To live according to nature, as the Stoics proclaimed, is to live according to the Whole. Not according to some external god, not according to any objective principle, an absolute or a meaning, nor any metaphysical ‘other’—there is no ‘outside’ or ‘before’ where these things could even exist. There is only the irreducible Whole and its myriad expressions.
Passive expectation of any meaning given in advance is a renunciation of one’s own response-ability to the present moment. Nor is the solution to be found by subjectively conferring any particular meaning on the world. In either case, one can only react, rather than respond, to circumstance. Only active engagement—here and now—will do.
Wisdom, in this sense, is not a body of knowledge, but the art of catching the pitch of the world in each particular circumstance. This, of course, requires continual self-examination, attention and practice—the cultivation of one’s own response-ability.
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- therefore-death-to-us-is-nothing said: I have hard time explaining people about “being close to your nature”. I’m 20 and my peers around this age, so it is natural at that age to be confused about their nature. How would you explain it to a 20 year old?
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