3. How to be Friends ?

One who reposes should act & One who acts should take repose.

When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment.

How to be friends ?
Pass Judgment & Trust.

True and False Friendship.

You have sent a letter to me through the hand of a “friend” of yours.
And in your very next sentence you warn me not to discuss with them all the matters that concern you, saying that even you yourself are not accustomed to do this; in other words, you have in the same letter affirmed & denied that they are your friends. 

Now if you used this word of ours in the popular sense, & called them “friend” in the same way in which we speak of all candidates for election as “honourable persons,” and as we greet all people whom we meet casually, if their names slip us for the moment, with the salutation “my dear,” – so be it.

But if you consider anyone a friend whom you do not trust as you trust yourself, you are mightily mistaken & you do not sufficiently understand what true friendship means.

Indeed, I would have you discuss everything with a friend; but first of all discuss the person themselves.

When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment.

Those people indeed put last first & confound their duties, who, violating the rules of Theophrastus, judge a person after they have made them their friends, instead of making them their friends after they have judged them.

Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship; but when you have decided to admit them, welcome them with all your heart & soul. Speak as boldly with them as with yourself. 

As to yourself, although you should live in such a way that you trust your own self with nothing which you could not entrust even to your enemy, yet, since certain matters occur which convention keeps secret, you should share with a friend at least all your worries & reflections.

Regard them as loyal, & you will make them loyal.

Some, for example, fearing to be deceived, have taught people to deceive; by their suspicions they have given their friends the right to do wrong.

Why need I keep back any words in the presence of my friend?
Why should I not regard myself as alone when in their company?

There is a class of people who communicate, to anyone whom they meet, matters which should be revealed to friends alone, & unload upon the chance listener whatever irks them.

Others, again, fear to confide in their closest intimates; & if it were possible, they would not trust even themselves, burying their secrets deep in their hearts.

But we should do neither.
It is equally faulty to trust everyone & to trust no one.
Yet the former fault is, I should say, the more ingenuous, the latter the more safe. 

In like manner you should rebuke these two kinds of people,
– both those who always lack repose, & those who are always in repose.

For love of bustle is not industry,
– it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind.

And true repose does not consist in condemning all motion as merely vexation; that kind of repose is slackness & inertia. 

Therefore, you should note the following saying, taken from my reading in Pomponius:
“Some people shrink into dark corners, to such a degree that they see darkly by day.”

No, people should combine these tendencies, &

One who reposes should act & One who acts should take repose.

Discuss the problem with Nature;

Nature will tell you that it has created both day & night.


Stoic, Seneca, StoicTaoist。

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