Going to Space

I have a question: what does going to space mean for the rest of the world? What does a billionaires vanity project do for the greater good? What moral goodness can be found in shooting oneself up into orbit in a phallic shaped vehicle?

I heard a fun fact today that the $5billion spent on Jeff Bezos’ afternoon activity lasted only 10 minutes. The same amount of money could have secured vaccinations for 2 billion people. What else could that have done? Solved the national debt? Put millions of homeless people into long term housing, end the water crisis?

Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, I have little admiration or respect for either of them.

So, you can go into space, what now?

Are you fulfilled? Are you happy?

What makes me happy: the thought of a home cooked meal and a snuggle on the sofa watching trash TV like millions of others at a push. Yet I suppose if I let myself, I could be miserable doing that. Who needs to go to space to feel truly content? How alone must one feel to be so intensely dedicated to insular causes.

“What sort of people they wish to please! And what kind of actions are the means of their success! How quickly time will cover everything – and how much is covered already.” – Meditations 6.59

Reflecting on that, how long will it take for the history books to look back at 2021, see the suffering and turmoil and see the men who could have been injecting hope and prosperity. Instead, they see these tycoons of industry shoot themselves into the upper atmosphere to see all those below like specks not the peers, kin, fellow beings of the same Whole that they are.

Never before in human history have beings been able to accumulate such wealth and technological luxury. Has it been so easy to be so callous and tone deaf? And yes, I am fully aware of the French Revolution, I’m not suggesting we eat the rich. I’m pointing out the enormity of social responsibility that comes with such masses of power.

Unless of course, we want to live in a society where it is everyone for themselves. A kind of insular living where we build our castles and watch the world burn from the battlements, sipping champagne.

Perhaps my philosophy is skewed by my generation and politics. Yet, I accept those biases and see them for what they are which is an idealism to ensure that we live for each other harmoniously not callously for ourselves.

What would I do with such money? What would you do?

Becoming so bored and tired in our lives, clasping onto our gold like Smaug in his mountain, would we go to space?

Can I truly say that I would be any better?

I suppose a better question is, what makes you happy? Is it yourself and what you have or admiration and what you don’t have?

“Take your joy in simplicity, in integrity, in indifference to all that falls between virtue and vice. Love mankind. Follow god. Democritus says, ‘All else is subject to the law of convention: only elements are the absolute real’, but enough for you to remember that all is subject to law. Precepts reduced to the very few.” – Meditations 7.31

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Quick Quote Post: 13

Today saw the departure of dear colleagues and I must admit, I had to refrain from hugging anyone to stop myself from crying in front of 100 people. I know, I know, not very stoic. That being said, I am an empath, so to stop myself from succumbing to a collective despair and nostalgic melancholy, measures had to be taken. I recalled a few lines of Marcus Aurelius and became rigid in composure neither falling to ecstasy or despair. What despair is there? Three valued colleagues who have mentored and befriended me are retiring and due to spent the next few decades with a well-deserved respite from years of solid graft. What’s the tragedy? There is only celebrations surely at the closing of a chapter and welcoming of a reward.

“Somethings are hurrying into being, others are hurrying to be gone, and part of that which is being born is already extinguished. Flows and changes are constantly renewing the world, just as the ceaseless passage of time makes eternity ever young. In this river, then, where can there be no foothold, what should anyone prize of all that races past him? It is as if he were to begin ro fancy one of the little sparrows that fly past – but already it is gone from his sight. Indeed this is the nature of our very lives – as transient as the exhalation of vapour from the blood or a breath drawn from the air. No different from a single breath taken in and returned to the air, something which we do every moment, no different is the giving back of your whole power of breathing – acquired at your birth just yesterday or thereabouts – to that world from which you first drew it.” – Meditations 6.15

And another, to round off the thought:

“There is nothing to value in transpiring like plants of breathing in like cattle and wild creatures; nothing in taking the stamp of sense impressions of jerking to the puppet-strings of impulse; nothing in herding together or taking food – this last is not better than voiding the wastes of that food. What, then, is to be valued? Applause? No. Not therefore the applause of tongues either: the praise of the masses is the mere rattle of tongues. So you have jettisoned trivial glory too. What remains to be valued? To my mind, it is to act or refrain from action according to our own proper constitution, something to which skills and crafts show the way. Every craft seeks to make its product suit the purpose for which it is produced: this is the aim of the gardener, the vine-dresser, the breaker of horses, the dog-trainer. And what is the end to which the training of children and their teaching strives? So this is the true value: and if this is firmly held, you will not be set on acquiring any of the other things for yourself. Will you not then cease to value much else besides? Otherwise you will not be free or self-sufficient or devoid of passion: you will need to be envious and jealous to suspect those who have the power to deprive you of these things, and to intrigue against people who poses what you value. In short, anyone who feels the need of any of these things is necessarily sullied, and what is more je will often be driven to blame the gods too. But reverence of your own mind and the value you give to it will make you acceptable to yourself, in harmony with your fellows, and consonant with the gods – that is, praising all that they assign and have dispensed.” – 6.16

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Command of the Self

So I started reading The Art of War by the Chinese master tactician Sun Tzu. While the first few pages have been an enjoyable and interesting read so far, something keenly caught my attention.

“Command is

Wisdom,

Integrity,

Compassion,

Courage,

Severity.” – The Art of War, Chapter One

So far, I’ve seen that Sun Tzu’s philosophy, despite being on war, is primarily Taoist in nature (unless I’ve missed the point), something that’s highlighted by Jia Lin in the follow extract:

“An excess of wisdom can lead to rebellion; untempered compassion can cause weakness; absolute integrity can cause folly; brute courage can produce violence; excessive severity can be cruel. All five virtues must be present together in a general; each must play its role.”

For the rest of my readings, I shall be interchanging the term “general” with “sage” as the Taoist sense or “junzi” in the Confucian sense or simply “stoic“. Of course the commentary and the intended meaning applies on the surface to warfare, something those terms to do not go hand in hand with but no one ever said that Marcus Aurelius was one to shy from wars.

Here, I find the principles related directly to the self rather than blanket qualities of a military commander. For example wisdom is a necessity of life and a part of philosophical growth, and like Jia Lin says, too much can cause rebellion. In this sense, the rebellion will come from the alienation of the world around you if you retreat too far into the centre of you. Integrity is a key concept of stoicism and humanity yet a inflexible position will make your soul brittle to change – a natural part of the Whole. Compassion is a necessity for unity and wholeness yet like Seneca said, and in agreement with Jia Lin, the person who trusts everyone and opens their heart to everyone is just as vulnerable and at risk than someone who trusts no one and opens their heart to no one. Courage to do what is right and be confident in self is an essential part of becoming a fully developed person both generally and philosophically but there is a fine line easily crossed that turns courage into recklessness and confidence into arrogance. When it comes to severity, it is true we should be severe with ourselves and hold ourselves to a high standard but also temper that with understanding and empathy, similarly with others. In fact I would argue, that severity walks hand in hand with conviction and when they let go of each other, either can be flimsy or toxic.

As I progress through The Art of War I hope further my understanding of tactical applications to the self. In the 21st Century, I suppose unless you are actually on the battlefield there is little to worry about in way of command and conflict. Then again, what was it that Marcus Aurelius said?

“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in that it stands ready for what comes and is not thrown by the unforeseen.” – Meditations 7.61

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Painful Perspectives

So I’ve discovered or rather rediscovered my complicated relationship with gluten. It causes stomach cramps, constipation and a lot of pain in the lower abdomen and back that made me double over. In fact it was so bad that I spent the first hour of my working day itching for my next toilet break like a secret crack addict. On my way out I explained my symptoms to a colleague who made the connection that my experience sounded a lot like period pain.

“How do women do this every month? It’s just not realistic?” – Z

“Ok so think, whenever you speak to a woman or someone who is biologically female, think that any of them could be going through what you’re going through now and have been for years.” – X

Amazing isn’t it, the little things that we seem to forget to be grateful for, even down to our own biology. I wasn’t ignorant of the problem before yet this painful perspective was something that I needed to hear to quit my literal bellyaching and shut up.

It was my physical pain of the day followed by a test of emotional pain. With truths being revealed that not was all perfect as I had envisioned – my own failing. A relationship on hold or not at all existing to begin with has me asking where was the purpose? All things have purpose and all things come from the Whole so to this end where is the purpose of such tests? For the other party, a lesson in what could be and for me a test on what could be with neither thing coming to fruition for perhaps the point of this connection was just that and nothing more.

Of course, I wasn’t so gracious about it and needed a nap and a few glasses of Fireball to contemplate the purpose of Fate’s plan. Fate asking: do you love me? Of course, but also fuck you – there was a nicer way to do that. But obviously, what does Fate care? It conspires to protect us all as a friend once told me but it teaches painful lessons most efficiently with a ruthlessness that tests each of our convictions and philosophies. It’s a thing that brings us perspective after the fact and leads to such conclusions so unsatisfactory at the time – much like the season finale of Loki – yet only in reflection can be appreciated for what it was. I’m not sure if I’m there yet with the acceptance and smile to give to Fate. I mean, yes of course, thank you so much for the medicine but it tasted like shit so I’m still a little salty.

I think that’s fair for us all to be like that in our philosophy. One day I will look back on this and ask why I wasn’t more accepting immediately and stoic immediately like the Stoics on Reddit would love to see. Yet I don’t think it’s about that. Are we to be as harsh with our own growth as Fate is?

There are some key stoic lessons to take from my day at least, some key quotes of reminder and reflection to take into tomorrow, at least with a begrudging smile.

“It is ridiculous not to escape from one’s own vices, which is possible, while trying to escape the vices of others, which is impossible.” – Meditations 7.71

“Mere things stand isolated outside our doors, with no knowledge or report of themselves. What then reports on them? Our directing mind.” – 9.15

“That all is as thinking makes it so. – and you control your thinking. So remove your judgements whenever you wish an there is calm – as the sailor rounding the cape finds smooth water and the welcome of a waveless bay.” – 12.22

Needless to say, the copy of Meditations on my bed side table is battered and covered in scribbles by this point.

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The Last 14 Days

For the last 10 of 14 days that I’ve been absent from writing I was in COVID isolation.

I found it entirely ironic that three days after being vaccinated (for the first jab), that I was asked to isolated for ten days due to secondary contact. Thankfully I was negative with each test yet strangely, I found the experience not entirely unpleasant. Aside from the looming threat of muscle atrophy in my legs, there was little to worry about. There was nothing for me to complain even without philosophy and little need to reflect or pause on anything that caused worry. What was there to worry about? Either I was positive or negative and in either case, I’d still be in my room watching Criminal Minds and having meals delivered at my door. There was no need to pause and quote, no need to feel anything other than apathy for the situation even perhaps gratitude to the universe for the time off.

I thought to myself, what need was there to write? What need was there to share this until it is over? So I held off and put down my books and laptop for a time to focus on the simple pleasures of just being. I made choices and found clarity in a departure from a situation that grounded me: being my roleplay guild and the people in it. One day, a minor conflict had me asking myself why I was doing this, why I was bothering and what use was the energy I put into the one-way and increasingly strained relationships. So I just let go and felt the weight lift. Of course, I felt a little guilty about leaving behind people to deal with it, leaving them to their own devices and own situations yet those things would have happened with or without me. It’s almost as if a level of optimistic nihilism about my presence in the eyes of people and things I put so much effort into left me relaxed without a reference to Aurelius.

So I cut someone off, blocked and dipped out of there, why? Why walk away?

Honestly I don’t know. Something just said that it was time. It was time to walk away and time to let a thing pass on. It’s like the quote about grapes (full disclosure, I’m without my books to refer to right now): unripe, ripe, plucked and pruned.

While one thing passes to obscurity and the nebulous mists of the past, another thing comes into being, a wish fulfilment of a connection. It’s almost as if the universe exists in a balance – who’d have thought? It’s a connection that has been brewing in the background for weeks now and as the time draws closer to what will be a rather casual meeting at a Wetherspoons, the heart chakra feels a unique pull. Here, in this situation, not my own within COVID prison, it was like Fate was testing me, and us. First, the date was cancelled as this person was placed in isolation, second was my own and thirdly was a hospital trip. It was like we were being made to wait and develop a connection. Ironically, throughout this time we streamed Too Hot To Handle. As someone who has been known for a short attention span and issues with commitment, it seemed almost a perfect examination of my own readiness for a real thing. Here we are, six weeks in and thing have seemed to aligned finally. Even my own changing living situation has brought us closer together geographically. Perhaps then, in these days off, a pause on life, is a gift from fate to reorganize and see clearly what I want, need and what I don’t want and need.

Amor fati.

Have I missed writing? No, honestly. And it’s not a negative thing to say that because in the end, a break was what I needed. It was holistic. And, in the event that I did have COVID, I would have been tested further on my resolve and readiness in philosophy.

I was reading more of Seneca’s writings recently and he spoke about testing oneself by sleeping on the floor once a month and going without. I’ve probably mentioned it before but it seems like a time without the luxuries of 2021 – even with shitty internet connection from my back bedroom -, has done it’s job as intended. Yet even then, it wasn’t much of a test.

“Lying on you back, getting fed nutrients through a tube? It’s my idea of a fucking holiday.” – Malcom Tucker, The Thick of It, Season 3, Episode 1

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Adaptations

Charles Darwin once said:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change.”

Actually, it wasn’t Darwin at all it was supposedly Leon C. Megginson supposedly, well does it matter? It was quite the rabbit hole I fell into just then for a simple quote to sloppily introduce my writing. Interesting, nonetheless and a testament to the blurring of time and memory and perception.

Today I found myself at a crossroads where I can chose to adapt strategies to circumstances to detach myself from them, abandoning promises and obligations not only to others but to myself. I was seen as snappy in my approach at work with these things, blunt and to the point with a no nonsense attitude while in fact, I felt myself being clear and concise. In my personal life, I have developed a new role within my little corner of cyberspace for myself, working in away better suited until I am able to re-join the community at large. These scenarios are rather vague, of course but they also slot into, for me, my experience of the past week or so as a period of change and adaption with rather rapid effect.

Within 20 minutes on Saturday afternoon, I had moved house, for example.

These things may have had an effect on my body, of course. I am exhausted and live off coffee more than ever, awaiting a biological and neurochemical adaptation of body clock to compensate. Yet, my mind, the directing source and soul is clear and flexible. Of course I will not lie, in the moment of these instances I was far from a still lake but we follow the advices:

“Withdraw into yourself. It is in the nature of the rational and directing mind to be self-content with acting rightly and the calm it thereby enjoys.” – Meditations 7.28

… And then, you will see

“A deep scowl on the face is contrary to nature, and when it becomes habitual expressiveness begins to die or is finally extinguished beyond rekindling. Try to attend this very point, that this is something against reason. In the field of moral behaviour, if even the consciousness of doing wrong is lost, what reason is there left for living?” – Meditations 7.24

It’s a fluid thing, our emotions, our responses and ultimately adaptations. If we are rigid in our experience then we will become brittle in our minds and philosophies prone to shattering. But this fluidity is not to be some uncontrolled ever thundering waterfall or busted damn holding back an overfilled lake. Think of the coral reefs and their carefully maintained ecosystems within an endless expanse of simply vastness. Not one clown fish will ever remain.

The clown fish will one day grow legs and then maybe a tail, then maybe lose that tail and so on.

I’d say, rather shamelessly that my recent experiences – or perhaps it’s always been this way with me – can be summed up with one gif:

The first gif on my blog

And, I’m not entirely unhappy to say that this gif, out of context with the rest of the film Hercules, is the sum total of my progress along the Path to date. My own emotions adapting to the philosophies and the circumstances to which they are applied. It’s tangible and real evolution and I love it.

Amor fati.

We all adapt, we all change and even in the fastest of situations and most changeable of days, we adapt all the same. After all, if we don’t adapt, what becomes of us?

Just ask the woolly mammoth.

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The Calm After A Storm

When talking about having a crisis or some form of disruption, people always speak about the calm before a storm but never after. There is this grand presumption that the new equilibrium will not be just as harmonious as the old, if not more so. As I’m sitting here, in my new surroundings, feeling quite contented and calm, there is a new sound sense of clarity after my own hurricane.

Even the changes of plans and expectations of them have almost no burden on me, almost as if from this chaos I can see clearly again. It’s liberating and refreshing. Perhaps less stoically, I needed to let off some steam and say “fuck” a lot to get it out of my system.

Yet, today I faced several challenges that would linger just a little. From the professional anxieties and stresses to the one of nearly missing the bus to my new home, being stuck in the rain with a bag of clothes. There was nothing. Not a flicker of stress or worry or panic. It was as if this change, this event perhaps brought by the summer solstice itself, has renewed me. Maybe I’m being overly verbose to say simple: I feel good.

What does this mean? What else does it mean than another example of learning and progressing past trials of the spirit? Strangely, in this new situation that I find myself in, it’s more practical to my currents needs than I ever would have realized had these events not happened. In this calm, there is clarity and tranquillity. True these are very early days into this new gentler weather pattern but I’m not seeing a single grey cloud on the horizon.

I was asked today what I thought about Matt Hancock and his recent scandal. Honestly, I could not care less. Yet for the life of me, I can’t find to why I couldn’t care. This national scandal which exposes hypocrisy and the ludicrous pedestals of the elite should be something that I react to as my peers have done, no? But there’s nothing and my calm of today is uninterrupted.

I was faced with another challenge: a sudden change of plans based on strangers assuming the worst of my indentions and morals. Yet, we see through this and see that there is nothing inherently incomprehensible nor complex about the impressions. The calm was again, undisturbed.

I’m going to have to watch this phenomena like a hawk and myself. But perhaps, in all my wonderings, musings and patting myself on the back for a good job at not getting pissed off, the simplest explanation is that this is the new equilibrium. Within an equilibrium, all things are balanced and as they should be with equality and equity. I feel it now: equality, equity and balance of the self.

Three days ago, where I am right now would not have been considered yet fate had other plans, and I am so glad and grateful that I simply accepted those plans. I love those plans.

Love the plans set in motion for you.

“The universe conspires to protect you.” – X

Amor fati.

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Landslide of the Mind

I have experienced a landslide of the mind.

The summer solstice has brought some rather challenging upheaval and with it came a test of my philosophy that I did not pass. Or rather I did pass, in seeing my own anger in itself at a situation. I slapped a bannister, if you can imagine, a bit like how I would be slapping my forehead against a brick wall – or rather it seemed like I was doing that with my words. It was a landslide of emotions that I’ve spoken of before. In my line of work, I see lots of minor experiments with pressure and aluminium cans and this felt oddly familiar. In the moments after, as the dust settled and my life had been relocated and shifted with such fated force, I realized the futility of the emotion of it all.

Despite everything, the person I blame for the upheaval of my living situation is myself in my reaction to it all. I did the right thing, and stood my ground for something I believed in with conviction yet my emotional response was a failing. Where a thing needed a tempered level of apathy, I popped like a shook up coke can.

The situation is inconsequential, of course. I am the only one to blame for my own emotions and reactions to stimuli considering all my talk of philosophy and what not.

“You need to sort that temper out.” – X

Of course I do, hence my philosophy in training. Of course being temperamental is probably the only impression I’ve given this week considering the two incidents. Is this what my philosophy boils down to? Losing my temper when pushed to it’s limit, with familial bonds being pushed to the edge of my own reason?

I’ve been told that I did the right thing and that I’m not in the wrong and that it was understandable, how I reacted. Yet, I cannot understand myself. It feels like a disservice to the self in the end my own standards. I am grateful to the support I received but in the end the only person who’s opinion matters on the intricacies of my own mind is me, and I failed myself. In the stoic sense, it’s a lesson for me to learn from and move on. I’ve already moved on quite literally to another accommodation and foresee myself here for some time, at least 3 weeks. But, that, in the end, inconsequential to the philosophy within.

“My soul, will you ever be good, simple, individual, bare, brighter than the body that covers you? Will you ever taste the disposition to love and affection? Will you ever be complete and free of need, missing nothing, desiring nothing live or lifeless for the enjoyment of pleasure? Or time for longer enjoyment, or amenity, space and climate? Or good company? No, will you not rather be satisfied with your present state and take pleasure in all that is presently yours? Will you not convince yourself that all your experience comes from the gods, that all is well and all will be well for you, all that the gods see fit to give you, now and hereafter, in the maintenance of that perfect Being which is good and just and beautiful, which generate all things, sustains and contains all things, embraces all things as they dissolve into the generations of others like them? Will you ever such as to share the society of gods and men without any criticism of them or condemnation by them?” – Meditations 10.1

For now, the focus, is as ever, the moment and moving forward in the moment. It’s all I have in my control now, and all I will ever have – until the time it isn’t and then, will be time to learn once more.

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County Lines

This post was recovered, thought lost.

I was in a seminar today about county lines crime. This is a phenomena in the UK where criminal organizations recruit young people to deal and run drugs in different counties to evade the police. The lack of police centralization in the past allowed this process to flourish similarly to state line crossing crime in the US. The Met Police identified this and created a unified County Lines protocol to connect the various forces and constabularies across the country to identify criminal activity.

The speak from the St Giles charity, spoke about the reality of the hype behind the glamour of a gang. In media, rappers sing in their gilded mansions about living in the trap house and dealing cocaine with girls in bikinis. The reality of course, being dilapidated flats, bare mattresses, drug using squatters and a life of abject suffering. It amazed me to think about the heroes of our time – the icons we hold up. There is no shame in enjoying the art of artists but we take their fantasies as realities. For example, celebrities like 6ix9ine who young people idolize for reasons purely due to the glitz of it all. With lyrics like those sang about drug dealing, as the speaker said today, when you’re making 200k per performance would anyone still deal drugs with the sole purpose of making money? It just wouldn’t compare.

The County Lines strategy is a exploitation of young people thanks to the greed of others and a culture of fame and the age of celebrity. Everyone wants to be a gangster. Who doesn’t? Gangster’s or gang members have money, respect, power, sex. What do the people they exploit have in the material? They are too young or too impressionable to understand the greater truths of the Way.

“In comparative ranking of sins, applying philosophy to the common man’s distinctions, Theophrastus says that offences of lust are gravers than those of anger: because it is clearly some sort of pain and involuntary spasm which drives the angry man to abandon reason, whereas the lust-led offender has given in to pleasure ad seems somehow more abandoned and less manly in his wrongdoing.” – Meditations 2.10

Of course, by manly, we are talking about here in line with what is morally fitting within our nature as human beings.

By all accounts those targeted are victims of the pleasures of another. Rather predictably, the pleasures of wealth, power and fame feeding on the raw desperate emotions of those less financially able. It’s a story as old as time just with a new branding and a new label. Like the workhouses of the Industrial Revolution putting children to work as cheap disposable labour, so has history repeated itself at the hands of equally contemptable individuals.

What do we learn from this? The cult of celebrity and fame is a fallacy? That glamour sells tickets not realities? That pleasures feed on others to be able to be truly satiated? We can live in golden houses from our ill gotten gains for what? For the houses to be torn down and our names forgotten in three short generations with only a legacy of pain.

“In years to come if you chose this life thinking it’s all going to be alright and you’re sat in your prison cell on the phone to your mum, don’t tell her nobody told you. When people are outside your door kicking it in to steal your trainers, canteen, beat you up for a laugh. Don’t tell her nobody told you it’d be like that because this is it now. And nobody cares. You’re in prison, you’re replaceable to these people. That’s how they work.” – X

On reflection of this, reflect on the following:

“On death. Either dispersal, if we are atoms: or, if we are a unity, extinction or a change of home.

On pain. Unbearable pain carries us off: chronic pain can be borne. The mind preserves its own serenity by withdrawal, and the directing reason is not impaired by pain. It is for the parts injured by the pain to protest if they can.

On fame. Look at their minds, the nature of their thought and what they seek to avoid. And see how, just as drifting sands constantly overlay the previous sand, so in our lives what we once did is very quickly covered over by subsequent layers.” – Meditations 7.32,33,34

Under the layers of sand, in the perceptions of our pain and the dispersal of atoms, what makes the life of a gilded cage a thing to idolize more than the humble sage? What kind of icons do we produce? What kind of society do we cultivate and attitudes in the young to make them susceptible to the vices of the immoral?

Think about that with every breath and step you take, each with the common good in mind.

Z3N0

St Giles Trust

Quick Quote Post: 12

Today I found myself at a loss, trying to understand the motivations of other people in both my professional and personal sphere. I found myself wanting answers locked within minds that I would never be able to access. So of course, I look to my handbook and guide:

“Do not look around at the directing minds of other people, but keep looking straight ahead to where nature leading you – both universal nature, in what happens to you, and your own nature, in what you must do yourself. Every creature must do what follows from its own constitution. Every creature must do what follows from its own constitution. The rest of creation is constituted to serve rational beings (just as in everything else the lower exists for the higher), but rational beings are here to serve each other. So the main principle in man’s constitution is the social. The second is resistance to the promptings of the flesh. It is the specific property of rational beings and intelligent by the activity of the senses or impulses: both these are of the animal order, and it is the aim of intelligent activity to be sovereign over them and never yield them the mastery – and rightly so, as it is the very nature of intelligence to put all these things to its own use. The third element in a rational constitution is judgement unhurried and deceived. So let your directing mind hold fast to these principles and follow the straight road ahead: then it has what belongs to it.” – Meditations 7.55

Things are as they are and will be as they will be. Worrying about the nature of this and that is a fallacy and slows us down on the path. We can’t walk properly looking back or looking about. We look forward, fall forward and walk forward. This is The Way.

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