Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Think - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. VIII.02
Meditation VIII.02 - Think - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil
On the occasion of every act ask yourself, How is this with respect to me? Shall I repent of it? A little time and I am dead, and all is gone.1 What more do I seek, if what I am now doing is work of an intelligent living being, and a social being, and one who is under the same law with God?2
(1) Every thing we do in life requires we consider the consequences. What is our intention - to seek retribution, or to do good? What is our motivation - eternal reward, or community advancement? What is the goal - social acceptance, or internal serenity? Life is short, the time for action is limited. If we fail to act, we may never have that second chance.
(2) For a Stoic there is one law. The law of nature is one law, and each of us is required first, to discover that law, and second, to understand how that law applies to each action we take, and third, to foresee the consequences of that law on the collective or social community in which each of us lives. In other words we are required to think.
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 The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book.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.