Perpetual Spring

November 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

“A man standing by a spring of clear, sweet water and cursing it. While the fresh water keeps on bubbling up. He can shovel mud into it, or dung, and the stream will carry it away, wash itself clean, remain unstained.

To have that. Not a cistern but a perpetual spring.

How? By working to win your freedom. Hour by hour. Through patience, honesty, humility.”

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Events that happen to you, people that you encounter, are nothing more than that. Mud and dung is the perception what we make of these things that happen to you. An event, i.e. your house has burned down, is just that. If you think “Something unfortunate has happened to me”, then that is perception. By no means are you forced to accept this, and there are countless other ways to interpret things that happen to you.

The perpetual spring, or the logos (natural reason / providence) is unchanging. You only need to realize that harmony in your life to it comes from the only things you truly control: your actions and your thoughts.

Need another example? Derek Sivers’ favourite fable

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§ 2 Responses to Perpetual Spring

  • Owen says:

    Short, but an excellent post. I now feel tempted to pick up a copy of Meditations myself.

  • kziqi says:

    Its a favourite of Frederick the Great and Wen Jiabao. Be sure to get the Gregory Hays translation. I last saw a used paperback copy at Straits Records on Haji Lane here in Singapore.

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