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  • Doug Belshaw 8:00 am on April 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body, , mind, ,   

    Accordingly, the happy life is the one that is in harmony with its own nature, and the only way it can be achieved is if, first, the mind is sound and constantly in possession of its sanity, and secondly, if it is brave and vigorous, and, in addition, capable of the noblest endurance, adapting to every new situation, attentive to the body and to all that affects it, but not in an anxious way, and finally, if it concerns itself with all the things that enhance life, without showing indie respect for any one of them, taking advantage of Fortune’s gifts, but not becoming their slave.

    Seneca, ‘On the Happy Life’

  • Doug Belshaw 7:00 am on March 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , mind,   

    There is a doom inorexable and a law inviolable, or there is a providence that can be merciful, or else there is a chaos that is purposeless and ungoverned. If a resistless fate, why try to struggle against it? If a providence willing to show mercy, do your best to deserve its divine succour. If a chaos undirected, give thanks that amid such stormy seas you have within you a mind at the helm. If the waters overwhelm you, let then overwhelm flesh, breath, and all else, but they will never make shipwreck of the mind

    Marcus Aurelius

  • Doug Belshaw 8:30 am on February 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Empedocles, , mind   

    You are composed of three parts: body, breath, and mind. The first two merely belong to you in the sense that you are responsible for their care; the last alone is truly yours. If, then, you put away from this real self – from your understanding, that is – everything that others do or say and everything you yourself did or said in the past, together with every anxiety about the future, and everything affecting the body or its partner breath that is outside your own control, as well as everything that swirls about you in the eddy of outward circumstance, so that the powers of your mind, kept thus aloof and unspotted from all that destiny can do, may live their own life in independence, doing what is just, consenting to what befalls, and speaking what is true – if, I say, you put away from this master-faculty of yours every such clinging attachment, and whatever lies in the years ahead or the years behind, teaching yourself to become what Empedocles calls a ‘totally rounded orb, in its own rotundity joying’, and to be concerned solely with the life which you are now living, the life of the present moment, then until death comes you will be able to pass the rest of your days in freedom from all anxiety, and in kindliness and good favour with the deity within you.

    Marcus Aurelius

  • Doug Belshaw 3:47 pm on February 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mind,   

    The business of a healthy eye is to see everything that is visible, not to demand no colour but green, for that merely marks a disordered vision. Likewise, hearing and scent, if healthy, should be alert for all kinds of sounds and odours, and a healthy stomach for all manner of meats, like a mill which accepts whatever grist it was fashioned to grind. In the same way, then, a healthy mind ought to be prepared for anything that may befall. A mind crying “O that my children may be spared,” or “O that the world might ring with praises of my every act,” is an eye craving for greenery, or a tooth craving for softness.

    Marcus Aurelius
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