seneca shortness of life pdf

Some follow no plan consistently but are precipitated into one new scheme after another by a fickleness which is rambling and unstable and dissatisfied with itself; some have no objective at all at which to aim but are overtaken by fate as they gape and.
The prisoners are never allowed to return to their true selves; if they are ever so lucky as to win some respite they continue to roll, as the sea swells even after the storm is over, and secure no release from their lusts.
Look at the men whose felicity is the cynosure of all eyes; they are smothered by their prosperity.
It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much.But when it is squandered through luxury and indifference, and spent for no good end, we realize it has gone, under the pressure of the ultimate necessity, before we were aware it was going.One man is exhausted by an ambition which always depends on the votes of others, another is driven over every land and sea by the trader's urge to seek profit.We may dispute with Socrates, doubt with Carneades, repose with Epicurus, transcend human nature with the Stoics, defy it with the Cynics.By the exertions of others we are led to the fairest treasures, raised to the light out of the darkness in which they were mined.Some are worn out by self-imposed and unrequited attendance upon the great; many busy themselves with the pursuit of other men's estates or in complaints about their own.On The Shortness Of Life, by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, nOTE: Seneca, a Spanish-born philosopher of Rome who lived in the first century.D., was one of the prominent sages of the Stoic school.It is a general complaint among mankind, Paulinus, that Nature is niggardly: our allotted span is brief, best fashion designing software and the term granted us flies by with such dizzy speed that all but a few exhaust it just when they are beginning to live.Calculate how much of that span was subtracted by a creditor, a mistress, a patron, a client, quarreling with your wife, punishing your slaves, gadding about the city on social duties.Like the mortal you are, you are apprehensive of everything; but your desires are unlimited as if you were immortal.You will see that you possess fewer years than the calendar shows.




How many are deprived of liberty by a besieging mob of clients!Men are very strict in keeping their patrimony intact, but when it comes to squandering time they are most lavish of the one item where miserliness is respectable.Search your memory: how seldom you have had a consistent plan, how few days worked out as you intended, how seldom you have enjoyed full use of yourself, how seldom your face was unflurried, what accomplishments you have to show for so long a life.Nobody on earth is willing to distribute his money, but everybody shares out his life, and to all comers.Some even make posthumous provisions - massive sepulchres, dedications of public buildings, gladiatorial shows, and pretentious obsequies.The only people really at leisure are those who take time for philosophy.He's chiefly remembered today for his.Though the phantom of glory which possesses some men is illusory, their error, at all events, has a creditable look.I cannot, therefore, question the truth of the great poet's dictum, uttered with oracular impressiveness: "Slight is the portion of life we live." All the residue is not living but passing time.
Hence the cry of that prince of physicians (Hippocrates "Life is short, art long." Hence Aristotle's grievance against Nature - an incongruous position for a philosopher: Nature has been so lavish to animals that they vegetate for five or ten human spans, whereas man, with.