SLRP: XX. On Practising What You Preach (Part 2: 7 – 13)

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Seneca,

“Poverty will keep for you your true and tried friends; you will be rid of the men who were not seeking you for yourself, but for something which you have. Is it not true, however, that you should love poverty, if only for this single reason, – that it will show you those by whom you are loved?”

I take your letter today in good spirits.  Your recommendation speak to what I myself already know, but for reasons aplenty but slim, have avoided doing.  I can look back to my own life, and see what difference relative wealth can make in regards to “friends.”  Your point is well taken.

As you know, I’ve been interested in the teachings of Musonius, yet I need to become more interested in the practices of Musonius.

“Believe me, your words will be more imposing if you sleep on a cot and wear rags. For in that case you will not be merely saying them; you will be demonstrating their truth.”  — Epicurus

Some of us by nature or nurture, are easily captivated by ideas.  We can chew on a theoretical or hypothetical concept for days or weeks.  We can twist it, wring it out, and get every last drop from it.  And all without even for a moment practicing or emulating the idea.

For those of us, philosophy can be a constant example of how we need to correct our impressions and our work.

“Every man, when he first sees light, is commanded to be content with milk and rags. Such is our beginning, and yet kingdoms are all too small for us!”

Thank you for the letter.  Farewell.


Part of Michel Daw’s Reading Plan of Seneca’s Letters.

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