In today's relaxing, healing guided meditation we reflect on "Memento Mori"—the ancient Greek practice of reflection on mortality. It goes back to Socrates, who said that the proper practice of philosophy is “about nothing else but dying and being dead.” Plato, who Socrates mentored, taught about the purpose of philosophy in the dialogue of "Phaedon". Plato defined philosophy as a reflection on our own death. This death, of course, could be not only natural, but also the death of the Ego.
Later on the Stoic school adopted this practice, and named it "Memento Mori' in Latin, (Remberance of our imminent death). “Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day. … The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.” Seneca To us moderns this sounds like an awful idea. Who wants to think about death? But what if instead of being scared and unwilling to embrace this truth we did the opposite? What if reflecting and meditating on that fact was a simple key to living life to the fullest? Or that it was the key to our freedom—as Montaigne put it,
“To practice death is to practice freedom. A person who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
Note: Alkistis is wearing Zeus + Δione clothing.
DEEPLY RELAXING, HEALING GUIDED MEDITATION on GREEK PHILOSOPHY STOICISM, "A View From Above" - Plato
In this week's relaxing guided meditation, we go over Plato's liberating concept of "View from Above".
As Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations, 7.48, "How beautifully Plato put it. Whenever you want to talk about people, it’s best to take a bird’s-eye view and see everything all at once—of gatherings, armies, farms, weddings and divorces, births and deaths, noisy courtrooms or silent spaces, every foreign people, holidays, memorials, markets—all blended together and arranged in a pairing of opposites..."
This change of perspective from the individual to “the Whole” has the capacity to change us in fundamental ways. When we take it seriously, it can turn “this human life of ours upside down” (as Plato says in his dialogue Gorgias, line 481c). It can produce inner peace and freedom, replacing anger and pain with compassion and love, even when we are most hurt.
In this week's relaxing guided meditation, we will reflect on the impermanence of things. Heraclitus taught that "We never step into the same river twice." Find out why its so important to understand this in order to contain and overcome fear, anxiety and depression like the Stoics.
In today's relaxing Guided Meditation, we will be reflecting on The Four Cardinal Virtues: Wisdom (Greek phronêsis), Justice (Greek dikaiosunê), Courage (Greek andreia), Temperance (Greek sôphrosunê).
Historians can’t agree on where this classification originated. It appears to go back as far as Plato or Socrates, although some argue that they can be traced back to about the 12th-8th centuries B.C., to Homer’s epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Let's see them in more detail:
This is the common sense ability to know good from bad. We apply wisdom to judge what is to be done and what is not to be done and to know what is under our control and what is not. Includes good calculation, quick-wittedness, cunning, discretion, and resourcefulness.
To be fair and just in our treatment of others. To be moral, honest, and conduct ourselves with the dignity, equity, and fairness, we demand of others.
To resist fear; to be courageous without being reckless. To have confidence and self-restraint about what is truly fearful and terrible; to be bold wisely; intrepid in the face of hardship and death. Includes discipline, confidence, and self-control.
Moderation concerning desires and pleasures; harmony and good discipline. It has to do with personal independence, and self -discipline; rational acceptance of what is admirable and contemptible. Includes endurance, modesty, high-mindedness, cheerfulness, and industriousness.
These virtues derive initially from Plato's Republic Book IV, 426–435. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius discusses them in Book V:12 of Meditations and views them as the "goods" that a person should identify in one's own mind, as opposed to "wealth or things which conduce to luxury or prestige." These cardinal virtues are listed in the Bible, as they were adopted by early Christians, who added on the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.
The cardinal virtues are considered the ‘antidote’ to the capital vices of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. If you build your life and ambitions around these vices, you will probably be disappointed, because the pleasure they offer is ephemeral. It doesn’t mean that we don’t seek and enjoy pleasurable things like acclaim and monetary success. It means that we don’t “require” them to be happy and fulfilled; to “flourish” in a state of Eudaimonia.
Enjoy your inner journey and make sure to comment, like, share and support my work via www.patreon.com/alkistis