Thursday, November 9, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B7:17-19

Happiness is a benign god or divine blessing. Why then, my imagination, are you doing what you do? Go away, in the gods' name, the way you came: I have no need of you. You have come in your old habit. I am not angry with you. Only go away.

Is someone afraid of change? Well, what can ever come to be without change? Or what is dearer or closer to the nature of the Whole than change? Can you yourself take your bath, if the wood that heats it is not changed? Can you be fed, unless what you eat changes? Can any other of the benefits of life be achieved without change? Do you not see then that for you to be changed is equal, and equally necessary to the nature of the Whole?

All our bodies (being of one nature with the Whole and cooperating with it as our limbs do with each other) pass through the universal substance as through a swirling stream. How many a Chrysippus, a Socrates, an Epictetus has eternity already swallowed! This same thought should strike you about any man at all and any thing.

The first passage is another meditation by Marcus that seems a bit cryptic.  If I were to theorize what it means, it seems to be saying that we should focus less on "indifferents" making us happy.  The old habits of happiness and contentment through food, pleasure, comfort need to leave us.  Our directing mind and the ability to focus on virtue as the sole good, is what should bring us contentment.

Change is constant.  Without it, nothing could be improved.  Embrace change.  There is only one way: forward.  We can't go back and have a re-do or do-over.  We just keep evolving and changing.  And don't fall into the mindset that once "things are good" that you try to preserve it as long as you can.  No, only enjoy it for what it is and know that it will not last and that more change is on the way.

And the ultimate change?  Death.  We will be swept away into the "swirling stream" of the cosmos.  Us and everything around us.

1 comment:

  1. I️ love the part about change. It is constant. You cannot go back and re-do things so accept things as they are. Also once “things are good” enjoy it but don’t cling to it, know that it too will change and you can love your fate in every situation.