arcana imperii :: the book of j


to the «busy-body» (ies)

i've been reading the meditations by marcus aurelius for about a year now (obviously very, very slowly and just a bit at a time). they reflect the contemplative thoughts and philosophical wisdom of a long-dead emperor and require slow digestion as the food for the soul (mind) they certainly are.

a passage from book II has carried much weight this week and i wish to share it below.

«begin the morning by saying to thyself, i shall meet with the busy-body,
the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. all these
things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good
and evil. but i who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful,
and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong,
that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that
it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the
divinity, i can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can
fix on me what is ugly, nor can i be angry with my kinsman, nor hate
him, for we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like
eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. to act against
one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one
another to be vexed and to turn away.»

~marcus aurelius, meditations, book ii