Letters from a Stoic

Ranked #3 in Stoicism, Ranked #5 in Ancient Romesee more rankings.

I feel, my dear Lucilius, that I am being not only reformed, but transformed. I do not yet, however, assure myself, or indulge the hope, that there are no elements left in me which need to be changed. Of course there are many that should be made more compact, or made thinner, or be brought into greater prominence. And indeed this very fact is proof that my spirit is altered into something better, - that it can see its own faults, of which it was previously ignorant. In certain cases sick men are congratulated because they themselves have perceived that they are sick. less

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Letters from a Stoic from the world's leading experts.

Timothy Ferriss Author & EntrepreneurThis is a letter from Stoic heavyweight Seneca the Younger — who lived a mere 2,000 years or so ago — to his friend Lucilius. It’s from a collection of letters that comprise, effectively, my favorite book of all time. I’ve read it dozens of times, and I loved it so much that I turned it into The Tao of Seneca, a three-volume set of audiobooks. (Source)

Ryan Holiday AuthorAfter Marcus Aurelius, this is one of my favorite books. While Marcus wrote mainly for himself, Seneca had no trouble advising and aiding others. In fact, that was his job—he was Nero’s tutor, tasked with reducing the terrible impulses of a terrible man. His advice on grief, on wealth, on power, on religion, and on life are always there when you need them. (Source)

Massimo Pigliucci Letters to Lucilius, or The Moral Epistles, is in some ways Seneca’s philosophical testament because it conveys his mature thought. (Source)

Marin Gerov I have read and learned a lot from Stoicism and in particular, Seneca's Letters from a stoic. It is an incredible guide, an operating system for the mind (as Tim Ferriss says) to put things in perspective, how to deal with hardship, and to generally operate in life. (Source)

Jerzy Gregorek From [this book], I learned self-mastery: to constantly improve myself so I would be ready for any possible disaster. I also learned that when disaster happens, it means that something is being asked of me. I need to improve. (Source)

David Kadavy Recommends this book

Oliver Burkeman It’s important to stress that I take a completely mercenary attitude towards Stoicism, picking and choosing the bits that seem to me to be useful techniques for the present day. There are aspects of Stoicism that are very hard to stomach today. For example, the underlying principle that the universe as a whole is in some sense God, with a will or agency of its own, and that rational behaviour consists of aligning yourself with the will of the universe. (Source)

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