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Most human beings, Paulinus,* complain about the meanness of nature, because we are born for a brief span of life, and because this spell of time that has been given to us rushes by so swiftly and rapidly that with very few exceptions life ceases for the rest of us just when we are getting ready for it. Nor is it just the man in the street and the unthinking mass of people who groan over this - as they see it - universal evil: the same feeling lies behind complaints from even distinguished men. Hence the dictum of the greatest of doctors:† 'Life is short, art is long.' Hence too the grievance, most improper to a wise man, which Aristotle expressed when he was taking nature to task for indulging animals with such long existences that they can live through five or ten human lifetimes, while a far shorter limit is set for men who are born to a great and extensive destiny. It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.
* A friend of Seneca’s.
Life will be miserable for those who acquire through great toil what they must keep by greater toil.
He told me to not let myself become too ambitious, because it will make me susceptible to, as he always put it, hocus pocus thinking.
I have purchased multiple copies of this book and need to buy another one because I just gave away my last copy.
Not particularly useful in terms of expectations from the somewhat interesting title.Published 16 days ago by Smell the coffee
This is one of the most profound books I have read in a long time. It really changed the way I view the passage of time, and how I choose to spend my hours. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lori P
life is short and the idea of this was constant thousands of years ago like today.Published 3 months ago by RAD
A brilliant short read - highly recommended. I have now purchased a few for friends who also feel the same.Published 4 months ago by chuck shirock
With pithy wit and cutting cynicism Seneca eloquently encourages us to devote time to ourselves before we are no more.Published 6 months ago by Tobin D. Wolfe
The same conversations that saturate and permeate our media, our lives, our relationships were happening hundreds of years ago. The same human condition. Read more
Probably one of the best writings that have held the test of time. I recommend this book for anyone. I picked it up because Neil Strauss recommended it on a Podcast. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Kraig Harlow
One can hardly be critical of an author whose works are still being read since they were first penned close to 2000 years ago. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Carl_in_Richland