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How the wisdom of the ancient philosophers shapes modern coaching

Cristina Campofreddo

"In our inner journeys we walk a path that goes on forever.
Along this path we never arrive at destination.
The path leads us to new passages and makes us
cross new doors through which

we have access to innumerable rooms.
On this path anything is past.”

(Innenreisen – Bert Hellinger)

The principles of coaching meet the wisdom of the ancient philosophers.
Through an imaginary exchange of letters, Seneca the Philospher becomes the mentor of the ethical principles of modern coaching . Let yourself be guided by the words of Sofia and Seneca, let yourself be engaged and intrigued by them. You will discover that coaching is an amazing simple, direct and powerful tool, available to everyone.

January 20, 2014 A.D.

I am writing to you, respected Lucius Annaeus, separated by astronomical distance and time.
I give thanks I have met you on the road of life, albeit through the stellar energies of times, you Great Teacher.
You have followed the teachings of the Great Masters of the ancient times, marking a new path with your life. You have left your footprints on both your words and your example of a life lived through your professed ideals.

Your letters to Lucilius allow a conversation that becomes a powerful example of life. While reading them I loved your intellectual honesty and the power of your courage.
How grand it is when you say that you do not want to show the truth, but to invite people to do good!
You have not hesitated to draw from the thinking of Plato and Aristotle in an attempt to project yourself into a universal arena, becoming the master of yourself.
I soaked up your teachings like a sponge, so much so that I feel you are very close to my time.
Now, with this work, I want to tell you about my era and I want to explain what I imagine will benefit your spirit.
I am certain we can connect through the fourth dimension where all the events of our Universe exist simultaneously.

In my time, in the present day Italy and in other countries, there is a practice called ‘coaching’.
The term is unusual, I know, and it is not contained in the Latin language.
The language is English, a language spoken by a large part of the population inhabiting the world in my era. It is a very useful language which allows one to be easily understood by many different people.
I am sure you will understand that despite its beauty, it would be exhausting  for us to penetrate the millennial silence of a text in Latin.

Generally speaking, my teacher Seneca, the world has changed so much, even though men are in nature the same as those of your times.
Coaching is a useful tool to address many of these changes.
If I have to tell you why I talk about it, the reason is extraordinary and embarrassing at the same time!

After all, coaching is as if it had drawn its inspiration from one of your own famous statements:

  "There is no favourable wind for the sailor who does not know where to go"

I'm sure you will feel a subtle pleasure to see that your work is still alive and moves people towards each other.

The highest authority nowadays in this field is ICF, the International Coaching Federation.  The coaching methodology adopted by ICF provides that the customer is above all respected, both personally and professionally.
You must know that the practice of coaching helps people to focus on what is important for them in their life: from business to personal relationships.

Today it seems that people are more open to the idea of being responsible for their own lives.
Exploring and applying the meaning of these competencies, I found many similarities with your own writings and statements. Some of them are so obvious, while others seem obscured as in a hiding place.

I immersed myself in introspection, Maestro Seneca, and I felt some similarities so palpable that I’ve been taken over by a deep desire to start writing about that.
I am impatient to know if my work interests you and I do not deny that I hope we can produce some kind of work together. I will listen with humility and learn from what you send through your profound thoughts.

I greet you, dear Master, and I am waiting for a reply.
Your student