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On Brawn & Brains

Seneca equates studying philosophy with "being well". Without philosophy, the mind is exposed to all types of negative influences and loses its center. While it's true a strong body cannot make up for a weak mind, it is still necessary to exercist the body to some degree. Become a supporter of this podcast: https://anchor.fm/jwnradiohour/support


On The Reasons For Withdrawing From The World

We live in an uncertain world, but Seneca believes we can protect ourselves from most troubles by taking refuge in philosophy. While it is true that there are philosophers like Cato who fought valiantly against a supposed threat, there are a great many others who withdrew from public life for the purpose of improving the human race.


On Groundless Fears

Seneca famously says to Lucilius that "we suffer more often in imagination than reality." In other words, most of what we fear is completely unfounded. We allow ourselves to get worked up over something that most likely won't happen. In any case, we should prepare ourselves not only for the best but expect the worst. From there, there's nothing that could catch us by surprise because we have already accepted both extremes.


On Old Age

Seneca is reminded of his advancing years when he visits his old country-place. He sees a tree that he planted with his own hands begin to wither and die, even while under constant care. Life is better enjoyed when we are nearing the end, but it would be wise for all of us to treat each day as if it were our last.


On The Blush of Modesty

There are some things that wisdom can remove from us, like unruly passions and fears, and there are others that stay with us no matter how advanced we are in attaining. The blush is one of those things and it arises in both old and young people alike. Seneca tells Lucilius that "Whatever is assigned to us by the terms of our birth and the blend in our constitutions, will stick with us, no matter how hard or how long the soul may have tried to master itself. "


On Living To Oneself

Seneca tells Lucilius to "avoid the many, avoid the few, avoid even the individual." He believes that only thoughtful people can be trusted with themselves, while the majority of people would find themselves in dangerous company if they were left alone. He further instructs him to call boldly upon God for a sound mind, and then body. Both of them are things which do not belong to another.


On Philosophy & Friendship

In today's episode, we're bringing you Letter 9 - On Philosophy & Friendship, from Moral Letters to Lucilius. Seneca eloquently explains the difference between the wise man according to Stoics, from the wise man according to the Epicureans. According to the Stoics, the wise man is self-sufficient with or without friends but has a natural desire for them. The Stoic's wise man seeks friendship because it is a good in itself while Epicurean's wise man see friends as a means to an end.


On The Philosopher's Seclusion

In today's episode, we're bringing you Letter 8 from Moral Letters to Lucilius. In this letter, Seneca explains to Lucilius why he encourages him to leave his public affairs and retreat into himself. Seneca admits that it had taken himself a while to find the "right" path and now in his old age, he encourages others to follow the path he found later in life.


On Crowds

In today's episode, we bring you Letter 7, On Crowds, from Moral Letters to Lucilius by Seneca. According to Seneca, if there's one thing to be avoided, it would be large gatherings of people, better known as crowds. He even believes that those with supreme moral integrity like Socrates or Cato would succumb to a crowd that was unlike them. Instead of hanging with the crowd, Seneca advises Lucilius to find someone whom he can improve as well as those who can help improve him.


On Sharing Knowledge

In today's episode, we bring you Letter 6 from Moral Letters to Lucilius from Seneca. In this letter, Seneca stresses the importance of sharing knowledge with others. All men are born into this world and are destined to die. During our time on Earth, we will face similar problems which can be circumvented through the use of wisdom. And it is within our power to share our wisdom with others and help the world towards a better path.


On The Philosopher's Mean

In today's episode, we're bringing you Letter 5 - On The Philosopher's Mean, from Moral Letters to Lucilius by Seneca. Seneca instructs Lucilius that he should find a happy medium between being one of the people and being a sage. An ideal philosopher lies between these two extremes where they retain the common touch but people can still admire him for the kind of character that he has.


On The Terrors Of Death

In today's episode, we bring you Letter 4 - On The Terrors of Death, from Moral Letters to Lucilius. In this letter, Seneca instructs Lucilius on the importance of scorning Death if one wishes to live a tranquil and peaceful life. This is highlighted by him saying, "No man can have a peaceful life who thinks too much about lengthening it, or believes that living through many consulships is a great blessing". Living for a long time isn't always a blessing, and dying before expected isn't...


On True And False Friendship

In today's episode, we bring you Letter 3 from Moral Letters to Lucilius by Seneca. In this letter, Seneca explains what a true friend is and what it entails. In a nutshell, a true friend is someone that accepts you for who you are and is willing to be there for you even when it's not favorable to do so. A false friend is a friend for personal gain and will abandon you at the first sign of trouble.


On Discursiveness In Reading

In today's episode, we will be listening to Letter 2 from Moral Letters to Lucilius. In this letter, Seneca instructs Lucilius on the importance of reading a few select authors, rather than reading a large and varied amount. He even goes so far to say that the reading of many books is a distraction and it does us more harm than good to be acquainted with many authors over thoroughly digesting just a handful of them.


On Saving Time

In today's episode of JWN Radio Hour, we have Letter 1 from Moral Letters to Lucilius by Seneca. In this letter, Seneca stresses the importance of time and how we waste most of it without even realizing it. When you stop to think about it, time is the only thing that we actually possess. Everything else can and will get taken from us.


Essay On Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

In today's episode of JWN Radio Hour, we are bringing you an Essay on the ancient Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. This essay originally appeared in The Library of The World's Best Literature Ancient and Modern, written by James Fraser Gluck.


A Guide To Stoicism

In this episode of JWN Radio Hour, we're bringing you the complete audiobook of A Guide To Stoicism, by St. George William Joseph Stock. If you're brand-new to the philosophy, then this is an excellent book to listen to if you want a general understanding of the basic ideas of Stoicism. In a nutshell, Stoicism is a Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium. It is a distant relative of the Cynic philosophy, without the extreme asceticism and has been practiced by both emperors and...


Enchiridion by Epictetus

In today's episode, we bring you the full-length audiobook of Enchiridion by Epictetus. Epictetus is ranked as one of the "Big Three" of Stoic philosophy, alongside Seneca The Younger, and Marcus Aurelius (my personal favorite). Although no known writings of Epictetus has survived, we do have his teachings distilled in the form of two books written by Arrian, a student of Epictetus. I've personally listened to this audiobook many times myself and I hope that you get value from this as well.


On Learning To Love What You Want...

In our final part of On The Simple Science Of Invincibility, we discuss learning to love what you want and the habits that lead to what you want. Even though we saved this for last, it's still vitally important because, without a burning desire for the things we want, we will not have the fortitude to pursue our goals despite the obstacles we come across. Besides having a burning desire, you must equally embrace the necessary steps it will take to achieve your goal. Anything worth having...


On Observing, Recognizing, And Acting In The World

In part 5 of On The Simple Science Of Invincibility, we dive into the concept of observing, recognizing, and acting in the world. Observing is being able to look at things objectively. Many people get lost in their own personal fantasies and imagine the world to be other than what it is. Once you're able to see things clearly, you can recognize opportunities and act on them.