Find your divinity!
Know that, a Divine spirit dwells within us, & that it is with youu, & it is, within youu, yet we know not, what deity it is?
The highest good is attained, if one has fulfilled the good for which nature designed them at birth.
On the Divine within Us
The Divine is near You, It is with Youu, It is within Youu.
This is what I mean Lucilius: a divine spirit dwells within us, one who marks our good & bad deeds, & it is our guardian.
Just as we treat this spirit, so are we treated by it; Indeed, no person can be good without the help of the Divine; In each good person, A divinity doth dwell, but what deity, we know not.
If ever you have come upon a grove that is full of ancient trees which have grown to an unusual height, shutting out a view of the sky by a veil of intertwining branches, then the loftiness of the forest, the seclusion of the spot, & your marvel at the thick unbroken shade in the midst of the open spaces, will prove to you the presence of deity.
Or if a cave, made by the deep crumbling of the rocks, holds up a mountain on its arch, a place not built with hands but hollowed out into such spaciousness by natural causes, your soul will be deeply moved by a certain intimation of the existence of the Divine.
We worship the sources of mighty rivers; we erect altars at places where great streams burst suddenly from hidden sources; we adore springs of hot water as divine, & consecrate certain pools because of their dark waters or their immeasurable depth.
If you see a person who is unterrified in the midst of dangers, untouched by desires, happy in adversity, peaceful amid the storm, who looks down upon people from a higher plane, & views the divine on a footing of equality; A divine power has descended upon that person.
When a soul rises superior to other souls, when it is under control, when it passes through every experience as if it were of small account, when it smiles at our fears & at our prayers, it is stirred by a force from heaven.
What, then, is such a soul?, One which is resplendent with no external good, but only with its own.
For what is more foolish than to praise in a person the qualities which come from without?, And what is more insane than to marvel at characteristics which may at the next instant be passed on to someone else?
No person, ought to glory except in that which is their own.
We praise a vine if it makes the shoots teem with increase, if by its weight it bends to the ground the very poles which hold its fruit; would any person prefer to this vine one from which golden grapes & golden leaves hang down?
In a vine the virtue peculiarly its own is fertility; in people also we should praise that which is their own.
Suppose that one has a retinue of comely servants & a beautiful house, that their farm & their income is large ; none of these things is in the person themselves; they are all on the outside.
Praise the quality in one which cannot be given or snatched away, that which is the peculiar property of the person.
Do you ask what this is?, It is the soul, & reason brought to perfection in the soul.
Yet this is turned into a hard task by the general madness of Humankind; we push one another into vice; And how can a person be recalled to salvation, when one has none to restrain them, & all humankind to urge one on?
For people are reasoning animals; Therefore, everyone’s highest good is attained, if one has fulfilled the good for which nature designed them at birth.
And what is it, which this reason demands of them?, The easiest thing in the world, is to
Farewell, Seneca, StoicTaoist.