Often we think that if we can’t have a certain thing we will be crushed. Other times we may think that if our life does not go a certain way, we will not be happy. In fact, there may be things in our lives that seem like misfortune, when in fact they are a turning point that leads something even greater. That, I think is why grasping for an “if only…then I’ll be happy” is such a mistake.
There is a story that runs in Zen circles, normally it goes by the title of “Maybe.” It is appropriate in describing how we shouldn’t judge whether something is fortune and fortune.
OK, I have not been posting like I would like to. The fact of the matter is that I have some irons in the fire, and writing has been scarce. I will get back to it soon. Hopefully, regularly starting in December.
In the meantime, I’ve “modernized” this passage from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations Book 12. Simply beautiful and wise: Continue reading →
“Fourth, consider that thou also doest many things wrong, and that thou art a man like others; and even if thou dost abstain from certain faults, still thou hast the disposition to commit them, though either through cowardice, or concern about reputation, or some such mean motive, thou dost abstain from such faults.”Marcus Aurelius Meditations Book 11
Why am I good? Why do I tell the truth, refrain from stealing, act polite with those I can’t stand. Why am I faithful to my wife? Is it primarily because I fear the consequences? Continue reading →
“Third, that if men do rightly what they do, we ought not to be displeased; but if they do not right, it is plain that they do so involuntarily and in ignorance. For as every soul is unwillingly deprived of the truth, so also is it unwillingly deprived of the power of behaving to each man according to his deserts. Accordingly men are pained when they are called unjust, ungrateful, and greedy, and in a word wrong-doers to their neighbours.” The Meditations Chapter 11 Continue reading →
“These are the properties of the rational soul: it sees itself, analyses itself, and makes itself such as it chooses; the fruit which it bears itself enjoys- for the fruits of plants and that in animals which corresponds to fruits others enjoy- it obtains its own end, wherever the limit of life may be fixed. Not as in a dance and in a play and in such like things, where the whole action is incomplete, if anything cuts it short; but in every part and wherever it may be stopped, it makes what has been set before it full and complete, so that it can say, I have what is my own. And further Continue reading →