Friday, May 26, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B3:7

Never regard as a benefit to yourself anything which will force you at some point to break your faith, to leave integrity behind, to hate, suspect, or curse another, to dissemble, to covet anything needing the secrecy of walls and drapes. A man who has put first his own mind and divinity, and worships the supremacy of the god within him, makes no drama of his life, no handwringing, no craving for solitude or crowds: most of all, his will be a life of neither pursuit nor avoidance, and it is of no remote concern to him whether he will retain the bodily envelope of his soul for a longer or a shorter time. Even if release must come here and now, he will depart as easily as he would perform any other act that admits of integrity and decency. Throughout all his life his one precaution is that his mind should not shift to a state without affinity to a rational and social being.

For this passage, I will take the advice Marcus gives to himself and make it an affirmative statement.

Have faith. Embrace integrity. Love.  Give others the benefit of the doubt.  Praise another.  Be transparent (without guile).  To not want anything that has to be kept behind closed doors or secret.

The rest of the passage speaks of what a sage would look like.  There is no drama, no anxiety, no wanting to escape, no seeking of pleasures nor avoidance of pain.  He does not care when his last day is - he does not grasp at his life because he lives every day to the fullest and always acts with integrity and decency (he has no regrets, no death-bed repentance).

His only concern or fear is that he ceases to act as a rational and social being.

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