Friday, March 17, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B1.8

8. From Apollonius: moral freedom, the certainty to ignore the dice of fortune, and have no other perspective, even for a moment, than that of reason alone; to be always the same man, unchanged in sudden pain, in the loss of a child, in lingering sickness; to see clearly in his living example that a man can combine intensity and relaxation; not to be impatient in explanation; the observance of a man who clearly regarded as the least of his gifts his experience and skill in communicating his philosophical insights; the lesson of how to take apparent favours from one's friends, neither compromised by them nor insensitive in their rejection.

moral freedom ... reason alone - the bookends of this statement say it all.  if you want moral freedom, use reason.  you do not have to let your fears and worries dwell on chance.  you can use your god-given faculty and reason to free your mind.

always the same man ...sickness - i long for steadiness.  i yearn to be the same in temperament all the time.  people of passion who are swayed by the slightest of moral breeze are fascinating to observe, but can be tiresome and unpredictable.  how unreliable these people can be - like dealing with a car that constantly breaks.

intensity and relaxation - admirable qualities; to be able to be that focused and intense, yet at ease on those situations.

not impatient in explanation - how appropriate in today's day and age of the "tweet"  if it can't be said in 140 characters, then it's not worth saying.  we have lost patience and focus in our age of ADD.  think on that: Attention Deficit Disorder.  we cannot focus anymore; it is a quality that is beginning to be lost.  can you sit and stay focused for hours at a time?  what about one hour?  if not, then work on becoming better!

the observance ...insights - honestly, i'm not entirely sure what to make of this part of the passage, other than it has the air of counsel about humility.

the lesson ... rejection - this passage speaks of being even-headed.  you are neither overly swayed by favors nor are you a jerk in receiving them.  you are simply graceful in gratitude.

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