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.”
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 →