How did I get here ? & How did I get into this condition?
How can I free myself?
Regardless of how; Know that you cannot escape necessities, however you can overcome them; thereby By force a Way is made.
The Way is afforded by philosophy & put yourself under the control of Reason
You will learn from it what to undertake & not blunder into it.
On Allegiance to Virtue
You have promised to be a good person; you have enlisted under oath; that is the strongest chain which will hold you to a sound understanding.
I will not, have you deceived; The words of this most honourable compact are the same as the words of that most disgraceful one, to wit: “Through burning, imprisonment, or death by the sword.”
From the people who hire out their strength for the arena, who eat & drink what they must pay for with their blood, security is taken that they will endure such trials even though they be unwilling; from you, that you will endure them willingly & with alacrity.
The gladiator may lower their weapon & test the pity of the people; but you will neither lower your weapon nor beg for life; You must die erect & unyielding; Moreover, what profit is it to gain a few days or a few years?
There is no discharge for us from the moment we are born; Then how can I free myself?, you ask, You cannot escape necessities, but you can overcome them.
And this way will be afforded you by philosophy; Apply yourself to philosophy if you would be safe, untroubled, happy, if you wish to be, & that is most important, Free.
There is no other way to attain this end; Folly is low, abject, mean, & exposed to many of the cruellest passions.
These passions, which are heavy taskmasters, sometimes ruling by turns, & sometimes together, can be banished from you by wisdom, which is the only real freedom.
Proceed with steady step, & if you would have all things under your control, put yourself under the control of reason; if reason becomes your ruler, you will become ruler over many.
You will learn from it what you should undertake, & how it should be done; you will not blunder into things.
You can show me nobody who knows how they began to crave that which they craved.
Fortune & Fate attacks us as often as we attack Favour & Fortuity.
It is disgraceful, instead of proceeding ahead, to be carried along, & then suddenly, amid the whirlpool of events, to ask in a dazed way:
Farewell, Seneca, StoicTaoist.