Thursday, February 15, 2018

Commentary on Meditations: B11:28-33

Think of Socrates in his underclothes when Xanthippe had gone out with his coat: and what he said to his friends retiring in embarrassment when they saw the state of his dress.

In writing and reading you must learn before you can teach. Yet more so in life.

'You were born a slave: you have no voice.'

'And the heart within me laughed.'

'They will pour scorn on virtue and sting with their abuse.'

Only a madman looks for figs in winter: just as mad to hope for a child when the time of this gift is past.

In these five chapters, Marcus writes a couple of thoughts along with some quotes from previous Stoics.

The first one is a thought about Socrates.  It is a bit cryptic, but seems to allude that Socrates felt no embarrassment about his natural state.

In the second one, the idea is to learn to walk before you run; to learn to read and write before teaching others.  Therefore, one should learn to live (learn philosophy) before actually living.

In chapter 30, a reminder that we are all slaves.

In chapter 31, another cryptic one - perhaps a laugh at all the vain ambitions of others; and being content with knowing the Truth.

In chapter 32, contempt for those who do not think virtue is the sole good.

In chapter 33, another reminder of the realities of age.  There is a time for when figs are ripe and ready to eat; similarly, there is a time for bearing and raising children ... when you are too old, the time has past.  Amor fati; don't grasp for something out of your control.

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