Everything is but what your opinion makes it; and that opinion lies within yourself. Renounce it when you will, and at once you have rounded the foreland and all is calm; a tranquil sea, a tideless haven.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (12.22)
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To Nature, whence all things come and whither all return, the cry of the humble and well-instructed heart is, ‘Give as thou wilt, take back as thou wilt;’ yet uttered with no heroics, but in pure obedience and goodwill.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (10.14)
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A short and fascinating read from cognitive psychotherapist, author and Stoic Donald Robertson.
Journaling for self-improvement is nothing new. Daily reflection as moral self-examination goes all the back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was first described in a poem called The Golden Verses of Pythagoras, based on the doctrines of the famous sixth century BCE philosopher. Later, journaling became a key part of Stoicism.
The famous Stoic thinker Seneca wrote…
We know we ought to. Here’s the reason and inspiration.
Read the rest, here.
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Cultural Offering’s Kurt Harden set me on an adventure in pursuit of bread and circuses, via this site, AmericanDigest.org.
The original phrase, panem et circenses, was coined by Roman poet, Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis, 1st – 2nd Century CE) in his Satire 10:
Continue reading “Bread and Circuses”
And what does the mob of Remus say? It follows fortune, as it always does, and rails against the condemned. That same rabble, if Nortia had smiled upon the Etruscan, if the aged Emperor had been struck down unawares, would in that very hour have conferred upon Sejanus the title of Augustus. Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things—Bread and Circuses!
A man does not sin by commission alone, but often by omission.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (9.5)
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Accept modestly; surrender gracefully.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (8.33)
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Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land and accord you the privilege to return to yours.
Chief Joseph (1840 – 1904), Speech from 1876 rejecting demands to lead his people onto a reservation.
Image: Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.8)
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You cannot hope to be a scholar. But what you can do is to curb arrogance; what you can do is to rise above pleasures and pains; you can be superior to the lure of popularity; you can keep your temper with the foolish and ungrateful, yes, even care for them.
Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (8.8)
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An excellent post from author Steven Pressfield about the painful, self-marketing aspect of being a writer. It’s relevant for all independent professionals.
For the past few months I’ve been working full-time promoting my just-published novel, A Man at Arms, and I have to tell you … I am waaaay out of my comfort zone.
But, Steven offers an alternative mindset to the usual reluctance we feel.
Here’s how I feel about it. I don’t see it as selfish (though no doubt there are self-interested elements in there.) For me, it’s about fidelity to the book and, especially, to the characters.
It’s about fidelity to the work.
If you do good work, it deserves to be shared.
Read the rest, here.
Steven, of course, wrote The War of Art, an essential guide to getting things done. I’ve just replaced my copy. He also coined the mantra,
Put your ass where your heart wants to be.
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