Letters from a Stoic by Seneca (Book Summary)


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It’s frequently said that the past is an outside nation – however once in a while, it’s as recognizable as anyone might imagine. Composed just about 2,000 years back, Letters from a Stoic stay as crucial and astute today as when they were first created. Truth be told, the book looks to some extent like that most present day of abstract sorts, the self-improvement guide! 



Seneca’s worry is to help his perusers through the labyrinth of enduring issues that face us in all occasions and places. What is a great life? What’s more, how would we accomplish it when we’re plagued by fragility, subject to unusual destinies and face the certainty of death? 

Seneca prescribes adjusted and straightforward living incongruity with nature and his letters set out a progression of significant bits of knowledge that can help us onto the correct way of reflection, internal harmony and the evasion of enticement. 


1. Genuine astuteness is realizing how to carry on with a basic life as per nature.


Envision meandering through a woods underneath a high shade of transcending trees scratching out each and every beam of light, or moving into a barbed cavern that no human hand could have cut. The sentiment of amazement we involvement in minutes like these mirrors our valuation for crafted by the celestial. 

However, holiness isn’t only something out there on the planet – it’s likewise something that is inside all of us. The awesome dwells in our spirits. It’s a piece of us, however, it isn’t really our own. Like the beams of the sun that touch the earth however have a place with a star in the sky, our spirits have a place with godliness itself. 

We can’t deal with our spirits or assume acknowledgment when they’re applauded since they’re not our own. Be that as it may, there is something we can take a shot at the psyche. 

Our psyches are exceptional. They separate us from each other. They likewise separate us from the creature world, since what characterizes man is that he can think soundly. 

The discerning idea is a result of the brain. That implies we can, and should, dedicate ourselves to sharpening and idealizing it. The more exertion we make to consummate our brains, the more one of a kind we become. Dissimilar to the trappings of regular day to day existence like houses, furniture, and work of art, which are just foundations to our lives, the brain is a genuine unique case. That is the reason it merits our consideration and work. 

The product of dealing with our psyches is intelligence, and accomplishing insight is the essential point of our lives. 



So I’m not catching it’s meaning to be shrewd? Intelligence is realizing how to live as nature expected us to and always endeavoring to remain consistent with that expectation. 

Through the’s eyes, Nature’s arrangement for us is to live just, to decline common delights and the wants that drive us to aggregate tremendous fortunes, gorge ourselves on sustenance and frantically look for popularity and fortune. 

Intelligence enables us to see that. Living as per nature likewise means facing the feelings of dread that arise when we view the common cycle of life, where misfortune and demise are inescapable. 


In any case, that doesn’t mean we have to secure ourselves away from a library and eat up the same number of books as we can lay our hands on. Everything necessary is a little work each day. All things considered, the imperial street to shrewdness contemplates. 

The result of that exertion is knowledge. We accomplish knowledge and come to see that living in amicability with nature is the main really balanced choice. 

In any case, that makes one wonder: what precisely is it that we should think about? In the accompanying parts, we’ll investigate the themes you’ll have to concentrate to accomplish intelligence. 


2. The theory is the key that opens insight and bliss.


What is the theory? Basically, it’s the investigation of truth on the planet that encompasses us and the universe of the heavenly; as such, the philosophy is the way to the great life and highminded living. 

Be that as it may, pause, how would you get from truth to great living? 

The theory is the light that enlightens reality. Also, when we can see plainly, we can settle on better choices about how we should live. 

Take the dread of death. When we think logically, we see that it’s the same amount of part of the normal request of things as life itself. For what reason would it be a good idea for us to fear something that has a place with nature? Or then again think about the wants that enliven our endeavors to collect wealth or search out the delights of intoxicants like wine. The theory demonstrates to us that both intoxication and riches are passing minutes. 

In this way, when we take a gander at the world normally, we start to adjust ourselves to nature. Thus, this gives us genuine bliss. 

You can perceive any reason why Seneca believed that was the most significant subject of all! 

Contrast theory with innovation, a territory where such a large amount of human resourcefulness is in plain view. Designers and modelers help us fabricate delightful homes, which marble quarriers can later decorate with shocking floors. 

Be that as it may, what does all that truly indicate? Indeed, you’ll have a decent enough dinner corridor were to go out on the town your visitors. In any case, do you genuinely require that? 



All things considered, we are aware of clans who discover cover in basic pits delved straightforwardly into the ground. They don’t appear to be troubled that they’re not resting in rooms equipped with the best marble from Carrara; they acknowledge what they have, anyway little that may appear when you contrast it with a castle. 

Similarly, as we needn’t bother with the privilege to discover cover, there are numerous different things we don’t should be glad. This is another exercise that way of thinking instructs us. 

So how does philosophy pile facing different subjects? 

Music may enable us to fit notes and harmonies, however, does it help us accomplish internal agreement with ourselves? 


Or on the other hand, think about geometry. It gives us a chance to gauge everything from the separation between two stars to the size of our domains. Be that as it may, it offers no knowledge into why a man who has lost each section of land of his domain can even now grin notwithstanding the world. On the off chance that you need to quantify a spirit, you’ll have to go to philosophy. 

With the goal that’s the primary subject, you’ll require in the event that you need to wind up savvy. 

Philosophy encourages us what nature planned for us. It causes us to figure out how to confront our apprehensions and accomplish a feeling of offset while getting rid of trivial diversions and concentrating on obvious joy. 


3. Don’t simply examine any old way, do it appropriately!


Alright, you’ve chosen to consider philosophy to discover how nature planned us to live. How would you go about it? 

Definitely, the extraordinary scholars of Greek relic can help. Why not plunge into the compositions of Zeno, the primary unemotional, or Aristotle or Plato? 

Be that as it may, there’s a trick: considering must be paid attention to. You can’t simply skim the surface, you need to plumb the profundities. 

Coolly scrutinizing heaps of various creators will just give you a shallow comprehension of their thoughts. Consider it like dashing the world over and failing to stay long in any one spot. You’ll return home with many short-lived impressions and a huge amount of new associates – yet not very many genuine companions. 

That is the reason the best strategy is to take a set up and confided in the creator and stick to him. It’s in the more profound end of the pool that you’ll truly begin figuring out how to swim! 


Adhering to a creator means concentrating his work in detail, however, it doesn’t mean overlooking every other person. No single thinker, regardless of how incredible, at any point divined every bit of relevant information. To get at reality, you have to comprehend theory in general. 

Think about a lovely lady. She may have awesome lower legs or wrists, however, it’d be unusual to state that she was delightful in light of the fact that she had lovely wrists, correct? Her magnificence dwells in the whole of her numerous parts. You can’t lessen the nature of magnificence to any one component. 

In any case, you don’t simply need to peruse generally and profoundly; you likewise need to peruse effectively. 



Essentially rehashing what Plato or Zeno need to state on a given subject may be a decent path for kids to adapt, yet it’s insufficient for grown-ups. Develop learning is dynamic – you gain your own insight. Extraordinary savants can assist you with this, yet at last, you’ll need to accept leave of them too, as you produce your own way. 

This implies contrasting their experiences and making your own determinations. When you begin doing that, you’re adding to philosophical learning about the world. 

Odds are you won’t be the following Socrates – however recall, there’s no imposing business model on truth. Actually, there’s a bounty for us all! 


4. Your psyche is your most significant belonging; it’s your home and the underwriter of harmony and wellbeing.


A few tingles can’t be damaged. You can venture to every part of the entire world and see innumerable new urban areas, scenes, and individuals, yet at the same time, end up inclination anxious. 

That is on the grounds that movement can be a type of idealism. What you disregard is the main thing: building up your psyche. 

In the event that you deal with your brain, you’ll be at home anyplace on the planet. 

Envision a vigorously loaded ship. For whatever length of time that the load is appropriately verified, it can cruise the stormiest of oceans with certainty. Be that as it may, if the merchandise is inadequately affixed, they’ll begin slipping and sliding around the hold and, soon enough, end up bringing the entire ship down. 

A solid personality is somewhat similar to the well-stowed send. Everything is attached in its legitimate spot. It can travel anyplace and, regardless of how unpleasant or peaceful the sea, the view from the scaffold will dependably be a joy. 

In any case, if your psychological freight is severely put away, keeping up a level is beside inconceivable. You’ll have an unequal personality and be plagued by anxiety. 

In this way, you should concentrate on verifying your psychological cargo. All things considered, significant serenity originates from inside – you can’t discover it in the outside world. 

Think about an open house in the wide open, a long way from the rushing about of the city. You get it in the expectation of making a desert garden of quiet and you even go similarly as setting up guidelines that stipulate that everybody inside the house needs to pussyfoot around during the evening to protect unquestionably the calm. 



However, even after all that, regardless you can’t rest. You falsehood conscious around evening time and start envisioning bizarre commotions. Regardless of how serene your surroundings are, despite everything you’re tormented by an eager personality. 

What do you do? 

Genuine tranquility is accomplished by looking inwards and calming your brain. Philosophy, which shows us how to live as per nature, is the handmaiden of serenity. 

An appropriately working personality is a wondrous thing. It can even recuperate the body. 


Wellbeing is an important however deficient state of the great life. Exercise is significant and helpful therefore, however just when it doesn’t turn into a fixation. A rock solid weightlifting routine may get you a washboard stomach and weapons of steel, however, it can likewise be a diversion. Every one of those hours working out will add up to the time you could have spent developing your brain. 

Simply think what occurs if disease strikes. No measure of muscle will bolster you or reestablish your wellbeing. A sound personality, on the other hand, can have a significant effect. It can give the psychological quality you have to get past attempting times and at last assistance you recoup. 


5. Avoid enticement and bad habit by remaining concentrated on reality.


Bad habit and enticement are all over the place. Think about the Romans: they don’t delight in anything more than seeing men being tossed to the lions, battling bears and being put to the sword at their neighborhood fighter appears. It was all piece of an ordinary day. 

There are endless indecencies, and some are ordinary. Who hasn’t lamented acting a trick in the wake of drinking excessively? Another bad habit is inaction. How on earth would you say you should make sense of how to live appropriately in the event that you get up as the sun is setting? 

At last, there is basically the same number of voices as there are individuals. Some waste fortunes, others keep special ladies and still, others are captives to their craving for acclaim and fortune. 

So if the bad habit is all over the place, how would you avoid it? By living in agreement with nature. 



A bad habit is the product of a desire to be superior to other people. It flourishes among the individuals who spurn a typical, straightforward life. Needing to be distinctive is the thing that drives individuals to invest their energy and cash on fineries like beautiful garments, extravagant carriages, and indulgent dinners. 

A bad habit is additionally a craftiness ace of the mask. The individuals who think they have minimal work to do are generally the individuals who have the most to do. 

Consider dreams. When we’re sound snoozing and oblivious to ourselves, we seldom see our fantasies. Living admirably is comparable. When we’re caught up with seeking after negligible delights and responding to short-lived agonies, we are oblivious to ourselves and to what we truly need. That is the reason those of us who have the most work to do on ourselves are typically unconscious of what we truly should do. 


6. Are your feelings of trepidation and envision the most noticeably terrible.


What’s your most profound dread? Losing your status, comfort and all that you possess? Whatever it is, you’ll have to go up against it in the event that you need to accomplish astuteness. 

A decent spot to begin is by getting to be OK with the possibility of neediness. Take a couple of days once in a while to live as the most unfortunate do. Wear dreary, straightforward garments and eat stale bread or grain porridge. 


When you’ve figured out how to take joy from a couple of negligible pieces of bread, you’ll start to understand that there’s not something to fear with regards to destitution. This, thus, will enable you to develop a sound personality. 

Since nothing keeps going forever, it’s a smart thought to envision different debacles, as well. The world is brimming with instances of abrupt transgresses, startling hardships, and misfortune. Extraordinary realms disintegrate and fair men who’ve had honorable existences are thrown into an outcast by vindictive experts. 

Adored relatives and companions bite the dust and entire urban communities are devoured by flame – that is only the manner in which it is. 



The world is a play of complexities. Night pursues day and mists darken clear skies. There’s an uncanny quiet before the most savage of tempests, and the most noticeably terrible day you can envision can without much of a stretch please the impact points of the best you’ve at any point had. 

Decency and injustice don’t become an integral factor. Each living being and thing is liable to the equivalent unusual operations of destiny. 

Think about troopers. Indeed, even in the midst of harmony, they go through their days taking part in drills to get ready for the direct outcome imaginable – war. That is the manner in which you should consider the world. Get ready for the immediate results, notwithstanding when things are taking care of business. Foresee the inevitability that all that you have may be taken from you. 

Thusly, when destiny seems to end up noxious, you’ll be arranged and come through everything with a grin all over. In particular of all, you’ll have a reasonable and quiet personality. 


7. Pick your companions shrewdly.


A few people try to unburden themselves by offering their inconveniences to everybody they go over. Others don’t tell their dearest companions what’s on their psyches. Neither of these choices is as per nature, as any savvy Stoic will have learned. 

So what would it be advisable for you to do? Two things. Picking your companions carefully is fundamental. Be that as it may, when they’re in, you should give them access. 

Your most solid option with regards to picking companions is to put together your choice with respect to the trust. Become friends with the individuals who you’re certain you can depend on. Far and away superior is a reliable individual voyager – somebody on a similar way of disclosure as you. 

The closest companions we make don’t simply reflect who we as of now are, they likewise improve us. Fellowship is tied in with learning and improving yourself. 



That is the reason it’s imperative to maintain a strategic distance from individuals buried in the bad habit. Philanderers cheat, and torturers degenerate the individuals who are near them. Settle on an indiscreet decision, and chances are you’ll before long get the indecencies of your new companions. 

In case you’re really sure you’ve settled on the correct choice, share everything with your companions. Open the entryway and let them into your life. The best part is that accept that they’ll be faithful to you – that is regularly the most ideal approach to ensure that they are steadfast! 

Genuine fellowship is based on a strong establishment, and getting to be companions with somebody for the correct reasons is its foundation. All things considered, a savvy man is independent and has figured out how to be glad without anyone else’s input. That implies he needn’t bother with companions. When he enters into a kinship, he’s not out for himself and isn’t searching for an individual favorable position. 


Also, that makes him a decent companion. All things considered, faint-hearted allies aren’t generally companions by any means. No sooner has he got what he needed, and your alleged companion is setting out toward the slopes. 

What the shrewd acknowledge is that companionship is significant in itself. Making and continuing companionships is a piece of a great life. 


8. Face your dread of death.


Consider eating strawberries. They’re at their succulent, sweet best toward the finish of summer, just before fall, isn’t that so? Seniority resembles that as well. It’s not about sickness, feebleness, and decrease – actually, maturing has its own one of a kind delights. 

In any case, to value them you need to grapple with your dread of death. 

Like the strawberries that imprint the approaching turn of the seasons, every period in life is a piece of the certain cycle of nature. Furthermore, life itself is not really an extraordinary accomplishment. Everybody and everything, from captives to experts, creepy crawlies to creatures, has life. 

The way to building up a sound frame of mind is to celebrate what you’ve just had – the years you’ve lived – and to be thankful for everything that may be given to you tomorrow. 

Pacuvius, the legislative head of Roman Syria, had an important method for doing this. Consistently, he commended his very own demise by arranging an evening gathering with fine wines and sustenance. Toward the finish of the night, he was conveyed to his bed to serenades of “He has lived, he has lived” in Greek. 

While the pomposity of Pacuvius’ function may be off-putting, we can gain so much from his frame of mind toward death. When we have vanquished our dread, we can start celebrating what we’ve just had of life, and each new day turns into an exceptional gift. 



Be that as it may, shouldn’t something be said about death? It can’t be stayed away from and wants every one of us. That implies as well as can be expected to make of it is to kick the bucket recently. 

Sticking onto life just for a living is trivial. What’s the most you can seek after? To eat another shellfish or drink another glass of wine, things you’ve had on many occasions previously? Or on the other hand to continue satisfying your obligations? We regularly overlook that passing is additionally an obligation we need to satisfy. 


The best end to a good life is a decent demise. In any case, the creator, in the same way as other of his counterparts, likewise accepted that suicide was more admirable than proceeding with a disreputable life. 

Tullius Marcellus set this thought in motion. Hit down with a weakening sickness, he chose to slaughter himself as opposed to living with his condition. In the wake of isolating his assets among his slaves, he fasted for three days before passing on gently in a hot shower. He was abundantly appreciated for his respectable, loose and placated passing.


Letters from a Stoic by Seneca Book Review


The great life is a real existence lived as per nature. That implies driving a straightforward and fair life free of bad habit and enticement – yet that is more diligently to accomplish than it sounds. 

All things considered, contemplating philosophy can help us in this interest. By lighting up reality, it demonstrates to us the way through life’s numerous difficulties and enables us to confront a threat, mishaps and the certainty of death, with quietness. When we have disguised the exercises philosophy offers, our brains can progress toward becoming desert gardens of quiet in a furious world. 


Keep your psyche fit as a fiddle, similarly as you would with your body. 

We as a whole know the significance of practicing and eating a lot of vegetables and eliminating intoxicants like caffeine and liquor. In any case, wellbeing isn’t simply an issue of hitting the rec center and keeping up a sound eating routine – it’s likewise about preparing your brain and developing a solid demeanor. So remember to supplement your wellness routine with some psychological acrobatic. 

Considering and learning don’t simply keep your mind lithe, they likewise open the entryway to the extraordinary certainties of the world and rationally set you up to adapt in attempting times. When you’ve built up the correct frame of mind, you’ll have the option to confront anything!


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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