No one is crushed by Fortune, unless they are first deceived by Her… those who aren’t pompous in good times, don't have their bubbles burst with change. Against either circumstance, the stable person keeps their rational soul invincible, for it’s precisely in the good times they prove their strength against adversity.”
Seneca, On Consolation of Helvia, 5.4b, 5b-6
He wasn’t broken by loss, even though it stung and was inconvenient, he continued to fight for his rights and fortunes to be restored. I think it’s worth mentioning that he won the cases to be reinstated as a full citizen, all right, privileges, and fortunes returned. He won them over and over. Why? Because he wasn’t deceived by the blessings and benefits that Fortune gives us, and as such, never became broken. He was never a slave to his fortune, it was only a tool for him. He never saw himself as less-than without it.
As an aside, today’s above quote was taken from a missive Seneca sent to his mother, Helvia, during one of his many times of exile and destitution, for like any good mother, she worried. He was telling her, to use our more modern vernacular, “I’ve got this. I’m not Fortune’s bitch. I’ll be home soon.”
He was trying to comfort her by saying he was strong, no matter where he was in the world, and no matter how rich or poor he was. The good life, he was trying to tell her, is not rooted in the blessings of Fortune.
He didn’t declare his life’s purpose to be chasing after Fortune’s blessing… unlike some of the most wealthy among us in today’s world. It seems like they’re deluded and deceived by Fortune, and believe that more deception and delusion can free them from Her snares…
… but the snares are not Her snares. They’re our own.
Fortune, like a hammer, or knife, or flashlight, is a tool with a purpose. That’s all.
That’s right… I don’t think the pitfalls are Fortune’s traps. I think that Fortune simply is. It’s our relationship to F/fortune that defines Her/it. The snares are born from our ego. Fortune is what fortune is… our ego, or lack thereof, is what brings the clarity or cloudiness.
(See y’all tomorrow)