Letters To A Young Contrarian Quotes
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Thrasea Paetus was born in 14 AD, the same year that the first Roman Emperor Augustus died. It is now six years since Cato The Younger bled on the side of The Roman Republic. In Thrasea’s Rome at that time, for the most part, the old stories of the Republic – freedom, the main thing – were old stories. They allowed what Rome had become – a government of autocratic and arbitrary power.
Letters To A Young Contrarian Quotes
Thrasea’s preconceived notions made him unable to accept what Rome had become. He developed a love for history and philosophy. It may have started before he knew or thought to separate them because the images of the Republic lived on far away from Thrasea. As he grew older, he grew more and more fascinated by how Rome had moved away from the world he had read about. Like Seneca, he pursued a senatorial career in an effort to shake the Senate from this tyranny. His rise through the ranks coincided with the emperor Nero’s continued and murderous rise in violence.
Love, Poverty And War: Journeys And Essays: Hitchens, Christopher: 9781838952341: Amazon.com: Books
Most of Thrasea’s friends chose to go and socialize. The response to Nero killing his mother in 59 AD is telling. Thrasea’s fellow senators decided to give their master honor for what he had done. Entered a choice of Thrasea, disgusting, not related. Refusal to vote today was a senatorial strategy, but Thrasea’s resignation left no doubt. He accused her of opposing Nero and plotting Nero’s life. In the year 63 AD, Thrasea evaluated the possibility of changing the state that it was not and went away. In 65 AD, Nero received the advice of Thrasea and his fellow rebels (known as The Stoic Opposition), who proceeded to exterminate the enemy. Nero sought and found a good reason to give Thrasea the death penalty. Thrasea wrote directly to Nero with two questions: What were the charges and when was the trial? Nero could not believe in the free will of an innocent man. Nero sent his goons to immediately deliver the death order. Thrasea welcomed them into her home without hesitation. “Nero can kill me,” he said, “but he can’t hurt me.”
The veins on both his hands were opened. As he bled, he said to Nero’s assistants, “You were born in times when it is necessary to strengthen the soul with examples of courage.”
Seneca, in his letters to Lucilius, urged him to choose a model that would give him a chance to live:
“Elect yourself a Cato…Elect a man whose manner of life and words, and whose countenance is like that of the nature that lies behind him, you have won your favor .Always refer to him as a mentor or a role model. In my opinion there is a need for someone as a standard by which our subjects can measure themselves. If not a A king who works against you will not go astray.
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According to Plutarch, from childhood Thrasea chose Cato as her Cato. The Stoics often talk about studying the lives of “great ones.” Why? Learn what to do and what not to do. Be motivated by their good deeds for the public good, be threatened by their own feelings and beliefs, and lead this experience to personal victories.
Find yourself a Cato or use it as an example of what to be and not to be. Study them hard – today and tomorrow and forever – and then, when you find yourself in a difficult situation, let their example guide you.
The current misconceptions – that Stoicism is “abandoned”, that the Stoics do not mix and the idea of political opposition – will be a surprise to many tyrants and oppressors who found themselves in conflict with the Stoics over the centuries. Thrasea’s resistance to Nero’s tyranny was a constant drain on his empire. And as it happened, Nero did not immediately destroy Thrasea. The opposition in the Senate, which Thrasea had devoted his career to trying to create, was longer than he had realized. Nero’s support gradually waned, but after Thrasea’s assassination, it collapsed. He woke up one morning to find that his guards had left their jobs. He noticed that his watch was ticking. Instead of waiting to be arrested, he grabbed a knife and stabbed himself in the neck.
About a century later, in the opening pages of Meditations, the emperor Marcus Aurelius described his gratitude, “for I met Thrasea, Helvidius, Cato, Dion and Brutus, and a company was born of equal laws, governed by equality and justice, and rulers who valued the freedom of their subjects above all else.
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Thrasea’s refusal to accept injustice, to accept the status quo, to kowtow to those who wanted him to bow to the government set in motion a train of events that led to change. He introduced the style of Stoicism. His strength of faith is that he, one person, can change history. His sense of duty and reason cannot do anything but stand up. His example continues to remind us of those who have the power to change the world, regardless of how tight or how big their enemies are.
Martin Luther King Jr. captured it well. “When men and women straighten their backs up,” he said, “they’re going somewhere, because a man can’t ride on your back it will bend.” We are all fighting for something, trying to change the power to straighten up, stand up, refuse to roll over. Thrasea used that power. Do you want?
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Dog owners know that if you give them food and water and shelter and love, they think you’re a god. Although cat owners are forced to understand that if you give them food and water and shelter and love, they will eventually attract. . . Read more -Christopher Hitchens
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To scare children with the image of hell, to think of women as inferior work – is it good for the world? -Christopher Hitchens
Everyone has a book inside of them, but in most cases that’s where it stays. -Christopher Hitchens
Be careful of thinking, but it’s tempting. Let go of the ‘transcendent’ and everything that invites you to degrade and destroy yourself. Trust in love; want honor for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid of pride and selfishness. Picture all the smart people as if they were mammals. . . . Read more -Christopher Hitchens
The basis of free thinking is not what it thinks, but what it thinks. -Christopher Hitchens
Who Is Thrasea Paetus? An Introduction To Nero’s Fearless Opponent
We continue to be told that religion, despite its flaws, at least includes justice. Either way, there is solid evidence that the case is the case and that belief makes people more opinionated, more selfish, and above all, more ignorant. -Christopher Hitchensis no longer supports older versions of your browser in order to protect user data. Please update to the latest version.
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Letters To A Young Poet By Rainer Maria Rilke
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