap between them and me, with the result that she has taken them away, not torn them away. No man has been shattered by the blows of Fortune unless he was first deceived by her favors. Those who loved her gifts as if they were their own for ever, who wanted to be admired on account of them, are laid low and grieve when the false and transient pleasures desert their vain and childish minds, ignorant of every stable pleasure. But the man who is not puffed up in good times does not collapse either when they change. His fortitude is already tested and he maintains a mind unconquered in either the face of either condition: for in the midst of prosperity he has tried his own strength against adversity. So I have never believed that there was any genuine good in the things which everyone pays for; what is more, I have found them empty and daubed with showy and deceptive colors, with nothing inside to match their appearance. And now in these so-called evils I find nothing so terrible and harsh as the general opinion threatened. Certainly the word “exile” itself now enters the ears more harshly through a sort of conviction and popular belief, and strikes the listener as something gloomy and detestable. For that is the people’s verdict, but wise men on the whole reject the people’s decrees. Pg 6,7

I’ve come across people who say there is sort of inborn restlessness in the human spirit and an urge to change one’s abode; for man is endowed with a mind which is changeable and unsettled: nowhere at rest, it darts about and directs its thoughts to all places known and unknown, a wanderer which cannot endure repose and delights chiefly in novelty. Pg 8

How then can you think that it is the amount of money that matters and not the attitude of mind? …Such is the fate of those who measure wealth not by the standard of reason, whose limits are fixed, but by that of a vicious life-style governed by boundless uncontrollable caprice. Nothing satisfies greed, but even a little satisfies nature. Pg 16

The same feature [insatiability] is found in every desire which arises not from a lack but from a vice. However much you heap up for it will not mark the end of greed, only a stage in it. So the man who restrains himself within the bounds set by nature will not notice poverty; the man who exceeds these bounds will be pursued by poverty however rich he is… it is the mind that creates our wealth. Pg 17

If you have the strength to tackle any one aspect of misfortune you can tackle all. When once virtue has toughened the mind it renders it invulnerable on every side. If greed, the most overmastering plague of the human race, has relaxed its grip, ambition will not stand in your way. If you regard your last day not as a punishment but as a law of nature, the breast from which you have banished the dread of death no fear will dare to enter. If you consider that sexual desire was given to man not for enjoyment but for the propagation of the race, once you are free from the violent and destructive passion rooted in your vitals, every other desire will leave you undisturbed. Reason routes the vices not one by one but all together: the victory is final and complete. Do you think that any wise man can be affected by disgrace, one who relies entirely on himself and holds aloof from common beliefs? Pg 19

No man is despised by another unless he is first despised by himself. An abject and debased mind is susceptible to such insult; but if a man stirs himself to face the worst of disasters and defeats the evils which overwhelms others, then he wears those very sorrows like a sacred badge. For we are naturally disposed to admire more than anything else the man who shows fortitude in adversity. Pg 20

Let those mothers reflect on this who exploit their children’s influence with a woman’s lack of influence; who because women cannot hold office, seek power through their sons; who both drain their sons’ inheritances and try to get them; who exhaust their sons by lending their eloquence to others. Pg 21

Description of women pg 22

The wife of Gaius Galerius, Seneca’s aunt, pg 26, 27

The prevalent brazenness of women pg 26

For what need is there to summon troubles, to anticipate them, all too soon to be endured when they come, and squander the present in fear of the future? It is certainly foolish to make yourself wretched now just because you are going to be wretched some time in the future. Letter 24

If you want to be rid of all anxiety, suppose that anything you are afraid of happening is going to happen in any case, then mentally calculate all the evil involved in it and appraise your own fear: you will undoubtedly come to realize that what you fear is either not great or not long lasting. [use examples for yourself of those who have despised certain fears] Letter 24

Look at these times of ours whose apathy and affected manners we complain about [and pro-suicide comment, which is tempered by what is written on pg 92, and a point that if death is not to be feared then nothing should be feared] Letter 24

Hope for the most favorable outcome and gird yourself to face the most unfavorable one. But this above all remember: Banish life’s turbulence and see clearly the essence of everything. You will then realize that there is nothing fearful there except fear itself… Not only people but things must have their masks ripped off and their true features restored. Letter 24

[Remember those who have bared pain, ex. The woman in childbirth] You [pain] are mild if I can bear you and short lived if I cannot. Letter 24

paragraph on page 90 is full of stuff

Everyday we die for everyday part of our life is lost…right up to yesterday all the time which has passed has been lost, and this present day itself we share with death. It is not the last drop of water that empties the water-clock, but all that has dripped out previously. – Lucilius Letter 24

It is silly to run to meet death through boredom with life, when it is just because of your lifestyle that you have created the need to do so. – Epicurus Letter 24

A brave or wise man should not flee from life but step out of it, and that mood above all must be avoided which grips many men – a passion for dying. Letter 24

So great is human thoughtlessness, even madness, that some people are driven to death by the fear of it. Letter 24

There is an unthinking tendency towards death, as towards other things, which often gets hold of men of noble and most energetic character, and often men who are indolent and spiritless: the former despise life, the latter are flattened by it. [Some have contempt for life due to boredom] Letter 24

I felt a sort of mental shock and confusion, though without fear, caused by the novelty and also the unpleasantness of an unusual experience. Letter 57

There are some things which no courage can escape …this isn’t fear but a natural reaction which cannot be conquered by reason [and he gives examples]. Letter 57

Thus I began to say to myself how foolishly we fear some things more or less although the same end awaits us all… so true is it that fear contemplates not results but what brings them about. Letter 57

“Live unnoticed.” – Epicurus Letter 79

Things that deceive have no substance. Falsehood is a flimsy thing, and if you look hard, you can see through it. Letter 79

Anyone who has won his own favor has the gods at Peace and well-disposed towards him. Letter 110

Use your wits and look hard at human affairs as they are, not as they are described, and you will realize that our troubles more often turn out well then badly for us. See how often what was described as a disaster proved to be the initial cause of a blessing. Letter 110

Still this fall is not in itself an evil when you consider the final point beyond which nature has cast no one down. Letter 110

With our hopes and fears we prolong and extend both our happiness and our unhappiness. But if you’re wise you should measure all things in human terms, and contract the limits of your joys and your fears. Letter 110

No one has dared to approach the source of his anxiety and to learn the nature of the fear and any good there might be in it. Letter 110

We must think it worthwhile to look hard at our fears, and it will soon be obvious how short lived, uncertain and reassuring they are. Letter 110

Yet daylight can come if we want it to, but only if a man has acquired this knowledge of things human and divine; if he has not just let it wash over him but has become deep-dyed in it; if he has considered over and over again the same notions, even though he may have grasped them, and has applied them frequently to himself; if he has asked himself what things are good and what are bad and what bear one of these names falsely. Letter 110

We have enslaved our soul to pleasure, indulgence in which is the beginning of all evils; we have betrayed them to ambition and public opinion, and everything else which is equally empty and vain. Letter 110

I am urging you first and foremost to distinguish clearly for yourself the essential and the superfluous. Letter 110

The free man is not the one over whom Fortune has just a small hold, but the one over whom Fortune has no hold at all. So there you are, you must want nothing if you wish to challenge Jupiter who himself wants nothing. – Attalus Letter 110

Seneca has questions about God that are similar to our own Pg 107

You can have this inestimable boon: Life is not worth the agitation and the sweat. What a pitiful thing is man unless he rises above human concerns! Pg 108

Seneca says given the perspective from the Heavens all palaces, territory, and gold look tiny and insignificant. And he compares the similarity of our insignificance to ants. Pg 109

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