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Not wanting is just as good as having

"Not wanting is just as good as having."

 - Seneca, Letters 119.2

The reason that not wanting is just as good as having is, of course, that both when we have something and when we don't want that thing we don't need that something. In both cases we are in a state (in regard to that thing) where we don't feel that our life is incomplete due to not having that thing.

However, simply being in a state of "not having" does not equal being content, happy, wise. A person who does not have something is not content if that person is in a state of wanting what he or she hasn't got. To be content, happy, wise is to fully understand that we always already have all we need for happiness in ourselves. A stoic does not want food, health, wealth etc. Wanting something is to desire  that thing - which is to suffer from the false belief that the thing is question is a necessary condition for happiness. A Stoic knows that the only thing which is necessary for happines…