Saturday, January 20, 2018

Commentary on Meditations: B10:9-10

Farce, war, frenzy, torpor, slavery! Day by day those sacred doctrines of yours will be wiped out, whenever you conceive and admit them untested by natural philosophy. Every perception, every action must both satisfy the circumstantial and exercise the theoretical, so that you preserve the confidence of precise knowledge in every particular - this confidence unobtrusive, but not concealed. 

Because when will you take your pleasure in simplicity? When in dignity? When in the knowledge of each individual thing - what is its essential nature, its place in the world, its natural span of existence, what are its components, to whom can it belong, who can give it and take it away?

A spider is proud to trap a fly. Men are proud of their own hunting - a hare, a sprat in the net, boars, bears, Sarmatian prisoners. If you examine their motives, are they not all bandits?

Live an examined life.  Test your assumptions.  Soon those things you have held dear or those things you have feared, will disappear.  Develop the theory of Stoic philosophy, then put it to the test.  See if the theories work in every circumstance.

There is nothing really special about hunting; it's simply theft, when you think about it.  However, I'm not entirely convinced it's bad to eat a nice, juicy, tender steak.

(see also Citadel p. 42, 48, 258, 259)

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