Inner Truth – A Bit More about Seneca

April 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

In the book The Spiritual Teachings Of Seneca I wrote:

Seneca observed that most people are seduced by the glittering appeal of life’s material awards- houses, possessions, money- into holding an irrational attitude to the world. When we are elated by gain and depressed by loss, our values become distorted and we begin to live a life of illusion, losing sight of the distinction between the true and the false.

In alienating ourselves from inner truth, our identities become tentative and uncertain, and we are easily swayed by the examples of others. We follow majority opinions and tastes rather than our deepest convictions. Many of us waste much of our time scrabbling to make money and achieve high status, failing to fulfil our potential for happiness. As we mistake the false for the true, attaching ourselves slavishly to material objects, our judgements about the world become suspect and we stray further and further from the truth. Increasingly confused and perplexed about what life means and how to get the best out of it, we often feel lost.

Seneca followed a philosophy- Stoicism- that altered his attitude to life and enabled him to react to loss in a different way to other people. Stoicism helped him to acquire an inner state of freedom and peace that was intended to leave him untroubled and detached from pain, disappointment or failure. His mission was to create a practical, down-to-earth recipe for living that could alleviate symptoms of spiritual illness and be applied in all circumstances.

Entry filed under: Ancient wisdom.

Your possessions or your life? Which is more important? How we use our mind

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Reflections on an age of anxiety.


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