Wednesday, May 17, 2006

QOTD + homily: Three from Seneca on anger

( Photo Copyright 2005 Universal Studios)
This relates to serenity. And to Serenity, for that matter.

My homie Seneca was the rizzle dizzle... He was more or less the Brainiac of the first half of Century 1 (I hear he lived until about 65 A.D., though some say he died much earlier). Here are three from the vault:
" like those ruins which smash themselves on what they fall."

"...if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it."

"...[is] an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."
--L. Seneca, fl. 10-60 A.D.(?)

These meditations are helping me deal with stress. Really. And that's cool. Temperament traits are in large part habits, say I. And re-directing them after decades of practice? That takes practice -- not the promise of practice, nor the plan, but the real deal. Sayin' ain't doin'. Rem, non spem. That's Latin for "the thing, not the hope."

Getting to where you can remember to (and, more truly speaking, more habitually act in) practice? Well, how do you figure Sisyphus started?

He didn't start by talking himself out of it, I know that. Those of us with "strong Won'ts" can dismiss change with a single muttered noise of deprecation. And that yields -- what?

It's almost a Yoda thing. There is no "try": do, or do not.

A Tibetan Buddhist of my acquaintance once told me that the universe is destroyed and re-created 64,000 times a second. If he's right, that means all of us are, too. Just pick a couple more times each day to take advantage. And remember that you did, and give attention to the fact that actually doing it was (a) a success and (b) less pain than you thought it'd be. Lather, rinse, repeat. Pick something small sometimes.

Cf.: Indignant self dopes, Covey's "Sharpen the saw", Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, The "strong Won't" , Picking on something your own size (all links to be included later)


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