SLRP: LXXXVIII. On Studies (Part 3: 16-23)

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Seneca,

“For what good does it do us to guide a horse and control his speed with the curb, and then find that our own passions, utterly uncurbed, bolt with us? Or to beat many opponents in wrestling or boxing, and then to find that we ourselves are beaten by anger?.”

Ah ha, this is an interesting question.  If the former is sought for its own sake, I agree with you, that it’s not worthwhile.  It’s worth noting, however, that humans are a mixture of πνεῦμα and σῶμα (in the common sense, not the ontological).  Musonius and Epictetus both recommend a mixture of trainings to effect the self.

Musonius’ distinction of two kinds of training is not seen in Epictetus, where he focuses on the Three Τόποι, but the ideas are not contradictory or mutually exclusive.  We might learn many useful things wrestling, a parallel which Marcus, too, would appreciate.

Thank you for the letter.

Farewell.


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