Month: May 2023
62. Unlocking True Happiness
Unlocking True Happiness
Exploring Seneca & Taoism’s Secrets to a Fulfilling Life
What does it take to find true happiness and fulfillment in life?, From the Stoic and Taoist perspectives, it’s all about simplicity, humility, and self-reflection.
Let’s explore the teachings of Seneca and Taoism, and how they can help us lead a more fulfilling life.
Seneca’s advice on living a simple life
Seneca advises us to live a simple life and not get carried away by the luxuries and extravagances of the wealthy, He argues that the pursuit of wealth and status can lead to anxiety, stress, and ultimately, unhappiness.
Instead, he encourages us to focus on cultivating virtues such as gratitude, humility, and contentment.
Taoism and the principle of simplicity
Taoism also emphasizes the importance of living a simple life and not getting attached to material possessions or external circumstances, By cultivating virtues such as humility and contentment, one can achieve inner peace and harmony.
Self-reflection and self-examination
Both Stoicism and Taoism emphasize the importance of self-reflection and self-examination as a path to enlightenment.
Seneca advises us to set aside time every day to reflect on our thoughts and actions, and to examine our motives and desires, By doing so, we can become more self-aware and make better decisions.
In “On Good Company,” Seneca emphasizes the importance of surrounding ourselves with virtuous individuals and seeking wisdom from them, rather than getting caught up in the company of the wealthy and powerful.
This advice aligns with both Stoic and Taoist principles of valuing wisdom over material possessions and external circumstances.
By following the teachings of Seneca and Taoism, we can find true happiness and fulfillment in life.
Living a simple life, cultivating virtues such as humility and contentment, and practicing self-reflection and self-examination are key to achieving inner peace and harmony, So, let’s focus on what truly matters and enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
From a Stoic perspective, Seneca advises Lucilius to live a simple life and avoid getting caught up in the pursuit of wealth and status, as it can lead to anxiety, stress, and unhappiness.
Instead, he encourages cultivating virtues such as gratitude, humility, and contentment to find true happiness and fulfillment.
Seneca emphasizes the importance of self-reflection and self-examination to become more self-aware and make better decisions.
From a Taoist viewpoint, it aligns with the principle of simplicity and the concept of Wu Wei, or non-action.
Taoism emphasizes the importance of living a simple life and not getting attached to material possessions or external circumstances, By cultivating virtues such as humility and contentment, one can achieve inner peace and harmony.
Seneca’s emphasis on self-reflection also aligns with Taoism’s focus on introspection and self-awareness as a path to enlightenment.
On Good Company
We are deceived by those who would have us believe that a multitude of affairs blocks their pursuit of liberal studies; they make a pretence of their engagements, and multiply them, when their engagements are merely with themselves.
As for me, Lucilius, my time is free; it is indeed free, and wherever I am, I am master of myself, For I do not surrender myself to my affairs, but loan myself to them, and I do not hunt out excuses for wasting my time, And wherever I am situated, I carry on my own meditations and ponder in my mind some wholesome thought.
When I give myself to my friends, I do not withdraw from my own company, nor do I linger with those who are associated with me through some special occasion or some case which arises from my official position, however I spend my time in the company of all the best; no matter in what lands they may have lived, or in what age, I let my thoughts fly to them.
Demetrius for instance, the best of them, I take about with me, and leaving the wearers of purple and fine linen, I talk with him, half-naked as he is, and hold him in high esteem.
Why should I not hold him in high esteem?, I have found that he lacks nothing; It is in the power of any person to despise all things, but of no one to possess all things,
Our friend Demetrius, however lives not merely as if he has learned to despise all things, but as if he has handed them over for others to possess.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Until next time, be well & stay curious.
Farewell, Seneca, StoicTaoist.