Monday, March 27, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B1.14

14. From Severus: love of family, love of truth, love of justice; to have come by his help to understand Thrasea, Helvidius, Cato, Dio, Brutus; to have conceived the idea of a balanced constitution, a commonwealth based on equality and freedom of speech, and of a monarchy which values above all the liberty of the subject; from him, too, a constant and vigorous respect for philosophy; beneficence, unstinting generosity, optimism; his confidence in the affection of his friends, his frankness with those who met with his censure, and open likes and dislikes, so that his friends did not need to guess at his wishes.

love of family - one of the center pieces of discipline of action.  we are placed with our closest friends - our family.  and we love and serve them foremost.

love of truth / justice - the only good is moral good and squared with that is the love of truth and justice.  truth is not easy; it takes time and effort to arrive at it.  and love of justice is nothing other the love of others.  the less we are centered on ourselves and more on others, the closest to justice we move.

balanced constitution ... liberty of the subject - equality and freedom of speech; pillars in our modern-day Republic.  i have just begun to read a book about cato (Rome's Last Citizen) and i don't find it surprising that marcus is appreciative of cato and how is uses his name in the same sentence as commonwealth, constitution, equality and freedom and liberty.

vigorous respect for philosophy - too many people just float through life; aimless.  letting other guide and persuade them without thought.  i would encourage everyone to come up with some philosophy, whether they study and practice one of the greek philosophies, one of the modern religious philosophies or a eastern philosophy.  then, let's have a discussion - let's talk about what your philosophy says and preaches.  let us use our reason and logic to discuss and defend our way of thinking way of life.

beneficence, unstinting generosity - learn to do good; learn to serve others.  be generous with your riches and time.  look to improve our community, our state, our nation, our world, our universe.

optimism - be positive; optimism doesn't cost a thing; you can have an optimistic attitude; you can think the best of the situation and people.

confidence ... wishes - good advice for having and keeping friends and "enemies".  be frank (forthcoming), but you don't have to be a jerk.  you can be direct with respect.  be open - you don't be have to be coy at everything - speak up, let your thoughts be known.

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