Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B8:50

A bitter cucumber? Throw it away. Brambles in the path? Go round them. That is all you need, without going on to ask, 'So why are these things in the world anyway?' That question would be laughable to a student of nature, just as any carpenter or cobbler would laugh at you if you objected to the sight of shavings or off-cuts from their work on the shop floor. Yet they have somewhere to throw their rubbish, whereas the nature of the Whole has nothing outside itself. The marvel of its craft is that it sets its own confines and recycles into itself all within them which seems to be decaying, growing old, or losing its use: and then creates afresh from this same material. This way it requires no substance other than its own, and has no need for a rubbish-dump. So it is complete in its own space, its own material, and its own craftsmanship.

I was bit by a copperhead earlier this year and this passage helped me through that ordeal (link to blog post and link to reddit post).

When viewing brambles, weeds, copperheads, etc., you must simply accept them for what they are.  Marcus does not complain about these things, rather he views them with admiration and he looks at the world as a whole - a whole system that can take care of itself.  Imagine how complex the world is with all the variety of plant and animals and it simply takes care of itself; it is self-sustaining.  Indeed, it is quite a marvel.

(see also Citadel p. 109, 258, 270)

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