Aug. 30, 2021

02: Matt Reed

02: Matt Reed

On today's episode, Matt and Chris discuss "On the Shortness of Life" by Seneca. Here are a few quotes from the letter that we discuss:

"It is not that we have a short space of time, but that we waste much of it. Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested..."

"'The part of life we really live is small.' For all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time."

"Can anything be sillier than the point of view of certain people - I mean those who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves very busily engaged in order that they may be able to live better; they spend life in making ready to live!

They form their purposes with a view to the distant future; yet postponement is the greatest waste of life..."

"'Why are you idle? Unless you seize the day, it flees.' Even though you seize it, it will still flee..."

"...I could prove that busy men find life very short."

"Life is divided into three periods - that which has been, that which is, that which will be."

And Chris's two favorites from this:

"By other men's labours we are led to the sight of things most beautiful that have been wrested from darkness and brought into light; from no age are we shut out, we have access to all ages, and if it is our wish, by greatness of mind, to pass beyond the narrow limits of human weakness, there is a great stretch of time through which we may roam."

"No one of these will force you to die, but all will teach you how to die; no one of these will wear out your years, but each will add his own years to yours..."

For a full, free version of this essay that looks like it was created when the internet was first invented: https://www.forumromanum.org/literature/seneca_younger/brev_e.html

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