In 1957, four years before his death, Carl Gustav Jung, psychiatrist and psychologist, began writing his life story. But what started as an exercise in autobiography soon morphed into an altogether more profound undertaking.
"Dr. Jung's Life Would Make A Good Movie"
Towards the end of his life, Seneca the Younger (c4 BCE-65 CE) began a correspondence with a friend in Sicily, later collected under the title The Moral Epistles. In these 124 letters, Seneca expresses, in a wise, steady and calm manner, the philosophy by which he lived - derived essentially from the Stoics. The letters deal with a variety of specific topics - often eminently practical - such as 'On Saving Time', 'On the Terrors of Death', 'On True and False Friendships', 'On Brawn and Brains' and 'On Old Age and Death'.
As former tutor and adviser to Emperor Nero, philosopher and statesman Seneca was acutely aware of how short life can be - his own life was cut short when the emperor ordered him to commit suicide (for alleged involvement in a conspiracy). And Seneca proved true to his words - his lifelong avowal to Stoicism enabled him to conduct himself with dignity to the end. During his rich and busy life, Seneca wrote a series of essays that have advised and enriched the lives of generations down to the present day.
In a ranch south of Texas, the man known as The Executioner dumps 500 body parts in metal barrels. In Brazil's biggest city, a mysterious prisoner orders hit men to gun down 41 police officers and prison guards in two days. In Southern Mexico a meth maker is venerated as a saint while enforcing Old Testament justice on his enemies. A new kind of criminal kingpin has arisen: part CEO, part terrorist, and part rock star, unleashing guerrilla attacks, strong-arming governments, and taking over much of the world's trade in narcotics, guns, and humans.
"The worst narrator for the book"
'On Anger' is one of Seneca's most important essays. At some length he investigates the nature of anger: how and why it emerges, the effect it has on the individual and those to whom it is directed, and how to manage it and prevent it even from arising. For, Seneca considers, anger simply serves no purpose - it does not bring courage in war, prevent others misbehaving or punish miscreants. In short it has a negative effect on all. In 'On Leisure' he takes a short look at what is really meant by the term.