‘The assaults of adversity don’t weaken the spirit of a brave man.’ – Seneca
Seneca was an amazing stoic philosopher who’s remembered for his life-changing moral essays. I read these essays to find out why most great folks love them, and I was amazed by the amazing pearls of wisdom they contained.
The best teachings from the essays are his writings on The brave man.
Seneca’s Thoughts on the Brave Man
According to Seneca, a brave man is any individual who welcomes adversity, knowing that it trains him to be a better person. This man, as Seneca writes, rejoices in adversity and fears nothing, and for this reason, he never worries about the possibility of future hardships.
As well, Seneca compares the brave man to boxers who match their strength with several, but not one opponent because they know that fighting several opponents will improve their skills. Seneca thus believes that brave men, just like boxers, seek challenges that will make them stronger.
Moreover, Seneca advises all those facing many hardships to realize that God considers them brave because he only sends hardships to brave folks. For as he writes, ‘Why is it that God afflicts the best men with ill health, or sorrow, or some other misfortune? For the same reason that in the army, the bravest men are assigned hazardous tasks.’
Seneca also believes God sends several hardships to brave men to prepare them for something big. He uses the example of fathers and their sons to prove his point. He explains how fathers make their sons toil and sweat when preparing them for something great in the future.
Fathers, as Seneca writes, ‘ensure their sons wake up early, and they never allow them to be idle during holidays, they draw from them sweat and sometimes tears’ because they want them to gather true strength that will enable them to handle what’s waiting for them in the future.
Discussions and Conclusions
For us to consider ourselves brave, we must welcome adversity and stop worrying about the possibility of future hardships. Furthermore, we must trust that Infinite Intelligence/God sends us hardships because it believes we have the power to overcome them and because it uses the hardships to prepare us for what’s ahead of us.
Apostle Paul firmly supported Seneca’s advice on hardships for he wrote in Romans 8: 18, ‘God hardens whom he wills.’ He also believed that facing many hardships indicates that God has something great for you.
Therefore, from today onwards, we must embrace hardships knowing that they are preparing us for the great things that the universe has in store for us.
Seneca & John Basore. “Seneca, Moral Essays, Volume I.” Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1 Jan. 1928.
A Summary of Pythagoras’ Secret Teachings That Were Hidden From the Public
Pythagoras, once considered a god, was an extraordinary man. Several ancient texts claim he performed miracles, used music to heal people, and possessed the ability to be in two places simultaneously. Also, it is believed that most great people and secret societies lived by his principles and teachings.
Besides, legend has it that he was assassinated by the ruling classes who feared that his secret teachings would awaken the public.
The ruling classes noticed that Pythagoras became extraordinary because his secret teachings enabled him to awaken his inner self and contact the spiritual world. For this reason, they feared that these teachings might land on the public’s hands.
I gathered some of these teachings from Thomas Stanley’s book, ‘Pythagoras, His Life, and Teachings,’ which I believe would enable the awakening of our inner abilities.
- Maintain silence for a long period of time.
- Don’t be obsessed with riches and honor.
- The Divine cannot communicate through visions and dreams to those who are governed by the love of pleasure and anger.
- Excite your soul with music when you wake up, and soften the mind with music before you sleep.
- Virtue purifies and perfects human life because it eradicates the excess of passions.
- You attain intense happiness when you have a good soul.
- The best gifts from the Divine are: speaking truth and kindness.
- Prefer the company of constructive criticizers to flatterers.
- Always think about the Divine/God.
- God is within the world and permeates everything.
- Your soul is sempiternal: eternal and non-changing
- Your soul lives several times in different living things.
- Your soul has two lives. One is within the body, and the other is outside it.
- Forget about worldly matters while worshipping or when in a sacred place.
- Avoid the way of the crowds and pursue what’s unique and holy.
- Rise above the illusion of material reality and focus on living a spiritual life.
- Strive towards a tranquil mind, and avoid anger because it lacks reason and prudence.
- Be just to all, and respect equality.
- Philosophy enables us to understand the truth, which is often hidden and hard to find.
- Practice receiving without resentment or envy.
- If you are patient and industrious, you must avoid lazy people.
- All pursuers of knowledge should only associate with the gods and the wise.
- Beware of anything that might interfere with your communication with the Divine.
- Strive to make friends with virtuous people.
- Do not do anything without reasoning.
- Avoid any action that will result in envy.
- There are many paths, but choose the path that is best for you.
- Allow yourself to be guided by the Divine.
Discussing Arthur Schopenhauer’s Shocking Thoughts on Romantic Love
According to Merriam Webster, romantic love is ‘attraction based on sexual desire, or affection felt by admiration.’ Most of us believe we fall in love because we are attracted to each other and want to be together all the time. However, Arthur Schopenhauer, the most pessimistic philosopher, had different and shocking thoughts on love.
Arthur Schopenhauer’s Thoughts On Love
Schopenhauer believed love has nothing to do with the present moment because it ensures the continuation of the human species through sex. He believed life makes us fall in love to prevent the extinction of the human race.
For as he wrote, ‘Love is of such high import, because it has nothing to do with the woe of the present individual. It has to secure the existence and special nature of the human race in future times.’
Schopenhauer believed love is our sexual instinct wearing the mask of passion and romance. This sexual instinct deceives people that they love each other so that they have sex and accomplish nature’s greatest goal: procreation.
Schopenhauer thus believed that love is only advantageous to nature even though people believe it’s beneficial to them. He argued that nature makes us attracted to qualities such as strength or beauty because it wants the best for the human species.
To prove that love is nature attempting to attain its goals, Schopenhauer provided an example of how a man’s love for his woman decreases after a while and the man gets attracted to other women so that he spreads his seed and ensures the survival of the human species. He also supported his argument by claiming that a woman’s love is constant because ‘nature compels her intuitively and unconsciously to take care of the supporter and protector of the future offspring.’
In summary, Arthur Schopenhauer believed love is life’s way of ensuring that the ‘human species is unharmed by death.’
Schopenhauer’s thoughts on love are true to some extent because romantic love usually results in sexual intercourse. Besides this, romantic love makes parents cooperate in enabling their child to have a bright future, hence securing the human race.
However, this doesn’t mean that love is an illusion. Love is real and it’s the greatest gift from Infinite Intelligence because the feeling of loving someone or being loved reduces stress, makes people happier, and enables them to take good care of themselves. Moreover, sometimes love inspires people, especially men, to pursue success so that they provide everything their spouse needs.
Anyway, what are your thoughts on love? Do you believe Schopenhauer was right? Is it true that love is an illusion and life’s way of ensuring that procreation takes place?
You are welcome to express your ideas on Schopenhauer’s thoughts on love in the comment box below.
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