“…it is not men’s acts which disturb us, for those acts have their foundation in men’s ruling principles, but it is our own opinions which disturb us.” Marcus Aurelius Meditations Chapter 11
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.
Here it is: Continue reading
…and now for Rule 3 from the Nine rules:
“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
I am a man of action, leading with passionate equanimity, rational self-interest, and never forgetting the power of individual liberty. I will never forget that my wife is my queen, and I her king, and that my children are my gift to humanity. I will respect the dignity of all, but measure the character of each. I will honor my body and mind by taking care of them. I will light a candle in darkness.
The passage above is my creed. This is not some fancy introduction to something I read, it really is mine. I developed it over a period of years. Continue reading
From Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
- Bridgekeeper: “Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.”
- Sir Lancelot: “Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.”