I was reading Seneca last night and ran across the following thought:

“For what prevents us from saying that the happy life is to have a mind that is free, lofty, fearless and steadfast – a mind that is placed beyond the reach of fear, beyond the reach of desire, that counts virtue the only good, baseness the only evil, and all else but a worthless mass of things, which come and go without increasing or diminishing the highest good, and neither subtract any part from the happy life nor add any part to it?
Human beings thus grounded must, whether they will or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since they find delight in their own resources, and desires no joys greater than their inner joys.”  -Seneca

Seneca seems to be saying something very similar to Buddha’s great statement in the Dhammapada. See what you think:

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.

“Look how he abused me and beat me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.

“Look how he abused me and beat me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Abandon such thoughts and live in love.

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.”



Finally, consider MLK’s comment:

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate,

Adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.