Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The Good is with me - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. VII.42
Meditation VII.42 - The Good is with me - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil
For the good is with me, and the just.(1)
(1) Stoicism aligns the idea of goodness and justice with the teaching of Socrates through the works of Plato. Justice is good and the good is an invariant perfection, and because of its perfection is apprehended as beautiful. We are drawn toward beauty in its many forms - an attraction that we know as love. We come to know the good because the good is not only universal, it is also in us. This is why self-knowledge is the first step in Stoic practice. I need first to recognize that "the good is with me." This self-knowledge is acquired through the practice of meditation, an exercise that allows us to separate the affects and sensations of our animal nature (pleasure and pain) from our divine essence. Through meditation the Stoic learns to become indifferent toward the body - an exercise necessary for the liberation of the soul.
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 The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book.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.