Rushing Ahead To Fall Behind

Seneca, Moral Epistles 45.6-7

“If there is anything that can make a life happy, it is the good in its own right. For it cannot be debased into evil. How do we mess this up, when everyone wants a happy life? It is because people mistake the means to happiness for the thing itself–while they seek it, they flee it.

Although the summit of a happy life may be unshakeable safety, unbothered by events, most people collect the causes of anxiety and don’t merely carry their baggage through the dangerous journey of life, but gather more! They are always falling further away from the state they seek and the more they try the more they get in their own way and fall back. This is how it goes if you rush into a labyrinth: speed itself ensnares you. Goodbye.”

 Si quid est, quod vitam beatam potest facere, id bonum est suo iure. Depravari enim in malum non potest. Quid est ergo, in quo erratur, cum omnes beatam vitam optent? Quod instrumenta eius pro ipsa habent et illam, dum petunt, fugiunt. Nam cum summa vitae beatae sit solida securitas et eius inconcussa fiducia, sollicitudinis colligunt causas et per insidiosum iter vitae non tantum ferunt sarcinas, sed trahunt; ita longius ab effectu eius, quod petunt, semper abscedunt et quo plus operae inpenderunt, hoc se magis impediunt et feruntur retro. Quod evenit in labyrintho properantibus; ipsa illos velocitas inplicat. Vale.

gif of a stick figure sisphyus trying to push a stone up a hill and having it fall back

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