Monday, March 29, 2010

"On Noise." Seneca the Younger

One-minute review: The noise outside does not matter if one’s mind is quiet. When all else fails, move.

“Voices, I think, are more inclined to distract one than general noise; noise merely fills one’s ears, battering away at them, while voices actually catch one’s attention.”

“For I force my mind to become self-absorbed….”

“There can be absolute bedlam without so long as there is no commotion within….”

“Night does not remove our worries; it brings them to the surface. All it gives us is a change in anxieties. For even when people are asleep they have dreams as troubled as their days.”

“His mind is in a ferment. It is that which needs to be set at peace.”

“The fact that the body is lying down is no reason for supposing that the mind is at peace. Rest is sometimes far from restful.”

“When great military commanders notice indiscipline among their men, they suppress it by giving them some work to do….”

“We give the impression of being in retirement and are nothing of the kind.”

The Art of the Personal Essay. Ed. Phillip Lopate. New York: Anchor Books. A Division of Random House, Inc. 1995.

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