Friday, June 19, 2009

Preventing Metastasis - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. IX.20

Meditation IX.20 - Preventing Metastasis - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil

It is your duty to leave another's wrongful act there where it is.1


(1) This does not mean we turn a blind eye to oppression and injustice. We have a duty to name those acts, and to remedy the damage they do. Marcus cautions us here not to nurture the act by giving it more attention than it deserves. Wrongful acts are like cancers. But they need not metastasize. They will take hold and spread their contagion if accorded attention, or treated as rational. Irrationality has no permanent role in nature's plan. Irrationality is allowed by nature because we are free agents. But nature is rational, and nature will triumph. The Stoic stance toward wrong is to isolate the act, prevent its spread and to educate the agent.

Russell McNeil, PhD, is the author of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: Selections Annotated and Explained by Skylight Paths Publishing. The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book. The published selections are referenced in this Blog by page number and section.

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