Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stoic Teleology - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. VII.40

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Meditation VII.40 - Stoic Teleology - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil

Life must be reaped like the ripe ears of corn: one human is born; another dies.(1)


(1) Death in the Stoic universe is the purpose and end and meaning of life. Each phase in the development of an ear of corn is preparation for the momentary flourishing of what must be reaped and consumed and transformed by nature. Once ripe the corn dies and decays yielding a new cycle of life. The individual ceases to exist, but the laws governing the propagation of life persist. In the human analog, our existential essence - our immutable divine Nature - ceases to govern the individual but that Law persists in the life of those who follow us. One dies and another is born.

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 The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book.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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