The ninth essay from Lucius Annaeus Seneca.
The work opens with Serenus asking Seneca for counsel, and this request for help takes the form of a medical consultation. Serenus explains that he feels agitated and in a state of unstable immobility, "As if I were on a boat that doesn't move forward and is tossed about." Seneca uses the dialogue to address an issue that cropped up many times in his life: the desire for a life of contemplation and the need for active political engagement. Seneca argues that the goal of a tranquil mind can be achieved by being flexible and seeking a middle way between the two extremes.
Translation by Aubrey Stewart and produced by Vox Stoica
Seneca's Essays Series:
1. Of providence—addressed to Lucilius
2. On the Firmness of the Wise Man—addressed to Serenus
3-5. Of Anger (Books 1-3)—addressed to his brother Novatus
6. Of Consolation—addressed to Marcia
7. Of a Happy Life—addressed to Gallio
8. Of Leisure—addressed to Serenus
9. Of Tranquillity of Mind—addressed to Serenus
10. On the Shortness of Life—addressed to Paulinus
11. Of Consolation—addressed to Polybius
12. Of Consolation—addressed to Helvia