All Is Well in the Great Mess

"That which I have said is only like the few leaves in my hand. And that which I have not said is like the dry leaves in this forest."

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.

-- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

"If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
If you are at peace, you are living in the moment."

-- Junia Bretas, West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple Bulletin, volume 57, July-August 2014

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Source: Robert Frost, "A Group of Poems", The Atlantic Monthly (August 1915).

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

Source: Henley, William Ernest (July 17, 1889). A book of verses. New York.

The Source of All My Problems

“No person has the power to have everything they want, but it is in their power not to want what they don’t have, and to cheerfully put to good use what they do have.”

-— Seneca, Letters From a Stoic

“Do you want to improve the world?
I don't think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can't be improved.
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.”

-- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Huh!

Where Do You Think We Are Headed?

"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."

„Nicht wer wenig hat, sondern wer viel wünscht, ist arm.“

-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Seneca - Das Leben ist kurz!

Heute habe ich Marion Giebels Übersetzung von Senecas "Das Leben ist kurz" hinzugefügt. Der Text ist auch über den Menüpunkt "Stoicism" erreichbar.

Marcus Aurelius - Meditations

Today I have added Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations", translated by Gregory Hays. You can also access it via the menu bar in the "Stoicism" section.

If— by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Source: A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1943)

Seneca - On the Shortness of Life

Today I have added Seneca's "On the Shortness of Life", translated by C.D.N. Costa. You can also access it via the menu bar in the "Stoicism" section.

"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live."
-- Marcus Aurelius

"Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about
other people—unless it affects the common good. It will
keep you from doing anything useful. You’ll be too
preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and
what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what
they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and
keep you from focusing on your own mind.

You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought:
everything random, everything irrelevant. And certainly
everything self-important or malicious. You need to get used
to winnowing your thoughts, so that if someone says, “What
are you thinking about?” you can respond at once (and
truthfully) that you are thinking this or thinking that. And it
would be obvious at once from your answer that your
thoughts were straightforward and considerate ones—the
thoughts of an unselfish person, one unconcerned with
pleasure and with sensual indulgence generally, with
squabbling, with slander and envy, or anything else you’d be
ashamed to be caught thinking."
-- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 3, Verse 4 (Gregory Hays)