Saturday, July 16, 2016

Commentary on Meditations: B2:16

from meditations book 2:16:
The soul of a man harms itself, first and foremost, when it becomes (as far as it can) a separate growth, a sort of tumour on the universe: because to resent anything that happens is to separate oneself in revolt from Nature, which holds in collective embrace the particular natures of all other things. Secondly, when it turns away from another human being, or is even carried so far in opposition as to intend him harm - such is the case in the souls of those gripped by anger. A soul harms itself, thirdly, when it gives in to pleasure or pain. Fourthly, whenever it dissimulates, doing or saying anything feigned or false. Fifthly, whenever it fails to direct any of its own actions or impulses to a goal, but acts at random, without conscious attention - whereas even the most trivial action should be undertaken in reference to the end. And the end for rational creatures is to follow the reason and the rule of that most venerable archetype of a governing state - the Universe.
in summary, the five key points to remember are:

  1. amor fati; do not resent your lot in life, rather love your unique circumstance and perspective
  2. love others
  3. do not assent to pleasure and pain
  4. be a genuine person
  5. act with reason; have a goal in mind whenever you act; be conscious - do not act like an animal