Friday

August 11

ONE prayeth how he may be rid of such a one: pray thou that thou mayest so patiently bear with him, as that thou have no such need to be rid of him.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book ix. 40.

WHEN at any time thou art offended with anyone's impudence, put presently this question to thyself: What? Is it then possible, that there should not be any impudent men in the world! Certainly it is not possible. Desire not then that which is impossible. For this one (thou must think), whosoever he be, is one of those impudent ones, that the world cannot be without. So of the subtle and crafty, so of the perfidious, so of everyone that offendeth, must thou ever be ready to reason with thyself. For whilst in general thou dost thus reason with thyself, that the kind of them must needs be in the world, thou wilt be the better able to use meekness towards every particular. This also thou shalt find of very good use, upon every such occasion, presently to consider with thyself, what proper virtue nature hath furnished man with, against such a vice, or to encounter with a disposition vicious in this kind. As for example, against the unthankful, it hath given goodness and meekness, as an antidote, and so against another vicious in another kind some other peculiar faculty. And generally, is it not in thy power to instruct him better, that is in an error?

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book ix. 43.

4 comments:

  1. We must use immoral people as examples of how not to act in this life. They should become antiheroes to us, examples of the opposite of honour and good conduct. In doing this, some good comes out of the muck of their intent and acts in this life.

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  2. Yin and yang, subject and object, fire and ice, life and death...

    Can we appreciate any one without at least some understanding of the other?

    A universe of opposites; a world of choice --unknown until given definition by its other side.

    We should delight and excel in the choosing.

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  3. When you are offended by someone, remind yourself that the world contains such people, and that you have just found one. More importantly, for every offense done to you, you will find that you possess the proper virtue to respond with. If one is ungrateful, you may be magnanimous. If another is threatening, you can be courageous. If still another is biting and sarcastic, you can choose to be patient and just. These are all within your control. - Inspired by Marcus Aurelius

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  4. I always like to keep in mind the three (golden) rules mentioned by M. Aurelius (ascribed to Epictetus himself) with respect to the way how to react to any given situation. He calls it the art with respect to giving assent to one's judgments. A good reference in order to determine what responses or actions should follow one's judgment is to first make sure they are consistent with the social interests, secondly to keep away from sensual desires, and ultimately to not show aversion but to accept with courage what is not in one's power to change...

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