Recent Thoughts

Epictetus has us reflect on what we control in our lives and what we don’t. We control opinion, choice, desire, aversion, and anything of our own doing. We don’t control our body, property, position, and everything outside of our control. However, and this is crucial, our response to things outside of our control remains within our control. I refer to the human response to events outside our control as luck (some people see this same concept as karma, some see it as the hand of god. ... Read More
Today, Seneca brings up the concept of addiction. Addiction affects many more people than we think it does. Everything from coffee to email to sex to video games put their hooks in to us and slowly chip away at our good intentions. Realizing an addiction becomes the first step toward improving, and sometimes this can be the hardest step. The first step in AA is admitting you have a problem. In catholicism admitting a sin is the first step toward saving one’s soul. ... Read More
Epictetus this time tells us that there are seven clear functions of mind: choice, refusal, yearning, repulsion, preparation, purpose, and assent. He concludes that only corrupt decisions made by a mind can pollute or clog its own function. Thus far in January I’ve reflected pretty hard on choice, refusal, purpose, and assent. So far those have been the guiding principles of my reflections in the new year, so it may behoove me to reflect on the other three today. ... Read More
Marcus Aurelius today questions whether one can know where they are without understanding the universe, who they are without understanding their purpose in life, and without either of those why they are. In Taoism, which I know little about, they have a term referred to as the uncarved block. The base existence without any exterior forces acting on one. A meditiation more than an ideal, if I understand correctly. Winnie the Pooh, arguably the strongest Taoist in child literature (The Tao of Pooh remains one of my favorite reads in my adolescence, although I probably need a refresher) simply flows with the wind. ... Read More
Clarifying my intentions to myself has been one of the strongest changes I’ve made over the past few years. I can’t say that in every stage and step of life I knew what my end goals are, but I’m getting closer. The big question people like to ask is “where do you see yourself in 5 (or 10 or 15) years?” My answer five years ago, like most people in their mid-twenties, was probably lacklackluster. ... Read More