(Seneca, Epistulae Morales, 14.9)
The thief passes by the naked man (one who has nothing); even on a busy street
(think NY, LA, ATL rush hour) there is peace for the poor man.
(pron = NOO-doom LAH-troh trahns-MIT-tit eh-tee-ahm ihn ohb-SES-sah WEE-ah
POW-peh-ree pahks ehst)
Comment: We might say otherwise--if you MUST have something, then it already
has you. So goes the "thief", he or she who is compelled to have, to possess,
to obtain, at whatever cost. The compulsion to have something blinds the thief
to everything else, even the naked and destitute on the street.
And the naked and destitute (we might say--he or she who has nothing else to
lose) are at peace, even on the busiest of highways. There is nothing to cling
to. Peace is all that is left.
This line from Seneca leaves me wondering over my own interiors. What "must" I
have? Who are those that I don't see? What do I cling to? Are there moments
when I cling to nothing, let it all go, and experience peace? Someone who is a
wise "finger pointing" in my life suggested to me once that if I will observe
the rising and the falling of my breath, I would notice the space in between
the breaths. And there, for that moment, I would need nothing. I would be at
It's very little, very major step. Peace has to start somewhere.
(Used with permission)
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