[Quotes by Seneca]
[Ode to Joy.
Seneca even puts constraints on feeling joy. He does relinquish some of his draconian control on this topic. But “joy” to him is more akin to absence of conflicting thoughts rather than that of a child’s-Christmas-morning joy.
What I find that tempers Seneca’s oppressive views is that he realizes how strict his doctrines must be viewed: “Do you think that I am now robbing you of many pleasures when I try to do away with the gifts of chance, when I counsel the avoidance of hope, the sweetest thing that gladdens our hearts? ” — Uh, YEAH!
And he continues… “Or can one thus open his door to poverty, or hold the curb on his pleasures, or contemplate the endurance of pain? He who ponders these things in his heart is indeed full of joy; but it is not a cheerful joy.” — WHAT? Then what kind of joy are you talking about?
Ah, it’s the resolved, almost acquiescent joy of the Buddha who surrenders the frivolous joys in favor of the placid, taciturn joys of self-sufficiency.]