Letters from a Stoic 4 – Key Takeaways

            The fourth letter begins with Seneca praising Lucilius for progress in improving his mind. Center to the stoic philosophy is in nourishing the mind over the body and above all else as it is the only thing we have control and the ultimate source of good well-being. “Doubtless you will derive enjoyment during the time when you are improving your mind and setting it at peace with itself, but quite different is the pleasure which comes from contemplation when one’s mind is so cleansed from every stain that it shines.” The mind as the root cause of the range of emotions we feel from good to bad ones is mentioned repeatedly in a lot of stoic doctrines.

             For the majority of the letter, Seneca talked about fear about difficult life circumstances highlighting on death. Seneca stressed out that anything in life can be taken to us anytime and should be comfortable with this fundamental fact. “No good thing renders its possessor happy unless his mind is reconciled to the possibility of loss”. To make the matter worse, the fear inflicted on us with the idea of losing these things actually does more damage than actually losing it. Seneca and the stoics want us to understand that if we want to achieve peace of mind we should embrace life challenges and be comfortable about the idea of losing things even our own lives.

*****   Letters from a Stoic Key Takeaways is a collection of short key takeaways from the letters sent by Seneca to Lucilius. Read each letter’s key takeways here .

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

FREE weekly practical tips, reflections and key takeaways from the works of the stoics