Séneca Sobre la felicitat (cap. III)

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La vida feliz es, por tanto, la que está conforme con su naturaleza, lo cual no puede suceder más que si, primero, el alma está sana y en constante posesión de su salud; en segundo lugar, si es enérgica y ardiente, magnánima y paciente, adaptable a las circunstancias, cuidadosa sin angustia de su cuerpo y de lo que le pertenece, atenta a las demás cosas que sirven para la vida, sin admirarse de ninguna; si usa de los dones de la fortuna, sin ser esclava de ellos. Comprendes, aunque no lo añadiera, que de ello nace una constante tranquilidad y libertad, una vez alejadas las cosas que nos irritan o nos aterran; pues en lugar de los placeres y de esos goces mezquinos y frágiles, dañosos aún en el mismo desorden, nos viene una gran alegría inquebrantable y constante, y al mismo tiempo la paz y la armonía del alma, y la magnanimidad con la dulzura, pues toda ferocidad procede de debilidad.

 

A happy life, therefore, is one which is in accordance with its own. nature, and cannot be brought about unless in the first place the mind be sound and remain so without interruption, and next, be bold and vigorous, enduring all things with most admirable courage, suited to the times in which it lives, careful of the body and its appurtenances, yet not troublesomely careful. It must also set due value upon all the things which adorn our lives, without over-estimating any one of them, and must be able to enjoy the bounty of Fortune without becoming her slave. You understand without my mentioning it that an unbroken calm and freedom ensue, when we have driven away all those things which either excite us or alarm us: for in the place of sensual pleasures and and [sic] those slight perishable matters which are connected with the basest crimes, we thus gain an immense, unchangeable, equable joy, together with peace, calmness and greatness of mind, and kindliness: for all savageness is a sign of weakness.

 

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