Just Don’t Think About It

Of course “it” will get you down if you keep thinking about it.

What’s this shit?

The things you can change. Epictetus (circa 65 c.e.), a Greek slave, is often quoted, usually without attribution, on such matters.  You may know it by its most familiar incarnation: The Serenity Prayer. Epictetus represents the more stoic side dreamt of in philosophy, a view from the complement.  The other side of the coin features the much better known Greek philosopher: Epicurus. Eat, drink and live as comfortably as possible.

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A coin has two sides, you won’t encounter many one-sided coins in the agora. Any of the way, imagine a coin with the names of those two philosophers, may each take a side.

Epictetus Epicurus.

There’s nothing new under the sun, even Earthly extinction events; in fact, we live and love in the shadow of extinction possibility number six. The sun abides however. No wonder so many worship. Sol so.

We will return to tet and cur following these words from our sp*ns*r.

We’re whispering because Bill is hard-of-hearing (we have switched off closed captioning too). He can’t hear us. Please don’t spill the beans. It’s just us, just us. 

Who are we? We are an apocryphal (in your dreams!) den of con-artisans who conspire to keep the population glued to a shiny entertaining crystal, one with innumerable facets, like a diamond formed from coal under heat and pressure — a distillation of a rich biomass: a rapid metamorphosis: life to death at nearly the same time, and without a funeral service. Ironically that biomass is organic matter long dead but now continually pressed into the stuff of instant energy, such as coal, such as oil. Bringing it to the surface quickens carbon dioxide accumulation in Earth’s thin atmospheric. Lungs like yours breathe it. Take a deep one and hold it.

Don’t forget: we don’t exist. We’re more gravy than grave. Relax and enjoy, enjoy and relax, relax and repeat….

…Hold on a second. Did I fall asleep during a nightmarish commercial? I don’t feel very well, actually quite nauseous. What the freak?

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Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt. Er lag auf seinem panzerartig harten Rücken und sah, wenn er den Kopf ein wenig hob, seinen gewölbten, braunen, von bogenförmigen Versteifungen geteilten Bauch, auf dessen Höhe sich die Bettdecke, zum gänzlichen Niedergleiten bereit, kaum noch erhalten konnte. Seine vielen, im Vergleich zu seinem sonstigen Umfang kläglich dünnen Beine flimmerten ihm hilflos vor den Augen.

One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place. His numerous legs, pitifully thin in comparison to the rest of his circumference, flickered helplessly before his eyes.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epictetus 55 – 135 C.E.

I mentioned touchstones in a previous post, I now touch another one: Epictetus, usually noted as a stoic philosopher. But that is a bit procrustean; there is much room for subtlety here. I am directing your attention to Epictetus’ timeless contribution to a more civil society. Those familiar with the serenity prayer will find a beacon. Blaze an internet trail for more.

 

 


 

 

 
Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them.


He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.


If thy brother wrongs thee, remember not so much his wrong-doing, but more than ever that he is thy brother.


The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.


There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.


To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete.


We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.