Sunday, December 3, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B8:10-12

Regret is a censure of yourself for missing something beneficial. The good must be something beneficial, and of concern to the wholly good person. No wholly good person would regret missing a pleasure. Therefore pleasure is neither beneficial nor a good.

What is this thing in itself, in its own constitution? What are its elements of substance and material, and of cause? What is its function in the world? What is its duration?

When you are reluctant to get up from your sleep, remind yourself that it is your constitution and man's nature to perform social acts, whereas sleep is something you share with dumb animals. Now what accords with the nature of each being is thereby the more closely related to it, the more in its essence, and indeed the more to its liking.

You should regret not having courage, integrity, being kind to others.  When you experience regret in these circumstances, it may be a good sign of your progression on becoming a good person.  A wholly good person does not regret opportunities to experience more pleasure.

Define everything; break it all down; strip it of its appearances.  Do this especially for fame, the desire to be immortal, for riches, wealth and fame.  Describe it in plain, unpolished, bare-to-the-bones terms.  You will then see its worth.  Ice cream is liquid from a cows teats, with fat and sugar.  The fat and sugars attach themselves to your body and provide low-grade energy.  A house is made of sticky dirt and rocks, with some wood, wires and plaster.

When you wake, remember you were born to be in the world - up, moving, doing, interacting, thinking, changing things.  Indeed, you and dumb animals share the attribute of 'sleep'.  Animals, when they wake, carry on for what they were designed to do: eat, grow fat, produce wool, etc.  What were you designed to do?  To be social, to partake in the great effort of changing the world.

(see also Citadel p. 286)

No comments:

Post a Comment