I love the meditations of Marcus Aurelius. If you are interested yourself, like all else, simply google the name. I have been in the twilight zone for a recent period of time. The dream is over, and now I must find way back to where I once was. This is the concept of trauma. And in times of trauma, it is overwhelming. One must pick up the pieces, and put them back together again. It is easy to fall into oblivion with the constant emotions and remaining in good standing with the society and the world, for it stops for no one. For myself, philosophy is the saving grace. Knowledge of self, of nature, of the cosmos gives me the ability to push forward with rational perspective. It becomes less of a conflict to flee from, rather one to live thru and welcome transformation. To gain perspective on the bigger picture of life itself, and to live in accordance with such. One major seed of knowledge that I give credit for saving me from falling into despair are the teachings of Marcus Aurelius. This piece was inspired by my recent experiences. In the process of re-building myself, the time during the day is spent exhaustingly doing so. At nite, however, in quiet spaces the emotions come strong. And though I allow them to flow thru me as they may, it is an uncomfortable experience to say the least. But I do not judge this. I welcome it. It makes us human, all too human. And to paraphrase the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, another one of my favorite thinkers... life even at its very bottom is indestructibly joyful. I am living this experience. Loving life for all that it is... and I credit the foundation for being able to do so for great minds that dedicated their lives to the practice and expression of developing such. The philosophical mind. And here is the writing in the piece, an excerpt taken from Aurelius' "meditations"... "Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, seashores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere, either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble, does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquillity; and I affirm that tranquillity is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest. For with what art thou discontented? …This then remains: Remember to retire into this little territory of thy own, and, above all, do not distract or strain thyself, but be free, at look and things as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal. But among the things readiest to thy hand to which thou shalt turn, let there be these, which are two. One is that things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain immovable; but our perturbations come only from the opinion which is within. The other is that all these things, which thou seest, change immediately and will no longer be; and constantly bear in mind how many of these changes thou hast already witnessed. The universe is transformation; life is opinion."