XXIX. To Dionysius (p. 127)
There are a handful of useful things in this letter. One, which parallels nicely with the reading from Seneca today, is that the “evil” Ps-Diogenes speaks of, is a malady of the soul, and it’s built by habit, and reinforced by lifestyle and close associates.
The second is that when our souls are in such a sad state, that a mere mild remedy is contraindicated. No, we need a serious intervention. So Ps-Diogenes is sending an unnamed task master to work over the poor Dionysius.
Next, Ps-Diogenes points out that the people with whom we’ve surrounded ourselves (IMO out of concern, but with improper premises) aid in the illness. Whether it’s the wetnurses and grandparents offering another sweet morsel, the fact is that as philosophers what we’ve identified as conducive to our own soul-health is generally the opposite of the common understanding.
Lots of good stuff here, today.
This is part of the Cynic Epistles Reading Plan.