Being in Chord with Nature

“Nature controls this visible realm by means of change. Clear skies follow after cloudy weather, seas become turbulent after a calm; winds blow in turn; day follows night. It is the world’s contrarieties that give rise to its longevity.” – Seneca, Letter 107.8

Our advancements in health care, technology and physical science (to mention a few) have been made possible through the study of nature. The capacity to apply rationality (analysis) and all the other principles contained within, enable us to learn and live in harmony with the elements. By the same token we are able to locate impediments to our wellbeing as well as work to reconcile and improve upon our situation.

Thankfully, and with the utmost gratitude, nature has been humanities greatest teacher from day one. Yet some perceive it as some kind of entity that wants to kill us. On the other side of the table there are those who believe that nature imbues humans with gifts that allow us to attain divinity. Wherever you might fall in the spectrum of opinions about nature, whether you wish to call it the ecosystem or the Tao, there’s one thing we can say for certainty, and that is we can’t progress without it.

Personally, as one who is embodied in flesh and blood, it makes sense to live in accordance with the limitations and freedoms imposed upon me through natural law. Now seeing that the language-symbols used to make sense of the various aspects of nature are constantly changing, it is incumbent upon me to recognize those who are wise by principle. Therefore, knowing that wisdom remains largely achieved through experiential knowledge, it is easier for me to detect those who are committed to exercising the virtues required to adhere to such a state.

Now just as we must learn and grow, we also have to senesce and let go. Nature seems to have a way of preserving balance, which may not be interpreted as kindness, but nevertheless essential and necessary. Growing up many of our teachers admonish us to prepare for a rainy day. Yet such a life lesson may not register until we are well over our heads. Unfortunately we become enamoured with the pleasantries of life and forget that we must by nature prepare for our descent as well; for to do otherwise, is to bring about a living hell.

“In no great while you will be no one and nowhere, and nothing that you now behold will be in existence, nor will anyone now alive. For it is in the nature of all things to change and alter and perish, so that others may arise in their turn.” – Marcus Aurelius

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Core Elements of Natural Law

The tarot may not be the most reliable source for predicting outcomes but it can certainly trigger our imagination and get us thinking about ideas in different ways. We have a tendency to see what it is that we want to see, so in essence each picture can reflect our hopes and fears. What we do with those discoveries is another matter altogether.

Take the chap in the picture above on the left. Everyone and their dog can relate with what it means to be burdened and overloaded. Just take a good look around to find people in all walks of life caught up in a routinized pattern of urgency. Few may openly acknowledge the sense of importance they feel from being super busy, even less will admit that their overly distracted lives are shielding them from taking a serious look at themselves.

As your embodied Demiurge and Emperor, metaphorically speaking of course, it would sooth me to keep you all in line with the system of things; knowing full well that your appetites and desires will keep you ascending and descending my samsaric wheel of fortune; a virtual metaphor to represent the scope and shape of the present aeon we find ourselves in.

You say you want security and to be liberal minded as though you can have your cake and eat it too. But order and stability has a cost. Feast your eyes on the middle picture above. Notice the ankh in the Emperor’s right hand. This hieroglyph represents life and the alignment of natural law so that we may sustain the human enterprise.

We all intuitively know that the circle of life can only be maintained if the deities are revered; namely, air (prudence), fire (fortitude), earth (justice) and water (temperance); as long as these elementary forces remain in proper balance will we know what it means to have geometrical equality. “Complete virtue consists in the evenness and steadiness of a life that is in harmony with itself through all events, which cannot come about unless one has knowledge and the skill of discerning things human and divine.” – Seneca, Letter 31.8

The Emperor possesses solar rationality (bona mens). Like Moses he can bring forth springs of water from the driest desert or like Ion Musk he can bring warriors back to Mars through solar technology. His robes are dipped in the blood of those who sacrificed themselves in view to a new world order and he has assimilated the greatest minds that have forged empires and dominions alike. All those who are grafted back into him are one in purpose and will.

Such myths tells us something about ourselves, both as individuals and as a collective. They are not untruths per say as they are temporary renditions of an ever changing world which we feel inclined to categorize and make sense of. Even our most advanced views of science will one day be seen in the same spirit as we now see Aristotle’s outdated biology.

Yet embodying these natural virtues that keep us from being flung from fortune’s wheel need not be a mystery. Despite our differences there are significant-critical values in the external world that have to be respected if we are to achieve eudemonia; i.e., to thrive as a human species. Intrinsic values are by definition universal and mutually shared by all. The role of the Emperor (normative self-collective) creates order and stability for the society at large. We are each called by nature to light incense in honour of what it means to play our part in this time-bonding process. What truly matters transcends the whimsical preferences of the individual.

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Desire, Yearning & Craving

Anyone care to say what the following words have in common: Desire, yearning and craving. Think of an answer before you continue. This will help you engage the material to follow. Next, ask yourself: Do cravings usually begin first, followed by yearning, ending in desire or would you say it’s the other way around? Not satisfied with my either/or question; no problem, let’s shake things up and roll the dice another way:

Walla! Here’s another way of looking at it: First we discover a new desire, draw pleasure from it and long for the objective of such desire. Now the more we long for it; i.e. yearn for the emotional sensation associated with the desire, the more we are consumed by it until craving sets in. Craving? Yeah, craving as in being overly attached to something to the point that we experience agitation. Continue reading

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Thro this thin Layer of Glass

“One can be lost but can find home in his inner part – which can mean many things – soul, imagination, mind, intuition, passion. I strongly believe that when being in uncertain times and living an unstable life we can still reach peace with ourselves and be able to find ‘home’ anywhere.” – Hania Rani

Every now and again the universe brings forth an exceptional soul. One who brings rejuvenation and resplendence during times of war and uncertainty; as in a gentle reminder to find rest during our human race or a calming breath to sooth our mental haste. It is my honor and pleasure to introduce the epiphany of love’s divine: Let’s welcome Hania Rani with open hearts and undivided mind. Click here or on the image above to feel the transcending power of love. Continue reading

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“Perfected reason is called virtue, and is also the same as the honorable.” – Seneca

For those of you who have acquainted yourselves with Seneca’s letters, you may have discovered that he holds reason, virtue and honor as one and the same; however, he does distinguish and use them in unique ways depending on the particulars and/or situation. My objective here is to formulate my own interpretation of these interchangeable terms without depending on his reasoning process for giving them scope, form and articulation. Continue reading

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Remain Sound In Mind

“It is possible to form no judgement about this and not to be disturbed in your mind; things in themselves do not have the nature to create our judgements.”  Marcus Aurelius

Besides proper nutrition, physical exercise, appropriate rest and all the other things that are conducive to good health, what enables the mind itself to remain sound? Could we say concentration, focus and attention are necessary components for effective mental processes without sounding too specific?

“Sounds right to me.” What do you mean by that? “It makes sense to me.” How does it make sense to you? “There are occasions in my life when I try to focus on something, let’s say a good book, but my concentration wanes due to noisy neighbors. There are also times when I am able to keep my attention on a bunch of things at once without losing my ability to concentrate on my reading.” Continue reading

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Death Awaits Us All

“There is no way to know for certain the place and time where death lies waiting for us, so let us wait for death at every moment along the way… We ought to prepare for death even before we plan out our lives.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, Letter 70

The video above is a reading of a letter from Seneca to Lucilius on ending one’s own life. Probably one of the most eloquent writings on the subject. The primary objective is to prepare his friend to make peace with his own end should circumstances call for it. Seneca has a way of making light of the matter by drawing upon colourful anecdotes and recalling tenets that belong to his school of philosophy. The poetry below stems from my reading of his work but the soil used in my flowerpot has 2000 years of additional aging. Continue reading

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Excellence of Mind

“Press on toward excellence of mind with all your speed, with all your strength. If anything holds you back, untie the knot, or cut it!” – Seneca

My personal approach to embodying the principles of Stoicism consists of adhering to logic, (meta)physics and ethics. In today’s discourse we will focus on the importance of logic, and why we need to keep this aspect of the mind active if we are to remain steadfast in our philosophy of life.

In the diagram above there is an arrangement of pieces on a chess board. Go ahead and find the best move for black. If you already figured it out then take another look to see if you can locate the second best move. Many will not be able to solve the puzzle. Do you know why? It’s because they don’t understand the ground rules. Continue reading

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Our Harmonious Pulse

“The inexpressible depth of all music, by virtue of which it floats past us as a paradise quite familiar and yet eternally remote, and is so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Music has done wonders for my experiential sense of being on earth. No rock has been more dependable. No sky too broad to hold its rapturous melody. No ill mood that could not be dissipated under its soothing touch. In every which way music has brought colour and dynamism to my life. Marking the beginning and ending of all intervals along the way. Continue reading

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In Vino Veritas

“They are not long, the days of wine and roses: Out of a misty dream our path emerges for a while, then closes within a dream.” – Ernest Dowson

My Friday nights usually consist of sipping on red wine, enjoying a home cooked meal and watching movies. It’s my way to celebrate life and keep the day of Venus beatifically special. The lighting of candles, soft music and incense also brings flare to the evening.

I’ve been drinking various Argentina wines for some years but decided to go Italian for 2022. The product in the image above is from South East-Puglia of Italy. However the picture was taken in my dining room here in Newfoundland, Canada. Click here for general info and customer reviews on this vintage. Continue reading

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