wisdom to know the difference


I pretty much memorised Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, etc.  and have of course got the 12 step recovery prayer in my mind from popular culture. But I find it kind of something that needs remembering every so often. But it’s only a recent reiteration of advice that has been found over thousands of years:

“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. Some things are up to us  and some things are not up to us. Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions-in short, whatever is our own doing. Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing.”

Epictetus, philosopher 1stC AD


Practise then from the start to say to every harsh impression, “You are an impression, and not at all the thing you appear to be.” Then examine it and test it by these rules you have, and firstly, and chiefly, by this: whether the impression has to do with the things that are up to us, or those that are not; and if it has to do with the things that are not up to us, be ready to reply, “It is nothing to me.

Epictetus, philosopher 1stC AD


If there’s a remedy when trouble strikes,
What reason is there for dejection?
And if there is no help for it,
What use is there in being glum?

Shantideva, scholar of Nalanda University, 8thC AD


“And they said: At the head of all understanding – is realizing what is and what cannot be, and the consoling of what is not in our power to change.”

Solomon ibn Gabirol. 11thCAD


We have a very powerful narrative in modern western society that we are in full control of our own lives, and it’s hurting many people. But this is not about giving up or giving in, it is a powerful reminder to use your life not waste it.

I was struggling with deciding if something was needing to be given up or if I could fix it. I may not be able to fully fix it, but I do have many posts back in my blog. Broken images, but the posts from 2011-2014 are there. And I have some I can rescue from archive.org and many from livejournal. Thank goodness the most important ones from the last year of Mr Boo were on livejournal.

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