37. How did I get Here ?

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.

One has not been led to that situation by forethought

One has been driven to it by impulse.

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.

By force a way is made.

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.

One has not been led to that pass by forethought

One has been driven to it by impulse.

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:

“How did I get into this condition?”

Farewell, Seneca, StoicTaoist.

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