Thursday, March 1, 2018

Commentary on Meditations: B12:26

When you fret at any circumstance, you have forgotten a number of things. You have forgotten that all comes about in accordance with the nature of the Whole; that any wrong done lies with the other; further, that everything which happens was always so in the past, will be the same again in the future, and is happening now across the world; that a human being has close kinship with the whole human race - not a bond of blood or seed, but a community of mind. And you have forgotten this too, that every man's mind is god and has flowed from that source; that nothing is our own property, but even our child, our body, our very soul have come from that source; that all is as thinking makes it so; that each of us lives only the present moment, and the present moment is all we lose.

Marcus offers very sound advice when we feel our anxiety starting to rise.  At the time of this writing, this passage was particularly useful.  I arrived at work on Monday, expecting a quiet week; a week where I'd be able to work on my back log.  Instead, there were numerous issues and popped up and multiple fires to fight.  I felt the stress and anxiety creep in.  Then I came across this passage and recognized I was 'fretting.'  I remembered that whatever happens, including all these issues, was brought about in accordance with the nature of the Whole.  There was no benefit in getting all riled up and stressed out.  All that happened this week, indeed, has happened before and will happen again.  This point was driven home to me, because nine years ago, I was in a very similar situation.  Back then, I did not have the Stoic framework.  But this week I did and I was much more accepting of the situation than I was nine years ago.

If I go back twenty years ago, I recall being stressed out and homesick while I was living in a foreign country.  At that time, a good person and dear friend gave me some excellent advice.  I was focused on myself and my problem.  But he advised me that all through the country and around the world, there were other people in a similar situation as I was in.  And that if I remembered that every morning, I would not feel so lonely and feel a kinship with everyone else living through similar circumstances.

All of us humans are in this together.  We all come from god's mind, therefore every human's mind is a slice of the divine.

Lastly, we have control over our opinion and attitude.  And we get to choose what our attitude will be.  Therefore, be present and live in this very moment - be positive.

(see also Citadel p. 38-43, 113, 127, 132)

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