Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Big History Holiday Credo

I just happen to find this passage of Marcus Aurelius in MEDITATIONS Translated by Staniforth, (1964) where he talks about a kinship response to the understanding of wholeness;
No matter whether the universe is a confusion of atoms or a natural growth, let my first conviction be that I am part of a Whole which is under Nature's governance; and my second, that a bond of kinship exists between myself and all other similar parts. If I bear these two thoughts in mind, then in the first place, being a part, I shall not feel aggrieved by any dispensation assigned to me from the Whole; since nothing which is beneficial for any whole can ever be harmful to a part, and in this case there is nothing contained in this Whole which is not beneficial to itself. (The same, indeed, could be said of every natural organism; but the nature of the universe has the further distinction that there is no cause outside itself which could ever compel it to produce anything harmful to itself.)
In the remembrance, then, that I am a part of such a Whole, I shall cheerfully accept whatever may be my lot. In the second place, inasmuch as there is this bond of kinship between myself and my fellow-parts, I shall do nothing that might injure their common welfare, but keep those kindred parts always purposefully in view, directing every impulse towards their good and away from anything that runs counter to it
Sounds like a Big History Holiday credo to me. 

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