Kidding Ourselves to Starve our minds

Seneca,  Moral Epistles 61

“Those who want how busy they are to be an obstacle to their study of the liberal arts are kidding themselves. They imagine and exaggerate their obligations  to keep themselves booked up. I have free time and I have it wherever I am because I am my own. I don’t surrender myself to business, but I merely lend myself to it and I don’t hunt reasons to waste time. And wherever I find myself, I work on my ideas and try to mull over something good for the mind.

When I spend time with my friends I don’t withdraw from myself nor do I delay with those whom some occasion or official state affair have brought to me. No, I spend my time with the best crowd–I send my mind to them wherever they are, in whatever generation they were born. I carry Demetrius, that best of men, with me. I leave behind those men draped in purple and chat with that guy, half-clothed. I admire him.

Why shouldn’t I? I think that he lacks nothing. Anyone can look down on everything but no one can possess everything. The best shortcut to wealth is by despising it. But our Demetrius lives not just as if he rejects everything, but as if he has surrendered everything for others to own. Goodbye.”

Mentiuntur, qui sibi obstare ad studia liberalia turbam negotiorum videri volunt; simulant occupationes et augent et ipsi se occupant. Vaco, Lucili, vaco et ubicumque sum, ibi meus sum. Rebus enim me non trado, sed commodo, nec consector perdendi temporis causas. Et quocumque constiti loco, ibi cogitationes meas tracto et aliquid in animo salutare converso.

Cum me amicis dedi non tamen mihi abduco, nec cum illis moror, quibus me tempus aliquod congregavit aut causa ex officio nata civili, sed cum optimo quoque sum; ad illos, in quocumque loco, in quocumque saeculo fuerunt, animum meum mitto. Demetrium, virorum optimum, mecum circumfero et relictis conchyliatis cum illo seminudo loquor, illum admiror.

Quidni admirer? Vidi nihil ei deesse. Contemnere aliquis omnia potest, omnia habere nemo potest. Brevissima ad divitias per contemptum divitiarum via est. Demetrius autem noster sic vivit, non tamquam contempserit omnia, sed tamquam aliis habenda permiserit. Vale.

self sabotage meme (kid on bike putting stick between spokes) with the following words: "I should think about life and my soul" "ok let's schedule a zoom meeting" and finally "ouch, goodbye" in Latin


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