Bit Better Book Club 🎉

Weeks 33 and 34: On the Shortness of Life 👴

On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca

This book is one of the three great works of stoic wisdom. Together with “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius and “Discourses” by Epictetus, these are the sources from which we learn this ancient philosophy.

Stoics have inspired a lot of modern philosophers and we saw their influence in “Antifragile”, “12 Rules for Life”, and “The Obstacle is the Way”. Now it’s time to check the undistilled version so we can build our own conclusions.

While “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius didn’t really hit me, this book was a better fit. I find it oddly timeless. Similarly to Tao Te Ching, most of the contents were as relevant today as they have been during the time of writing.

I’ve highlighted a few of the paragraphs that hit me especially hard. I loved that the main premise was not that the life is too short, but rather that we waste time without realizing it.

“The busy man is busy with everything except of living” is one of the best quotes that summarize the ideas in the book.

It was also interesting to see that time and money were even back then considered to be one-way interchangeable.

@Belczu, I know you were interested in the stoic philosophy after reading “The Obstacle is the Way”. I’m curious what you have to say about this one :slight_smile:

This served as a good reminder that life is short, so do things that you love doing. There’s no point toiling to acquire things you wouldn’t enjoy for long.
My main problem with this, as with other philosophical texts I’ve read, is that the language used is unnecessarily complex (both in terms of sentence structure and words).
I found the first letter to be quite good - I’ll probably read it again next year!

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Have you found any texts that don’t use this kind of complex language?

Nope, not yet. :cry: