Tag Archives: Cynicism

Stoic Serenity 3.2: The Cynics

Yesterday in Seneca’s Letter 5, Seneca desperately tried to get the point across to Lucilius that it’s not our outward appearances and actions that are important; we should focus on our motives. (Quick little comparison to Christianity; consider these two Bible verses in which Jesus is teaching):

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement…”

“…You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

(Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28)

Jesus also taught about the importance of motives. Before Jesus, people concerned themselves with “following the rules” simply for the sake of “following the rules.” They didn’t understand what was behind it. Seneca is trying to make sure Lucilius doesn’t fall prey to the same type of lesser understanding. Read more of this post

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