To continue the series of the Nine Rules from Meditations Chapter 11:
“Fifth, consider that thou dost not even understand whether men are doing wrong or not, for many things are done with a certain reference to circumstances. And in short, a man must learn a great deal to enable him to pass a correct judgement on another man’s acts.”
All men’s difficulties and perplexities are concerned with external things. ‘What am I to do?’ ‘How is it to be done?’ ‘How is it to turn out?’ ‘I fear this or that may befall me.’ All these phrases are used by persons occupied with matters outside their will.” Epictetus Discourses Book 4 Chapter 10.
There is a never-ending urge for us to focus on things external and things in the future. Don’t get me wrong, we all take care of business by managing things external, Continue reading →
I do a lot of talking about the present moment here on the site. For good reason: the present moment is where I will find true happiness. It is the only thing that is real; the past is a memory and the future is never assured… Continue reading →
“Whatever any one does or says, I must be good, just as if the gold, or the emerald, or the purple were always saying this, Whatever any one does or says, I must be emerald and keep my color.”–Marcus Aurelius Meditations Book 7
Whenever I need straightforward Stoic guidance, I turn to Marcus Aurelius. Continue reading →
“Come forward and tell us! when was your sleep more tranquil, now or before you became Caesar’s friend?
At once the answer comes, ‘Cease, by the gods I beg you, to mock at my fortune; you do not know what a miserable state is mine; no sleep comes near to me, but in comes some one to say, “Now he’s awake, now he’ll be coming out”; then troubles and cares assail me.’
Tell me, when did you dine more agreeably, now or before?
Hear again what he says about this: if he is not invited, he is distressed, and if he is invited he dines as a slave with his lord, anxious all the while for fear he should say or do something foolish.