Thursday, August 18, 2016

Not-so-Amazing, and Amazing, then Humbling...

Salve atque salvete! 

As a POST-post-scriptum to yesterday's dreary recital of self-pity and weary old dismay, let me say that it's remarkable and instructive what a difference food, fluoxetine and caffeine, and getting some work done, does for one's mood and outlook.  Reality doesn't change, but our readiness and attitude to engagement with it, our state, does.

And, in a conciliatory aside to the Christianos (qui tam plures sunt his in Civitatibus Unitiis), of which faith I have at times counted myself a provisional member, I expect that my petite and limited experience of mood-change is very similar to the long-term effect of being 'born again', a letting go of fear and helplessness and re-embarking on life, while trusting to God's control.  And this parallels what we gain from Stoicism - recognizing sad but necessary mortality, recognizing an underlying Universality in life and death all around us, and realizing that freedom is ultimately a humble thing, something that BELONGS to us in a simple and timeless way, and rarely a matter of what we would wish. 

Christianity is not a problem: Christians are good people, generally.  But fanatical Christianity is another story.  However, I'll let that be, at that point.

Recently I took up Goodman and Soni's book, "Rome's Last Citizen: Legacy of Cato the Younger", and heartily recommend it.  And I jotted this down in my notebook, from Lucan's Pharsalia (they don't identify the translation), speaking of oracles and other miracles:  

"Bound are we to the Gods; no voice we need;
They live in all our acts, although the shrines
Be silent...."

And from People magazine, of all things, I recorded a very good trans-belief-system quote from Muhammad Ali:

"Everything I do, I say to myself, 'Will God accept this?' Sleep is a rehearsal for death. One day you wake up and it's Judgment Day. So you do good deeds."
In a nutshell. 

And then, also in that People magazine, an amazing and humbling story - there are so many! - about Aimee Copeland, this young woman who lost legs and hands to disease, and has been reborn and re-equipped, in heart and in prosthetics!  It took me by surprise; horrible and then amazing.  A happy ending, by God!,,21011736_21011374,00.html


Worth pondering.  Valete.  

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