Well, duh (see title). I wish I had it all wired. As I read through Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations or Epictetus’ Enchiridion, there’s a tendency for me to think that these guys had it down; like they really had their shit together. Then, I wonder, had they really reached a destination? Were they Stoically enlightened? Did each claim to be Buddha? Were they actually sages? I prefer to think of them as thinkers, writing to help themselves wrestle life…kind of like me.
I write not because Continue reading
“Wipe out imagination: check desire: extinguish appetite: keep the ruling faculty in its own power.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations Book 9
How often are we engaged in a battle within ourselves? This battle rages on we imagine worst case scenarios, while at the same time we desire for our lives to be different. Me personally, not you, I am rather content. I really have little to complain about. I reflect on this when I rest my head on my pillow. I have no physical pain usually, my eyes and ears still work, my room is not too cold, nor is it too hot (and if it were, I could adjust the temperature). My children and wife are currently healthy and relatively happy. My family seems to get along just fine.
and yet… Continue reading
“What is more, you may reflect on this thought: No one dies except on his own day. You are throwing away none of your own time; for what you leave behind does not belong to you. Farewell.” Seneca Book II, #49.
“Nor am I so mad as to crave illness; but if I must suffer illness, I shall desire that I may do nothing which shows lack of restraint, and nothing that is unmanly. The conclusion is, not that hardships are desirable, but that virtue is desirable, which enables us patiently to endure hardships.” –Seneca’s letters to Lucillius LXVII (47)
This line goes straight to what is thought of as “stoic” in the neo-modern interpretation, no? Continue reading
“There is an element of self-seeking even in our sorrow.” Seneca’s Epistles
Some might ask me why I spend so much time on such gloomy things: death, disease, loss of a friend, poverty, failure? Well, it is in these times of grief or despair, challenge and trial that we need our philosophy the most. During good times, we hardly look for guidance at all. Everything feels free and good, life just flows before us.
It is during these good times that we should reflect, Continue reading