Sunday, April 18, 2021



The things of the world cannot affect the soul;
 they lie inert outside it, and only internal beliefs disturb it.

Nothing happens that isn’t in accord with universal nature, 
and before long you won’t exist at all, just like [your heroes]…
 fix your gaze on the matter at hand and see it for what it is,
 and then, keeping in your mind 
your obligation to be a good person 
and the demands of your humanity, 
go right ahead and do it, in the way that seems to you
 to be most just. 
But do it with kindness and modesty

describe to yourself every impression that occurs to your mind, 
so that you can clearly see what the thing is like in its entirety, 
stripped to its essence, and tell yourself its proper name 
and the names of the elements of which it consists 
and into which it will be resolved.
 Nothing is more conducive to objectivity than the ability 
methodically and honestly to test everything that you come across in life, 
and always to look at things in such a way that you consider
 what kind of part each of them plays in what kind of universe,
 and what value it has for the universe as a whole.

If you carry out every present task by following right reason assiduously, 
resolutely, and with kindness; if rather than getting distracted by irrelevancies, 
you keep your guardian spirit unspoiled and steady, 
as though you had to surrender it at any moment; 
if you engage with the task not with expectations or evasions,
but satisfied if your current performance is in accord 
with nature and if what you say and express is spoken with true  honesty, 
you’ll be living the good life. And there’s no one who can stop you doing so!
~ Marcus Aurelius
excerpts from Meditations: The Annotated Edition by Robin Waterfield
art - Light distribution on soap bubble from Le monde physique
with thanks to brainpickings