October 19 ~  Intention of the Giver Seneca: Life of a Stoic

"A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer." ~ Seneca

Roman philosopher and playwright Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C.-65 A.D.) was born in Córdoba, Spain to a distinguished family and was King Nero's teacher and advisor.

"As long as you live, keep learning how to live," Seneca once said.

Called "The Younger," Seneca advocated Stoicism, which celebrated virtue as the only good. Unlike most Stoics, he prefered psychology to logic.

"Nature does not bestow virtue," he said. "To be good is an art."

His philosophy emphasized the separation of soul and body. In studying human will, he believed that the virtuous man obtained self-knowledge and was independent of the external world. And he boldy examined the psychology of passions.

"The mind is never right but when it is at peace within itself," he said.

Much of his writings has survived intact, including 12 essays and 124 letters. His Moral Epistles provided a fascinating look at the daily life of Rome. His nine tragedies inspired drama in France, Italy, and Elizabethan England.

He observed, "Nothing is ours except time."

Keep your intent pure.