Friday, June 12, 2009
Teamwork - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. IX.31
Meditation IX.31 - Teamwork - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil
Let there be freedom from perturbations with respect to the things which come from the external cause;1 and let there be justice in the things done by virtue of the internal cause, that is, let there be movement and action terminating in this, in social acts, for this is according to your nature.2
(1) The external cause is a reference to anything that comes to us accidentally, either from a physical source, or from an operation of nature that is not under the control of our mind. The point is that these occurrences happen to everyone. Whatever these may be, the accidents of life (good or bad) have no bearing on what we are in essence or our role in life. These things include our gender, our sexual orientation, our native talents, our place of birth, lightening strikes, winning a lottery, being a victim of violence, etc.
(2) The internal cause is the operation of our psyche or soul. This is all that matters. Nature is always just, and our psyche is an emanation of what is best in nature - the divine intelligence of the universe, Logos. The psyche is not formally an autonomous entity - although we may choose to operate autonomously because we do have free will and may - should we choose - operate outside of the universal framework. Cosmic harmony is, by definition, the product of the coordinated operation of nature's laws and our psyches are component and integrated parts of that system. This is what it means to be social. We were made for each other, and all of our acts are intended to operate in accord with and within this integrated system. When we do move in harmony with nature we are said act with virtue. When we do we are at peace - because our actions are in accord with the universal design.
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 The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book.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.