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Alan Ross  Alan Ross is offline
Join Date: 23 Dec 2006
Location: California USA
Posts: 862
Alan Ross 

Originally Posted by Lyric
We're not someone lacking an arm if we don't have someone else. We may be lonely. We may hear a biological clock ticking regarding having children. We may be sexually frustrated. But we're not incomplete as we are.
I think the point that Seneca was making is that we have a choice. If we lose an arm we can be miserable about it the rest of our lives, or we can be okay with it and not allow it to be an impediment to happiness. The same is true when we are alone. We can be miserable about it or we can be okay with it. Our choice.

The lack of a significant other doesn't have to prevent us from finding fulfillment in other ways. I'm sure none of us would choose to be without a special someone in our life, just as none of us would choose to be without one of our limbs. Missing neither makes us, the person we are inside, incomplete.

I tracked down the specific quote. It actually mentions an eye and a hand, not an arm. But hey, a body part is a body part, although some parts I would rather do without than others . Here it is:

"Nevertheless, he [the wise man] desires friends, neighbours, and associates, no matter how much he is sufficient unto himself. And mark how self-sufficient he is; for on occasion he can be content with a part of himself. If he lose a hand through disease or war, or if some accident puts out one or both of his eyes, he will be satisfied with what is left, taking as much pleasure in his impaired and maimed body as he took when it was sound. But while he does not pine for these parts if they are missing, he prefers not to lose them. In this sense the wise man is self-sufficient, that he can do without friends, not that he desires to do without them."
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