Aurelius - Meditations 4.29: Bad Citizens in the City of the Universe


Manage episode 281329686 series 2821125
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If he is a foreigner in the Universe who does not recognize the essence of the Universe, no less is he a foreigner, who does not recognize what comes to pass in it. A fugitive is he who runs away from the reasonable law of his City; a blind man, he who shuts the eye of the mind; a beggar, he who has need of another and has not all that is necessary for life in himself; an abscess on the Universe, he who rebels and separates himself from the reason of our common nature because he is displeased with what comes to pass (for the same nature that produces this has produced you as well); a fragment cut off from the City, he who cuts off his own soul from the soul of rational creatures, which is one.
"Fear of Hashem is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline" (Mishlei 1:7)
"Fear of Hashem is the discipline of wisdom, and before honor is humility" (Mishlei 15:33)
Rambam: Mishneh Torah, Sefer ha'Mada, Hilchos Yesodei ha'Torah 4:12
When a person contemplates all of these things and recognizes all of the creations – from angels, to celestial bodies, to man, etc. – and sees the wisdom of HaKadosh Baruch Hu in all of the forms and creations – his love for God will increase, his soul will thirst, and his flesh will yearn to love God; and he will be in fear and trepidation from his own lowliness, insignificance, and frailty when he compares himself to even one of these large, holy bodies – and certainly to one of the pure forms which are utterly separated from matter – and he will find himself to be like a vessel filled with shame and embarrassment, empty and lacking.
See also Aurelius - Meditations 4:4: The Commonwealth of Mind
If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail.
Farquharson translation of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Gummere translation of Letters from a Stoic Master (Seneca)
Long translation of The Discourses of Epictetus
Carter translation of The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
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