Sunday, June 5, 2011
Do Not Worry About the Future - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. VII.08
Meditation VII.08 - Do Not Worry About the Future - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil
Let not future things disturb you, for you will come to them, if it shall be necessary, having with you the same reason which you now use for present things.(1)
(1) Worry consumes so much of our lives. Anxiety about what is yet to be is soul destroying. Marcus reminds us that the things that disturb us about the future either may not come to be, or - if they do - all of the skills necessary to address those issues are available to us now. We have "reason." Reason defines our humanity. Our reason is invulnerable if we remain indifferent toward those issues that raise worry in most people. Money, health, and a fear of death or a loss of reputation are irrelevant concerns in terms of Stoic serenity. Peace comes from living according to nature - nothing more, or less. To a Stoic worry is an abomination. It is unnatural to worry because it is contrary to the nature of things.
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 The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book.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.