A life of courage, joy and independence.
My principals are seven. I reflect on these each morning at dawn. Reciting each aloud. Committing to memory the promise of a worthwhile day to come.
1. The ATOMIC principal – Everything is composed of atoms which forever combine change and transform. What was yesterday is no more today and will become something else tomorrow. Life is a transient whim of elements. Tomorrow my substance will blow to sea on light breeze.
2. The principal of NATURE – Everything has some natural trait, capacity or disposition. The nature of a solid is to be rigid and impervious, while fluids flow and settle. Life too has its nature, as plants remain fixed, respire, grow, reproduce and die. So too animals which likewise live, while their nature is to move, think and perhaps even enjoy some form of sentience. Individuals alike have their nature which, when attended, satisfies a most fundamental need. Our way is along this true path.
3. The SOCIAL principal – Humans need one another to live and to thrive. To neglect this necessity is to cut one’s self off from the nourishment of community and deprive the same of what only you can provide.
4. TEMPERANCE – Exercise restraint in all things. Consume, perform, speak and engage in moderation. Neither abstaining from that which does not inhibit virtue nor indulging in the same beyond the sound limits of propriety. Accept and dispense always in measured doses.
5. THE GREAT INDIFFERENCE – The universe yawns and gapes with the dead eyes of a corpse. Our joys and pains concern none but our fellows. In society alone is there caring. There’s no one to mark our lonely death in the desert wastes.
6. The principal of REASON – Our capacity to reason, to review and understand the foundations of our belief. To critically uncover the faults which weaken our true understanding, and which makes lies of our certainty. This is the mark of humanity and the foremost principal and refuge of the independent and fully grown man or woman. Flee to reason in times of trouble or when death comes collecting. None can reach you there, nor collapse the walls and pillars of principals you are first in line to destroy.
7. The principal of VIRTUE – Life’s most worthwhile endeavor is the pursuit of virtue. Virtue as distinct from morals, which are applied from without, by way of laws we meekly acquiesce and abide, seeking peace, acceptance and the approval of the crowd. Virtue instead rises from within, answers not to consensus, cares not for precedence, and recognizes no authority other than the voice of conscience speaking from the wilderness heights attained through Reason.
I’d rather possess that which I cannot own. A few things beyond the corruption of time, influence or bias. The comfort of self discipline. The certainty of doubt. The sobriety of looking death in the eye.
Checking under the Christmas tree and it looks like I didn’t get the box of temperance I didn’t ask for. Thank you, Santa.
My first allegiance is to doubt
My last alliance is certitude