“…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
“Sixth, consider when thou art much vexed or grieved, that man’s life is only a moment, and after a short time we are all laid out dead.” Meditations Chapter 11 Rule #6
Nothing says Merry Christmas like contemplating my death. Continue reading
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.”
Consider this. You see a man entering a window in a house Continue reading
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
This is fourth in a series of nine. The first is here.
“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