more from Seneca the Younger

Single Idea 13295

[catalogued under 1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 2. Wise People]

Full Idea

There is nothing a wise man does reluctantly; he escapes necessity because he wills what necessity is going to force on him.

Gist of Idea

Wise people escape necessity by willing it


Seneca the Younger (Letters from a Stoic [c.60], 054)

Book Reference

Seneca: 'Letters from a Stoic (Selections)', ed/tr. Campbell,Robin [Penguin 1969], p.105

A Reaction

He is discussing death in this letter. The difficulty here is sliding into fatalism. For instance, if you are informed that you have cancer, it is tempting to become 'wise' and will your own death, but lots of people fight it, and win.