In letters from a stoic 32, Seneca talks about avoiding the crowd which he also talked about in letter 7. He has been warning Lucilius about associating with people whose goals and ideals are different than his. “This is sound practice—to refrain from associating with men of different stamp and different aims. “ He said that these people may hinder his progress towards self- improvement and potentially could corrupt his character. Instead, in letter 11, he demanded Lucilius to find good role models and guardians to whom he could regulate his character and watch his thoughts. Lucilius seemed to have not complete control of himself. “I pray that you may get such control over yourself that your mind, now shaken by wandering thoughts, may at last come to rest and be steadfast, that it may be content with itself and, having attained an understanding of what things are truly good—and they are in our possession as soon as we have this knowledge— that it may have no need of added years” Seneca is referring to the fundamental stoic teaching that the only truly good is virtue which is completely in our control. A lot of our mind’s unsteadiness comes from our desires beyond virtue and the things that are out of our control. Seneca and the Stoics want us to understand that real happiness can only be found within and can always be accessed at any time as long as we put into our awareness.
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