On the True Good

“All those who put pleasure in the highest position judge the good to be an object of the sense. We, on the other hand, who assign the good to the mind, take it to be an object of the understanding.” – Seneca, Letter 124.2

There can be no greater joy than that which stems from wisdom. No sensual pleasure can compare with the liberation of what it means to truly care. No fleeting impulse to adequately contrast the sentience of being fully aware. Neither city nor structure stands firm without excellence of mind. We are a bridge once called mankind.

We can’t help but admit that there are different kinds of goods; many of which appeal to carnal appetite as well as those which strengthen the mind. As for the betterment of the intellect we can all agree that education plays a major role. The lifelong refinement of skills remains paramount for adaptation and human flourishing. We not only have to plan & prepare, preserve & protect, but we must regularly improve upon these capacities.

“Take your reason from where it is now to its own ultimate achievement; let it grow to its fullest possible extent.” – Seneca, Letter 124.23

Reason enables one to make connections and recognize patterns. Taken all the way it’s the weaving thread by which we design and align ourselves with the cosmos. Unlike cosmetics to improve upon the appearance of beauty, the cosmos doesn’t require superfluity because it remains whole with or without our estimation of it being so.

Many of the so called good things that we add to our lives are by and large unnecessary. Quite maddening, in fact, considering how transitory we are by nature. So much of our lives are determined by conditions arising, it’s a wonder how the notion of free-will came into the picture to begin with. Even if we can find a way to sidestep the commotion there’s no telling to what degree we would end up even more entrenched in our routinization. Fortuna loves nothing more than to bewilder.

“Do not judge yourself to be happy until all your joys arise from yourself, until, after viewing the objects of human competition, covetousness, and possessiveness, you find— I will not say nothing to prefer, but nothing to set your heart on.” – Seneca, Letter 124.24

So in essence we require nothing. All these fabricated desires that make us needy and dependent on others for a false sense of wellbeing are without intrinsic goodness. What benefit is there to gain control over vast portions of the world if we deplete our ability to reason well in the process. If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then we may need to think about keeping the soil fertile instead, for excellent intentions engender excellence of mind.

About Philosopher Muse

An explorer of volition and soul, a song under a night sky and a dream that forever yearns to be.
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