- Seneca, Letters 85.6-8
What interests me in the passage posted here is how Seneca insists that even weak negative emotions can be very damaging - and, of course, even more so if it is a swarm of weak, negative emotions. Most of us are likely to think that we are pretty well off if we are not very angry persons or very depressed persons or very greedy persons etc etc - but Seneca is trying to show us that most of us are living lives with huge room for improvement. In fact, it would be fair to say that a major goal for Seneca is to try to wake us from our tendency to not just accept our flaws but to embrace them and, in some cases, even pride ourselves in them.
The only known bust that actually portrays Seneca is in Neues Museum in Berlin. Photo: Jannik Lindquist