The Good Life
THE GOOD LIFE MEDITATION
The Good Life Meditation is my daily effort of recounting, considering and developing my personal life objectives and principals. I perform the action of verbally listing and describing these points each day, typically at dawn, as a start and readiness to the coming day.
AFFIRMATION OF HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS
I must recognize respect and abide the rights of individuals and minority groups within society such that these are not compromised in the pursuit of the common good. The lesser of society shall not be neglected or trodden upon in service of the many.
- The Development and Maintenance of Good, Sound Principals
Foremost in life comes the necessity of securing sound guidelines to live by, rules and principals tested and true, objective and fair, balanced and good.
- The Cultivation of Good Emotional Reactions
Taking control of my emotions such that they inform my living less than control it. Feelings and reactions becoming councilors in my life rather than rulers and chiefs.
- The Performance of Good Actions
Deeds worthy of a life working to pass each day as an improvement not only for itself, but for those with whom it shares life now as well as those in the future and more distant present who do share our common inheritance.
- Scope of Control
An honest recognition of my scope of control which extends to my thoughts, action and reactions and the consequences these might entail.
- Assessment of Opportunity
What good fortune befalls me now? How can I craft favorable ends from any circumstance of pain and loss? What misfortune do I not have the power to fashion into an instrument of virtue? Is that Death at the door ? Make haste to let it in, for the hour of our meeting is truly at hand, and I will not needlessly detain a will, force or substance I cannot control.
To rise each morning taking arms against my own philosophy as well as the philosophy of others. To suffer no unsound or unjust objective or principal to survive another sundown.
- Reason (honesty & objectivity)
My instrument of discovery and destruction of all things untrue. A tool of self-immolation turned first inward as I engage the bold charge of discovery.
The small, mute and hidden man within my head who pulls levers and strings, and hints at my opinions and judgements, and who must die utterly upon the failure and dissolution of my person.
- The Home of Good and Evil
A catalog of right and wrong maintained by that little man within my head, containing both opinion and judgement, and suggestive of a platform of subjective responsibility.
- Purpose (virtue)
First live and reproduce, then to die and get out of the way. Secondarily, to decide some meaning further to the first. For myself, I select virtue. A life lived in pursuit of the further well-being of myself and others and the Earth itself.
Everything is bits and pieces, flowing and changing, forever reforming. So too myself and all others, here for a bit, soon to pass, soon to dissolve, never again this thing once more.
- Nature (paradigm & mandate)
Everything and everyone has some qualities and character which define what they are and what they are about. This nature, combined with perspective and will, is their paradigm and operational guide. The demands of biology are a mandate deep and sound from the perspective of survival and the continuance of our kind.
- Maturity (wisdom & fortitude)
A collection of experience gained of life trials both succeeding and failing and recalled with some accuracy and honest consideration toward improved future ends. Wisdom is the soil where the such considerations are ploughed, while fortitude is the will and persistence to see the harvest through.
- Social (diplomacy & justice)
Human beings are made of nature for the service of one another. We can survive alone, though we rarely flourish. The understanding and wisdom gained in deep, persistent solitude can rarely be communicated or translated to others, and may become irrelevant babble despite possibly being true. Find one another, and make effort to be together and share ideas. Go at times alone, but always return to be with others. Become a diplomat and ambassador to not only the familiar, but also the strange and new. Strive always with others towards sane and just ends.
- The Feast of Offal
The waste and by-products of unreasoned and unprincipled living are discarded like filth everywhere we live, think and act. We barely recognize the mess we create, and even consume our own and the refuse of others which floats by us in the air to be inhaled and metabolized into our own careless apparatus of thought and perspective. Cover your mouth and nose instead. Filter out the foul excess of undisciplined thought and living.
- Temperance (suffering, simplicity & apathy)
Controlled consumption of all things such as food and drink, work and play, and even our thoughts and emotions. Recognize these things and then think and measure out a reasonable portion for yourself, and then perhaps not even consume all of that. Such worthy living naturally entails some suffering when we deny ourselves our wants, though simplicity of life makes this easier when the denial becomes part-and-parcel of our habits and conditioned response. Apply apathy towards the intemperance of others. Recognize the excess of ourselves and our peers, and use impersonal indifference as a buffer to the consumption of this Feast of Offal.
- Agency & The Great Indifference
Every individual life is an agent, and the products of its living are its artifacts. Subtract these away and what’s left is the vast landscape of The Great Indifference; characterized by an incapacity to observe or maintain any thought or opinion towards well-being, an utter lack of regard towards joy or suffering, a god-less backdrop of unthinking, inanimate substance and time.
- The Best Seat in the House
This place and time where I am now will suffice in the moment. I’ll have peace where and who I am at this time, and doing whatever engages my necessity and motive. Meanwhile, I’ll also strive towards better ends for myself and others, not as a replacement of my current circumstances and work, but rather as a natural improvement upon these.
- The Path of Wildness
At every life crossroads I’ll access the fact that a decision must be made, and then determine how much time I have to make it, and then collect my facts and consider the options, and then decide at the appointed time. If my facts are insufficient, and there really is no more time, then I’ll listen to my gut instinct, let it have its say, and then move again in that direction, confident in having made the best evaluation I could, in the time I had available, and with the resources and facts at my disposal. I’ll be alright in my mind whatever the outcome.
- The Risk of Avoiding Risk
What deeper danger is made manifest as we focus our attention and fear upon the most present potential risk? What comes creeping from behind while we cower away from the immediate things which causes us to tremble? What greater danger can come to consume us while we turn our backs on the apparent danger of the life we really want to live?
- Sin & Damnation (falsity, credulity, faith, superstition, dogma)
There’s an immediate price to pay for sin, for giving up on the hard work of abiding our nature, of abiding reason, of abiding what is true.
- Complete Oblivion (no final reunion, reconciliation, or justice)
Soon the light within the mind will wink out. Our lives will come to an end. The storehouse of memory will lose its electricity, which is the means of its maintenance and growth. The columns of our mental library and lyceum will quickly crumble and fall, the roof cave in, the foundations turn to sand. The philosopher is gone, evaporated to atoms. There will be no last reunion with loved ones, no reconciliation of hard or misspoke words, no satisfaction of wanting justice. The whole thing blows away with the next morning’s breeze.
- The Great Life Adventure
Embark when you are young upon that beckoning dream and adventure. Let it be the centerpiece and reference point of the man or woman whom you will become, let the experience inform and guide your active philosophy and the development of our own living principals and standards.
- The Season of Philosophy
Think and record your thoughts while you can. See how the sun is fading now, dropping near the horizon? You will not survive the coming night.
- Arena & Utility
Every place and situation is an opportunity to practice and refine your objectives and principals. Ask yourself at every point what utility and good end might be found for the employment of your reason and philosophy, which must be forever alert, skeptical and active.
TODAY’S THOUGHT & ACTION PLAN
I will think and act every day in a deliberate and purposeful manner, watching over my thoughts, husbanding my actions, regardful of the impact and consequence of my every decision and substantive move.