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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


January 9th, 2020


It’s very difficult to bridge the gap between the decisions we make today and the ramifications that will follow years down the line.


We are tired now and want to relax and the lure of a TV show and a glass of wine and some delivery suddenly exhibits a pull on our being that is undeniably strong.  Repeat this several thousand times, however and the results are not something to be desired.  And the end of the day, we have to ask: is this the best way to spend our precious time alive?


Meditation, as a practice, is a bit of strange thing to start.  The benefits are nearly non-existent in the beginning, and any energy mustered in order to continue is a bit of an admission of dissatisfaction about who a person currently is.  It’s somewhat amazing that the human mind is set up in a way that it can be negatively self-reflective.  Of course, this ability is certainly tied to such mental difficulties as anxiety and depression, but the fact that something can not like itself in some capacity is somewhat amazing.  It’s certainly hard to imagine this capacity in animals aside from the guilty looking dog that  couldn’t help itself when it ate the freshly baked cookies when no one was watching.  The human mind, on the other hand has the capability to take this negative self-reflection to a whole new level. 


A person can get to the point in such negativity where they admit that something needs to be done.  The constant depression, the anxiety, it’s just not working, it’s not doing anything other than telling a person that something is wrong.  At that point a person needs to pull every available lever both psychologically and physically in order to get things moving in more interesting directions.


Starting a practice like meditation is in some sense done with the idea that it will eventually change who a person is.  The fact that a mind and a person can willingly undertake such a metamorphosis is interesting because it requires accepting a certain death.  In order for a new person to come about, the current one needs to go.  It’s not so straight forward of course, but profound transformations do put that old self to rest.


It’s worth taking a few moments to wonder what sort of person you will become based on the influences and habits that you have going right now.


Do you revere poets and writers who ended up killing themselves?  What sort of direction does that kind of influence have?


Are you more likely to give into pleasure instead of doing something that might be a little bit uncomfortable but more fulfilling in the long run?


There are enough people out there, enough examples of lives lived to get a sense of where your own habits will lead you as they slowly grow a deeper and deeper root into who you are.


If the probable result doesn’t look too appealing, then perhaps it’s worth planning a different outcome, and then engineering backwards to figure out what you should be doing today.

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Podcast Ep. 634: Planning Who You'll Be

Tinkered Thinking

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