Saturday

July 26

IN another man's mind and understanding thy evil cannot subsist, nor in any proper temper or distemper of the natural constitution of thy body, which is but as it were the coat, or cottage of thy soul. Wherein then, but in that part of thee, wherein the conceit, and apprehension of any misery can subsist? Let not that part therefore admit any such conceit, and then all is well. Though thy body which is so near it, should either be cut or burnt, or suffer any corruption, or putrefaction, yet let that part to which it belongs to judge of these, be still at rest; that is. Let her judge this, that, whatsoever it is, that equally may happen to a wicked man, and to a good man, is neither good, nor evil. For that which happens equally to him that lives according to Nature, and to him that doth not, is neither according to nature, nor against it; and by consequence, neither good, nor bad.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book iv. 32.

3 comments:

  1. The experiences of life that are common to most, if not all, humans are indifferents. They are neither Good nor Evil they are just part of the condition of life. We must live according to Nature and when these common experiences happen realize that they are neither good, nor bad, they just are. We recognize them as such and then move past them to live the rest of our lives without dwelling on these occurrences.

    As Seneca said, "Life is long if we know how to live it."

    ReplyDelete
  2. That which happens to all people, regardless of whether they are 'good' or 'bad', is therefore not in itself good nor bad. Death, disease, poverty, as much as life, health and riches, are neither good nor evil. Somethings are to be preferred, others avoided, but never at the cost of virtue.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not sure I can add anything here. But what defines us as humans is our reason. If we only have control of aversion, opinion, or the things pertaining to our reason, it stands to reason that all else is inconsequential to true happiness and serenity. The mystical traditions all seem to say the same thing: focus on the internal and enjoy the external with freedom and indifference.
    Reminds me of Epictetus' admonition to remember that an earthen jar is just that and that knowing so will protect us from being disturbed when it breaks. the same is true of human bodies, etc. They are by nature frail and prone to death. Hence, don't be shocked when it happens.
    Gosh, I love stoicism. Just makes so much damn sense.

    Brett

    ReplyDelete