Saturday, May 7, 2011
You are Perfect - You are a God - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. VII.16
Meditation VII.16 - You are Perfect - You are a God - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil
The ruling faculty does not disturb itself; I mean, does not frighten itself or cause itself pain.(1) But if any one else can frighten or pain it, let that one do so.(2) For the faculty itself will not by its own opinion turn itself into such ways.(3) Let the body itself take care, if it can, that is suffer nothing, and let it speak, if it suffers.(4) But the soul itself, that which is subject to fear, to pain, which has completely the power of forming an opinion about these things, will suffer nothing, for it will never deviate into such a judgment.(5) The leading principle in itself wants nothing, unless it makes a want for itself; and therefore it is both free from perturbation and unimpeded, if it does not disturb and impede itself. (6)
(1) The internal "ruling principle" - the soul - in and of itself, cannot experience fear or pain, because it is invulnerable and divine.
(2) This is Marcus' way of daring those who would try to "frighten or pain" the soul.
(3) On its own, and of its own accord, the soul cannot suffer harm.
(4) The body can suffer physical pain. And if it does, let it be so. The suffering will express itself - appropriately - and for the reasons this suffering is designed.
(5) The soul cannot experience pain or fear because it is immutable. The experiences that many call fears arise when we misidentify physical sensations and signals with our true nature. Human beings can never suffer harm because our leading nature is divine; and, as gods we have nothing (and can have nothing) to fear.
(6) The leading principle in us is divine. It wants nothing because it is perfect. Nothing can be added to, or subtracted from perfection.
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 The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book.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.