Sunday, February 11, 2018

Commentary on Meditations: B11:19

There are four particular corruptions of the directing mind for which you must keep constant watch, and eliminate them whenever you detect them, in each case applying one of these formulas: 'This mental image is superfluous'; 'This could weaken the bond of community'; 'This would not be yourself speaking' (to say what you do not feel should be regarded as the height of contradiction). And the fourth case for self-reproach is that in which the more divine part of you loses the contest and bows to the lower, mortal part, the body and its gross pleasures.

More excellent advice from Marcus Aurelius with regard to checking our mental assumptions.  The first part is trimming out all that is not needed in thought.  Thinking about trying to influence things that are not in your control would be superfluous (unnecessary).

The second part deals with the discipline of action and any thought that would harm the community or weaken the brotherly love we have towards others.

Thirdly, our thoughts and actions and feelings ought to be aligned and in harmony.  When we say something that we do not feel, this creates discord and begins to break your integrity.

Lastly, we ought to keep our directing mind (hegemonikon) focused on virtue, rather than the pleasures.  We "lost the contest" when we give in to the "lower."  In sum, take the high road in thought and deed.

No comments:

Post a Comment