Stop Right There! You Might See a Vice….

Seneca, Moral Epistle 69

“I don’t want you to change places and move all over, first, since such frequent traveling makes for an unstable spirt. You can’t grow mindful without leisure, unless you stop searching about and wandering. Stop your body’s flight first to gain control over your mind. Then, continuous treatments provide the most relief. Your rest and forgetting of your previous life must not be interrupted. Allow your eyes to relearn the world; allow your ears to get used to healthier words.

As many times as you go out–even in the movement itself–you encounter things that remind you of your desires. Just as someone who is trying to forget a love must avoid every reminder of the body loved–since nothing grows back more easily than love–so too must someone who wants to slough off desires for all things for which they have burned with desire, should turn their eyes and ears away from whatever they have left them. Affection returns quickly. Wherever you turn, they see something present worth their fixation.

There’s no evil without some attraction. Greed offers money; luxury provides many different pleasures; ambition offers honor and praise and the power that comes from that and whatever power provides. Vices get under your skin with what they pay–but this life must be lived for free.  It is barely possible to do this over a whole life, to make vices accept our rule when they are so strong from prolonged free reign. It is harder if we divide so brief a time with breaks. Even constant vigilance and intention can barely bring one matter to completion.

If you want to listen to me, consider this and practice how to accept death or, if the situation requires it, summon it. It doesn’t matter whether death stops for us or we go to it. Convince yourself that the saying of the ignorant is wrong: “it is beautiful do die one’s own death.” There’s no one who doesn’t die on their own day! You waste nothing of your time, since what you give up wasn’t yours to begin with. Goodbye.”

Mutare te loca et aliunde alio transilire nolo; primum, quia tam frequens migratio instabilis animi est. Coalescere otio non potest, nisi desît circumspicere et errare. Ut animum possis continere, primum corporis tui fugam siste. Deinde plurimum remedia continuata proficiunt. Interrumpenda non est quies et vitae prioris oblivio. Sine dediscere oculos tuos, sine aures adsuescere sanioribus verbis.

Quotiens processeris, in ipso transitu aliqua, quae renovent cupiditates tuas, tibi occurrent. Quemadmodum ei, qui amorem exuere conatur, evitanda est omnis admonitio dilecti corporis, nihil enim facilius quam amor recrudescit, ita qui deponere vult desideria rerum omnium, quarum cupiditate flagravit, et oculos et aures ab iis, quae reliquit, avertat. Cito rebellat adfectus. Quocumque se verterit, pretium aliquod praesens occupationis suae aspiciet.

Nullum sine auctoramento malum est. Avaritia pecuniam promittit, luxuria multas ac varias voluptates, ambitio purpuram et plausum et ex hoc potentiam et quicquid potest potentia. Mercede te vitia sollicitant; hic tibi gratis vivendum est. Vix effici toto saeculo potest, ut vitia tam longa licentia tumida subigantur et iugum accipiant, nedum, si tam breve tempus intervallis caedimus. Unam quamlibet rem vix ad perfectum perducit adsidua vigilia et intentio.

Si me quidem velis audire, hoc meditare et exerce, ut mortem et excipias et, si ita res suadebit, accersas. Interest nihil, ilia ad nos veniat an ad illam nos. Illud imperitissimi cuiusque verbum falsum esse tibi ipse persuade: “Bella res est mori sua morte.” Nemo moritur nisi sua morte. Illud praeterea tecum licet cogites: nemo nisi suo die moritur. Nihil perdis ex tuo tempore; nam quod relinquis, alienum est. Vale.

Is this a butterfly meme labeled with speaker as seneca, the butterfly as literally anything and the quote as "is this a vice?"

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