4. Teacher of a calm, serene life

Index

1. - Wisdom of the stoics
2. - Seneca as a teacher of life
3. - Slave or master of things

4. Teacher of a calm, serene life


5. - Live happily
6. - Seneca and Marcus Aurelius
7. - Learn to live
8. - How you become a master of life
9. - Philosophy as the art of life
10. The school of life
11. More powerful as fate
12. More currage towards yourself!
13. The actions decide
14. Strong character
15. Necesseties of life
16. The mind as guide
17. Illness and self-control
18. Fearlessness
19. Overcoming of rage
20. Self-education
21. Obsession of posessions
22. Putting up with losses
23. Wealth from within
24. Happiness as a source of power
25. Reap the benefits of the present!
26. Safeguarding happiness
27. Avoid the crowd
28. Friendship
29. Nobility of the soul
30. The attitude decides
31. State of mind and direction of life
32. Behaviour and Circumstances
33. Correct self-direction
34. Resistances as the driving force
35. Will as the power to change
36. Self-knowledge
37. Self-confidence and life-confidence
38. Virtue as life-fitness
39. Calmness
40. Self-completion
41. Stages of self-completion
42. Correct evaluation of life
43. Wisdom of life
44. Wisdom on the way
45. The Golden Rule 1
46. The Golden Rule 2
47. Calm state of mind
48. The right view
49. Correct conduct
50. Correct self-safeguarding
51. Goal-setting of your life
52. Power of thoughts
53. Everything is inside
54. The spirit in you
55. The power in you
56. Seclusion
57. To come to oneself
58. Nursing of the soul
59. Basics of life
60. The shortness of our existance
61. Time as a life-aid
62. More consciousness of eternity
63. About death and loss
64. Superiority over death
65. Un-transitoriness
66. On the way to completion
67. Life is eternal
68. All is one
69. God in us

Eucken saw in the philosophy of the Stoics a helpful weapon in the struggle of life, especially against the unrest, worries and suffering of existence. This weapon is "the entrance into one's own inner being, the unfolding of the divine, which is inherent in every human being, the liberation from evils and the gain of pure happiness. It elevates the eternity of an invisible order from a hope to full certainty, and causes man to rise above the vices of everyday life and live like on top of a mountain.«

This is entirely true of Seneca's doctrine of life, in which the wisdom of Egypt is combined with the philosophy of Greece and Rome to create a practical way of life , which can help everyone to help themselves. Those who follow Seneca's instructions have the best chance to become a master of life in every respect.

»I have retired myself« -- schreibt Seneca -- »not only from men, but from things too, to be able to be as useful as possible. To posterity is my concern; I write down for them what could be useful: warnings and recipes for self-help. That they are effective and helpful in daily life, I have learned from my own problems, which, although they are not completely cured, have ceased to have access to me, and bother me. I now show others the right way, which I did not know until late in my life...

... Because the insights that I have only for myself, without participating comrades, would not make me happy, even if they were very beneficial ...

There is but little what I have to say; but when the soul takes it properly, it grows and multiplies. It grows in action. It is as in the case of the seedlings: they are small, and yet they become great; In order to notice them, the mind must be receptive and intimate. Then it will produce a multiplicity of itself and reproduce more than it has received.«

When Seneca's way of life is given here in measured doses, it is, because it is a life-blessing that works the best when it is given in gentle and delicate individual doses that way its hidden healing powers can unfold more sustained in the mind. It is important that we take a few drops of this elixir every day and the additives that promote it, to influence our thinking and feeling, plans and doings. The more surely it will activate the inner strength and serenity, the self-confidence and the courage to live, as you will be shown in the following chapters.

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© (Versión Alemán) Karl O. Schmidt, Drei Eichen Verlag, Engelberg / Schweiz
(English traduction by Jörn Malek)