The subject and reflections on Lucius Aeneas Seneca’s Moral Letters to Lucilius are certainly a vast source of wisdom. An inexhaustible resource of philosophical insight and moral teachings. An unshakable foundation and basis for building a worldview, but also for upgrading the personality and self-improvement.
Dedicating our time to this work of philosophical art, we cannot ignore the 32nd letter of them. It is exciting and interesting, precisely because it emphasizes progress as part of a person’s personality, or in other words, personal development. This irreversible process, which is a concomitant part of the life cycle of each of us. But where does it begin and where does it end?
Quite a large percentage of people interpret and understand the beginning of personal development as a path to success, by acquiring more knowledge, skills, and “tricks” to communicate with people around us. But this is absolutely wrong. If you do not know yourself, how would you be able to get to know the world around you, see its essence, and follow the path of progress? It is like trying to put together a puzzle, but half of it is missing.
The essence of the idea is rooted in this first and foremost to look into yourself, to peek into the depths of your subconscious. There you will find the answers to some of the most important questions, namely what makes you behave in a certain way, what makes you say the things you say, what are your basic habits of behavior that dictate your lifestyle.
Truths about ourselves are hidden in the subconscious. Things that we might not like or approve of in others, but allow them to control our lives in one way or another. The more we know and learn what is in our subconscious, the more aware we become. By transferring control from the subconscious to the conscious, we understand what and who our personality really is. Knowing what impulses move you, who you are and whether you live according to the true longings of your soul is the first step to personal development. The one that each of us must take at some point in order to achieve a higher form of consciousness.
If we look up the meaning of the word “progress” in the dictionary, we will see that its meaning is characterized as moving forward, improving in the process of development; improvement. Achieving such a level of self-knowledge is remarkable progress, it is moving in the direction of self-improvement. Only when we have the answer to the question “Who am I?” we can try to change those elements of our personality, that hinder us on the path we have chosen to follow. We will also gain a better understanding of the world around us and the way it works. When we reach this point, it is extremely important that we do not allow ourselves to become subject to foreign influences.
Everyone has heard at least once in their life the words “You have changed. I used to like you more before”. Then we wondered if the choices we had made were the right ones for us. But the question is not who likes what in you, but what you like and what you don’t like about yourself. Seneca says, “ And much harm is done even by one who holds you back, especially since life is so short; and we make it still shorter by our unsteadiness, by making ever fresh beginnings at life, now one and immediately another. We break up life into little bits, and fritter it away. “
One of the most important things we need to realize is that we need to stick to the people in our lives who inspire us, make us better, and challenge us on a daily basis. The people who make us feel as if time is not passing and the clock has stopped for us are the ones with whom our contacts should be kept to a minimum. Or as Seneca addresses Lucilius, “ I am not afraid lest they work a change in you; but I am afraid lest they may hinder your progress. “