No one is saying you’re not smart. No one is saying that you aren’t pretty well-versed in philosophy. You might even be the most informed out of all of us.
But that doesn’t change the fact that education is a process. It’s not something you do once. It doesn’t stop, no matter who you are or were.
Imagine how incredible it must have been, the day that Epictetus was teaching in Nicopolis when there was a commotion in the back of the room as a student had arrived late. Who was it? It was Hadrian, the emperor. Imagine being Pompey and stopping in to learn from Posidonius on multiple occasions. Marcus Aurelius kept Rusticus, his philosophy instructor, close by so he could always have someone to discuss problems and ideas with. Even as an old man, Marcus visited the home of Sextus, another philosopher, to learn all the things that he did not yet know.
For the Stoics, Stoicism was an ongoing process. It was a journey. Wisdom wasn’t something you obtained, or something that was conferred upon you after some given amount of time. Wisdom was something that was pursued. You never arrived at a “final destination,” because something new would always come up. You never mastered material either, because, as Marcus said, everything is constantly changing. That’s why Seneca recommended we linger and revisit the works of the greats over and over and over again.
Remember this: You have not graduated. School is not out for summer. No, school is life, and it’s a daily thing. You must keep learning. You must keep studying. You must keep investing in your education. You must always pursue wisdom, like your life depends on it..
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