On the Shortness of Life - Sêneca

On the Shortness of Life

By Sêneca

  • Release Date: 2015-03-10
  • Genre: Self-Improvement

Description

Life is long if you know how to use it.

From the author of Letters from a Stoic, comes another brilliant, timeless guide to living well. Written as a moral essay to his friend Paulinus, Seneca’s biting words still pack a powerful punch two thousand years later. With its brash rejection of materialism, conventional lifestyles and group-think, On the Shortness of Life is as relevant as ever. Seneca anticipates the modern world. It’s a unique expose of how people get caught up in the rat race and how for those stuck in this mindset, enough is never enough. The ‘busy’ individuals of Rome Seneca makes reference to, those people who are too preoccupied with their careers and maintaining social relationships to fully examine the quality of their lives, sound a lot like ourselves.

The message is simple: Life is long if you live it wisely. Don’t waste time worrying about how you look. Don’t be lazy. Don’t over indulge in entertainment and vice. Everything in moderation.

Seneca defends Nature and attacks the lazy. Materialism and a love of trivial knowledge are exposed as key time wasters, along with excess ambition, networking and worrying too much. In this new non-verbatim translation by Damian Stevenson, Seneca’s essay comes alive for the modern reader. Seneca’s formality of language has been preserved but the wording is more attuned to a contemporary ear. This is a rare treat for students of Stoicism and for anyone interested in seeking an answer to the eternal question, “How should I best use my time?” 

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Reviews

  • Shortness of Life

    5
    By Theologician@rebuild
    As a theologian who deals with the great questions of existence, meaning, morality and eternity, I continue to be amazed by the wisdom of ancient writers. Seneca's 'iconoclastic' take on life provides a great introduction to Stoics philosophy, acknowledges the unknown and remains religious enough not to be understood by people of various persuasions. He is more of an agnostic whose feet are firmly planted on terra firma and thus remains brutally honest and realistically practical in his writings, no small feat for a philosopher.
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