Bring Up the Bodies
Meditations: Book Five

Meditations: Books Four

"No action should be undertaken without aim, or other than in conformity with a principle affirming the art of life." 

Interesting advice.  What do you make of it?  There are some resonances with Whitehead's aim of adventure.

Remove the judgement, and you have removed the thought 'I am hurt': remove the thought 'I am hurt', and the hurt itself is removed.

Nonsense.  Plenty of pain is not the result of our perception but of the injustice and oppressions imposed upon us.  Only someone of the upper class could believe what he has written.

Now, this is good advice:

No, you do not have thousands of years to live.  Urgency is on you.  While you live, while you can, become good.

Then some metaphysical speculations:

Think always of the universe as one living creature, comprising one substance and one soul: how all is absorbed into this one consciousness; how a single impulse governs all its actions; how all things collaborate in all that happens; the very web and mesh of it all.

I am drawn to this organic vision, though not to the deterministic elements in it.  Though, he also emphasizes change and process:

Change: nothing inherently bad in the process, nothing inherently good in the result.

Fun cynicism there.  But also this regarding change:

There is a river of creation, and time is a violent stream.  As soon as one thing comes into sight, it is swept past and another is carried down: it too will be taken on its way.

And reflecting on the impact of time and change on the human person, he has a sober picture of the world:

You should always look on human life as short and cheap.  Yesterday sperm: tomorrow a mummy or ashes.

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