Thursday, September 14, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B5:16

Your mind will take on the character of your most frequent thoughts: souls are dyed by thoughts. So dye your own with a succession of thoughts like these. For example: where life can be lived, so can a good life; but life can be lived in a palace; therefore a good life can be lived in a palace. Again: each creature is made in the interest of another; its course is directed to that for which it was made; its end lies in that to which its course is directed; and where its end is, there also for each is its benefit and its good. It follows that the good of a rational creature is community. It has long been shown that we are born for community - or was it not clear that inferior creatures are made in the interest of the superior, and the superior in the interest of each other? But animate is superior to inanimate, and rational to the merely animate.

This passage is fairly clear and straight-forward.

rephrased: you are what you think.

Marcus goes on to advise himself of thoughts he should repeat often.  You can live a good life anywhere if you live a life of virtue (courage, temperance, courage, justice).  It does not matter if you live in poverty or in a palace.

His second thought he repeats often to himself is, each person is made for the interest (to help) one another.  We (humans) are meant to be a community and to help each other.

(see also Citadel p. 29, 43, 103, 160, 267, 291)

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