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Monday, January 11, 2016

VI. On Sharing Knowledge

"You cannot conceive what distinct progress I notice that each day brings to me. 4 And when you say: “Give me also a share in these gifts which you have found so helpful,” I reply that I am anxious to heap all these privileges upon you, and that I am glad to learn in order that I may teach. Nothing will ever please me, no matter how excellent or beneficial, if I must retain the knowledge of it to myself. And if wisdom were given me under the express condition that it must be kept hidden and not uttered, I should refuse it. No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it." - Seneca, Moral Letter to Lucilius, Book VI

On reading today's letter I was first greeted by my favourite quote from Seneca, "I feel, my dear Lucilius, that I am being not only reformed, but transformed."  This was my whole reason for studying Stoicism when I started.  That in the studying my life would be transformed.  In studying and then applying/living my lessons from Stoicism my life is being transformed on a daily basis.

Friends would see the difference in me, in my relationship with Michel, etc. and ask what made the difference.  This is how Stoic workshops were born, thestoiclife.org website and our little corner of the internet, The Foundations of Stoic Practice.  The knowledge and peace, not to mention contentment, that I experienced in embracing the Stoic way of life had to be shared.  Good friends asked our "secret" and I would be mean spirited not to share in any way that I could the wealth that I have discovered.  I continue to learn daily and share my thoughts and learnings through this blog, Musings of a Stoic Woman.  The pearls of wisdom that I uncover daily must not be selfishly hidden, sequestered away in my mind so that only I reap any benefit from them.

Wisdom is much like love in that it flourishes and blooms in the light of fellowship.  The act of sharing wisdom deepens its effect on the world around it.  I see following and teaching the Stoic pathway in Life akin to a calling.  A calling to live my life to Virtues' standard, steadily perfecting my faults, washing away the debris through study and conversation. Wisdom not shared is like a life lived in secret.  Truth cannot flourish in the dark.