Nothing is pleasant to possess, without someone to share.
Many lacked not a friend, but a friendship.
The living voice & the intimacy of a common life will help you more than the written word.
First, because people put more faith in their eyes than in their ears, &
Second, because the way is long if one follows precepts,
– but short & helpful, if one follows patterns.
On Sharing Knowledge
I feel, my dear Lucilius, that I am being not only reformed, but transformed.
I do not yet, however, assure myself, or indulge the hope, that there are no elements left in me which need to be changed.
Of course there are many that should be made more compact, or made thinner, or be brought into greater prominence.
And indeed this very fact is proof that my spirit is altered into something better, – that it can see its own faults, of which it was previously ignorant.
I therefore wish to impart to you this sudden change in myself; I should then begin to place a surer trust in our friendship,
– the true friendship which hope & fear & self-interest cannot sever, the friendship in which & for the sake of which people meet death.
this, however, cannot possibly happen when souls are drawn together by identical inclinations into an alliance of honourable desires.
And why can it not happen?
Because in such cases people know that they have all things in common, especially their troubles.
You cannot conceive what distinct progress I notice that each day brings to me.
And when you say: “Give me also a share in these gifts which you have found so helpful,”
I reply that I am anxious to heap all these privileges upon you, & that I am glad to learn in order that I may teach.
Nothing will ever please me, no matter how excellent or beneficial, if I must retain the knowledge of it to myself.
And if wisdom were given me under the express condition that it must be kept hidden & not uttered, I should refuse it.
I shall therefore send to you the actual books; & in order that you may not waste time in searching here & there for profitable topics, I shall mark certain passages, so that you can turn at once to those which I approve and admire.
Of course, however, the living voice & the intimacy of a common life will help you more than the written word.
You must go to the scene of action,
first, because people put more faith in their eyes than in their ears, &
second, because the way is long if one follows precepts, but short & helpful, if one follows patterns.
Cleanthes could not have been the express image of Zeno, if One had merely heard his lectures;
he shared in his life, saw into his hidden purposes, & watched him to see whether he lived according to his own rules.
Plato, Aristotle, & the whole throng of sages who were destined to go each their different way, derived more benefit from the character than from the words of Socrates.
It was not the class-room of Epicurus, but living together under the same roof, that made great sages of Metrodorus, Hermarchus, & Polyaenus.
Therefore I summon you, not merely that you may derive benefit, but that you may confer benefit; for we can assist each other greatly.
Meanwhile, I owe you my little daily contribution; you shall be told what pleased me to-day in the writings of Hecato;
That was indeed a great benefit; such a person can never be alone.
it is these words:
Stoic, Seneca, StoicTaoist。