The Primary Indication of a Well-Ordered Mind

in philosophy •  5 months ago


My book of the moment is The Tao of Seneca, a three-volume collection of the works of the legendary stoic philosopher Seneca.

Seneca and his fellow stoics, notably Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus, created a philosophy that resonates with many of the world’s top performers today. If you look at the most respected and accomplished people anywhere, from music to sports to the military to whatever, you will smell some stoic philosophy in the mix.

In the past I wasn’t ready for Seneca. I was too focused on the future, striving towards dreams and needing to fuel the fire under my own ass that kept me working 50 hours a week towards my goals.

Now though I am much more organized and balanced. With a focus on enjoying now and living a good life in a big picture way, it is the time for stoicism.

Great Quotes from the First Six Letters

(1) “I do not regard a person as poor; if the little which remains is enough for him.” (Letter 1, On Saving Time)

(2) “The primary indication of a well-ordered mind is a person’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.” (Letter 2, On Discursiveness in Reading)

(3) “No person can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it.” (Letter 4, On the Terrors of Death)

(4) ”Inwardly, we ought to be different in all respects, but out exterior should conform to society.” (Chapter 5, On the Philosopher’s Mean)

The bolded quote is the most intriguing to me, and it’s my quote to ponder for the day.

What is your favorite of these four quotes?

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I'm not sure I understand the fourth one. What's your take on it?
I agreewith/follow one and two, and three made me laugh (so true).


be yourself but don't be overly nonconformist


Ah yes, that makes sense.