Seneca On True & False Friendship

Friendship2
Source: Brainpickings.org
Maria Popova
May 19, 2017

“Friendship is unnecessary,” C.S. Lewis wrote, “like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself… it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” Darwinian caveats aside, the truth of this beautiful sentiment resonates deeply for anyone whose life has been enriched or even saved by the existence of a genuine friend. And yet today, as we face the commodification of the word “friend,” what do we even mean — what should we mean — by this once-sacred term, now vacated of meaning by chronic misuse?

That’s what the great first-century Roman philosopher Seneca examines in a series of correspondence with his friend Lucilius Junior, later published as Letters from a Stoic (public library) — the indispensable trove of wisdom that gave us Seneca’s famous letter on overcoming fear and inoculating yourself against misfortune.

seneca

Eighteen centuries before Emerson wrote in his meditation on the two pillars of friendship that “a friend is a person with whom [one] may be sincere,” Seneca considers the uses and misuses of the term in a magnificent letter titled “On True and False Friendship”:

If you consider any man a friend whom you do not trust as you trust yourself, you are mightily mistaken and you do not sufficiently understand what true friendship means… When friendship is settled, you must trust; before friendship is formed, you must pass judgment. Those persons indeed put last first and confound their duties, who … judge a man after they have made him their friend, instead of making him their friend after they have judged him. Ponder for a long time whether you shall admit a given person to your friendship; but when you have decided to admit him, welcome him with all your heart and soul. Speak as boldly with him as with yourself… Regard him as loyal and you will make him loyal.

In another letter, titled “On Philosophy and Friendship,” Seneca examines the common bases upon which friendships are formed and admonishes against the tendency, particularly common today, toward seeing others as utilitarian tools that help advance one’s personal goals. Observing that some people form so-called friendships by estimating how much a potential friend can help them in a moment of need, he writes:

He who regards himself only, and enters upon friendships for this reason, reckons wrongly. The end will be like the beginning: he has made friends with one who might assist him out of bondage; at the first rattle of the chain such a friend will desert him. These are the so-called “fair-weather” friendships; one who is chosen for the sake of utility will be satisfactory only so long as he is useful. Hence prosperous men are blockaded by troops of friends; but those who have failed stand amid vast loneliness their friends fleeing from the very crisis which is to test their worth. Hence, also, we notice those many shameful cases of persons who, through fear, desert or betray. The beginning and the end cannot but harmonize. He who begins to be your friend because it pays will also cease because it pays. A man will be attracted by some reward offered in exchange for his friendship, if he be attracted by aught in friendship other than friendship itself.

With an eye to such arrangements of convenience and favor, which he condemns as “a bargain and not a friendship,” Seneca adds:

One who seeks friendship for favourable occasions, strips it of all its nobility.

My visual taxonomy of the four levels of platonic relationships

In another letter, Seneca cautions against mistaking flattery for friendship — an admonition all the more urgent today, in the Age of Likes, when the forms of flattery and the channels of positive reinforcement have proliferated to a disorienting degree:

How closely flattery resembles friendship! It not only apes friendship, but outdoes it, passing it in the race; with wide-open and indulgent ears it is welcomed and sinks to the depths of the heart, and it is pleasing precisely wherein it does harm.

He turns the beam of his wisdom toward the only valid and noble reason for forming a friendship:

For what purpose, then, do I make a man my friend? In order to have someone for whom I may die, whom I may follow into exile, against whose death I may stake my own life, and pay the pledge, too.

Illustration by Maurice Sendak from a vintage ode to friendship by Janice May Udry

In another letter, Seneca suggests that such genuine friendship extends its rewards beyond the personal realm and becomes the civilizational glue that holds humanity together:

Friendship produces between us a partnership in all our interests. There is no such thing as good or bad fortune for the individual; we live in common. And no one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbour, if you would live for yourself. This fellowship, maintained with scrupulous care, which makes us mingle as men with our fellow-men and holds that the human race have certain rights in common, is also of great help in cherishing the more intimate fellowship which is based on friendship… For he that has much in common with a fellow-man will have all things in common with a friend.

Letters from a Stoic remains a timelessly rewarding read. Complement this particular portion with Eudora Welty on friendship as an evolutionary mechanism for language, Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue on the ancient Celtic ideal of friendship, and the epistolary record of Mozart and Haydn’s beautiful and selfless friendship, then revisit Seneca on the antidote to the shortness of life and the key to resilience in the face of loss.

Read More At: BrainPickings.org

50 #Quotes On #Health

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TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 15, 2017

Having recently done some research on health after some unforeseen circumstances, and after finding some noteworthy quotes in some books about optimal health, I thought it prudent to share the quotes I have collated overtime.

Most quotes are directly related to health, while others could be applied indirectly.

“Natural Forces within us are the true healers of disease.”
– Hippocrates

“Doctors give drugs of which they know little, into bodies, of which they know less, for diseases of which they know nothing at all.”
– Voltaire

“He who takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skill of the physician.”
– Chinese Proverb

“One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive.  The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.”
– Hieroglyph In Egyptian Tomb

“Health is not valued till sickness comes.”
– Thomas Fuller

“Leave your drugs in a chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”
– Hippocrates

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”
– Thomas Carlyle

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.  If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
– Buddha

“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
– Ann Wigmore

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.”
– Dalai Lama

“Any food that requires enhancing by the use of chemical substances should in no way be considered a food.”
– John H. Tobe

“It is increasingly observed that the majority of pharmaceutical drugs, even those believed to have minimal adverse effects, such as proton-pump inhibitors and anti-hypertensives, in fact adversely affect immune development and functions and are most likely are deleterious to micribiota.”
– Stig Bengmark, MD, PhD, “Gut Micribiota, Immune Development and Function,” Pharmacological Research 69 (March 2013): 87-113

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”
– Thomas Edison

“Learning is the beginning of wealth.  Learning is the beginning of health.  Learning is the beginning of spirituality.  Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.”
– Jim Rohn

“You can’t poison a body into wellness.”
– Catherine J. Frompovich

“Modern medicine is a negation of health. It isn’t organized to serve human health, but only itself, an institution. It makes more people sick than it heals.”
– Ivan Illic 

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.”
– Irish Proverb

“Psychiatric diagnosis still relies exclusively on fallible subjective judgments rather than objective biological tests.”
– Dr. Allen Frances, author of Saving Normal

“Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.  There are a great many foodlike items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food…stay away from these.”
– Michael Pollan, “Unhappy Meals,” New York Times, Jan 28, 2007

“Pharmaceutical treatment has, thus far, failed to inhibit the tsunami of endemic diseases spreading around the world, and no new tools are in sight.  Dramatic alterations, in direction of a paleolithic-like lifestyle and food habits, seem to be the only alternative with the potential to control the present escalating crisis.”
– Stig Bengmark, MD, PhD, “Gut Microbiota, Immune Development and Function,” Pharmacological Research 69 (March 2013): 87-113

“I will not follow where the path may lead; instead I will go where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Muriel Strode

“Probably as much as 75% of the medicine of sickness is unnecessary and its cost can be avoided.”
–  Dr. Ghislaine Lanctot, Author Of The Medical Mafia

“In fact, I am certain, there has never been a doctor anywhere, at any time, in any country, at any period in history who ever healed anything.  Each person’s healer is within.”
– Marlo Morgan, Mutant Messages Down Under

” One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.”
William Osler, M.D.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
– William James

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
– Gandhi

“Laughter is the best medicine.”
-Proverb

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
– Buddha

“It is not an exaggeration to say that gut health is everything.  The health of your gut has a profound effect on your overall health.”
– Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., The Paleo Approach

“Improving the quality, duration, and timing of your sleep is one of the single most powerful interventions you can make to improve your health.”
– Chris Kresser, Your Personal Paleo Code

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”
– Plato

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
– Albert Einstein

“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading.  I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Sickness comes on horseback, but departs on foot.”
– Dutch Proverb

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
– Confucius

“Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering – an image of death.”
– Buddha

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
– Confucius

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
-Voltaire

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle

I think it’s absolutely criminal to give mercury to an infant.”
– Boyd Haley, Ph.D., Chemistry Department Chair, University of Kentucky

“The first wealth is health.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.”
– Common Sense

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
– Proverb

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food.”
– Hippocrates

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to profoundly sick society.”
– Krishnamurti

“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.”
– Shakespeare

“From the bitterness of disease man learns the sweetness of health.”
– Catalan Proverb

“He who takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skill of his doctors.”
– Chinese Proverb

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

The Individual & His Future

DareToBeDIfferent!

Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com
Jon Rappoport
December 6, 2016

“It’s instructive to read what authors wrote about core values a hundred or two hundred years ago, because then you can appreciate what has happened to the culture of a nation. You can grasp the enormous influence of planned propaganda, which changes minds, builds new consensus, and exiles certain disruptive thinkers to the margins of society. You can see what has been painted over, with great intent, in order to promote tyranny that proclaims a greater good for all.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

Here I present several statements about the individual, written in 19th century America. The authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and James Fenimore Cooper were prominent figures. Emerson, in his time, was the most famous.

“All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.” James Fenimore Cooper

“The less government we have, the better, — the fewer laws, and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of [by] formal Government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The former generations…sacrificed uniformly the citizen to the State. The modern mind believed that the nation existed for the individual, for the guardianship and education of every man. This idea, roughly written in revolutions and national movements, in the mind of the philosopher had far more precision; the individual is the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau

“They [conformists] think society wiser than their soul, and know not that one soul, and their soul, is wiser than the whole world…Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members….Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist…. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you imagine, today, any of these statements gaining traction in the public mind, much less the mainstream media?

Immediately, there would be virulent pushback, on the grounds that unfettered individualism equals brutal greed, equals (hated) capitalism, equals inhumane indifference to the plight of the less fortunate, equals callous disregard for the needs of the group.

The 19th-century men who wrote those assertions would be viewed with hostile suspicion, as potential criminals, as potential “anti-government” outliers who should go on a list. They might have terrorist tendencies.

Contemporary analysis of the individual goes much further than this.

Case in point: Peter Collero, of the department of sociology, Western Oregon University, has written a book titled: The Myth of Individualism: How Social Forces Shape Our Lives:

“Most people today believe that an individual is a person with an independent and distinct identification. This, however, is a myth.”

Callero is claiming there aren’t individuals to begin with. They’re a group.

This downgrading of the individual human spirit is remarkable, but it is not the exception. There are many, many people today who would agree (without comprehending what they are talking about) that the individual does not exist. They would agree because, to take the opposite position would set them on a path toward admitting that each individual has independent power—and thus they would violate a sacred proscription of political correctness.

These are the extreme conformists Emerson was referring to a century and a half ago.

Unable to partake in anything resembling clear thought, such people salute the flag of the Collective, blithely assuming it means “whatever is best for everyone.” Such questions as “who defines ‘best’” and “who engineers this outcome” are beyond their capacity to consider. They rest their proud case in vagueness.

Without realizing it, they are tools of a program. They’re foot soldiers in a ceaseless campaign to promote collectivism (dictatorship from the top) under the guise of equality.

Let me repeat one of Emerson’s statements: “The antidote to this abuse of [by] formal Government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual.” The corollary: If there is no widespread growth of individuals and their independent thoughts, actions, and moral consciousness, if they don’t widen their horizons and spheres of influence, then in the long run what check is there on government?

Demeaning the individual is, in fact, an intentional operation designed to keep government power intact and expand its range.

Consider this question: If all opposition to overbearing, intrusive, and illegitimate government were contained in organized groups, and if there were no independent “Emersonian” individuals, what would be the outcome?

In the long term, those groups would stagnate and fail in their missions. They would be co-opted by government. Eventually, all such groups would be viewed as “special needs” cases, requiring “intervention” to “help them.”

That is a future without promise, without reason, without imagination, without life-force.

That is why the individual remains vital; above, beyond, and through any blizzard of propaganda.

“Art is individualism, and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value. For what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine.” Oscar Wilde. The Soul of Man under Socialism (1891)

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.