A Reflection on ‘Amor Fati’

This post by Andrew addresses one of the major themes of my blog: “There is no doubt that we continue to live in uncertain times. No one quite knows where we are going and what the future holds. We exist in a liminal space of unknowing; a time of transition between worlds.”i75b7z

The transition is from the world we have known since the Second World War, now running into environmental buffers and sheer physical limits, into a new world, a new way of thinking, a New Renaissance.

So thank you, Andrew, we all will need Amor Fati.

A Life of Virtue: Philosophy as a Way of Life

Given that I recently got a tattoo of the phrase ‘amor fati’ (which means to love one’s fate), I wanted to write a short reflection on what the term continues to mean for me.

There is no doubt that we continue to live in uncertain times. No one quite knows where we are going and what the future holds. We exist in a liminal space of unknowing; a time of transition between worlds.

It is easy to cling onto the promises of ideologies which proclaim they have the ‘right answers’ to move forward. They relieve our anxieties and give us a map to make sense of the world. However, I’ve come to realize that all these assurances are just a façade. The efforts of the modern world to influence and control the will of nature still remain futile at best.  

Nothing is ever set in stone.

Nothing is ever…

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The Art of Life

These wise words are by Roman Emperor/ philosopher Marcus Aurelius. We have a natural inclination to reject the emergence of difficult circumstances or events that do not appear to be amenable, but there is usually a lesson and opportunity for growth.

“True understanding is to see the events of life in this way:
‘You are here for my benefit, though rumour paints you otherwise.’

And everything is turned to one’s advantage when he greets a situation like this:
You are the very thing I was looking for.

Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you.

This, in a word, is art — and this art called ‘life’ is a practice suitable to both men and gods.

Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing;
what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend?”

 Quoted by Arianna Huffington in her book Thrive.
Statue of young Marcus Aurelius from Capitoline Museums, via Wikimedia Commons.

8 Golden Rules for being a Buddhist Stoic.

Wise words from Dr B. Golden rules for living. Buddhist and Stoic wisdom.

Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar ....

I cannot claim to have any great wisdom, though I HAVE had a lot of defining moments in my long life. Born in relative poverty, wasting early education, then a revelation in education, some great mentors, a great marriage, wonderful children, successful career, many setbacks personal and business, privileged to provide education aid for thousands of underprivileged children, and ….. a carefree retirement because we believed what people told us when we were young! These 8 Golden Rules are based on real experience across our entire lives, they are not theoretical, though you WILL find most of them in the volumes written about Buddhism and Stoicism. We hope you find them useful, but apply your OWN mind to them!

The 8 Golden Rules

  1. Accept that shit happens! You will meet lots of it today, at work, on the bus, on the news, Internet, neighbours, in Starbucks, shit everywhere!
  2. Accept that…

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