Conquering the Champions of the World

Seneca, Moral Epistle 71.36-37

“No one can restart their progress at the point where they gave it up. So, let us keep on keeping on!  More of the journey remains than we have finished–but wanting to proceed is the greater part of progress.

I am conscious of this matter; I want it and I want it with my whole spirit. I can see that you are interested too and are rushing with great speed toward the most beautiful things. So let’s rush together. Then life will be a good thing. Otherwise, there is a delay and it is a disgraceful one at that if we are lingering on shameful things..

Let’s make all time ours. This will not happen unless we are our own people first. And then, when will we earn the right to look down on any kind of fortune? When will it be our right to shout “I am victorious!” once we have overcome and controlled all our passions? Do you ask whom I have overcome? Well, not the Persians, nor the distant Medes, nor the bellicose people beyond the Dahae, but greed, ambition, and the fear of death that has beat down the world’s champions. Goodbye.”

Nemo profectum ibi invenit, ubi reliquerat. Instemus itaque et perseveremus. Plus, quam profligavimus, restat, sed magna pars est profectus velle proficere.

Huius rei conscius mihi sum; volo et mente tota volo. Te quoque instinctum esse et magno ad pulcherrima properare impetu video. Properemus; ita demum vita beneficium erit. Alioqui mora est, et quidem turpis inter foeda versantibus. Id agamus, ut nostrum omne tempus sit. Non erit autem, nisi prius nos nostri esse coeperimus. Quando continget contemnere utramque fortunam, quando continget omnibus oppressis adfectibus et sub arbitrium suum adductis hanc vocem emittere “vici”? Quem vicerim quaeris? Non Persas nec extrema Medorum nec si quid ultra Dahas bellicosum iacet, sed avaritiam, sed ambitionem, sed metum mortis, qui victores gentium vicit. Vale.

large wrestler about to body slam smaller one. Large one is labelled Seneca, small one is fear of death

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