I. THE BEGINNING.
Yet — I prevailed.
Think, now, if the accomplished whole be Heaven,
How wonderful the anxious years of slow
And hazardous achievement—a destiny
For Gods. But yours it has not been to lead
Creation by the cliff’s-edge way from Mass
To Paradise.” He paused on the remembrance,
And Great Orísha cried: “Can we do naught?
What use in godhead without deeds to do?
Where yearns a helpless region for a hand
To guide it?”
Myths of Ífè
Book 1, XVI
Whatsoever I am, is either flesh, or life, or that which we commonly call the mistress and overruling part of man; reason. Away with thy books, suffer not thy mind any more to be distracted, and carried to and fro; for it will not be; but as even now ready to die, think little of thy flesh: blood, bones, and a skin; a pretty piece of knit and twisted work, consisting of nerves, veins and arteries; think no more of it, than so.
And as for thy life, consider what it is; a wind; not one constant wind neither, but every moment of an hour let out, and sucked in again. The third, is thy ruling part; and here consider; Thou art an old man; suffer not that excellent part to be brought in subjection, and to become slavish: suffer it not to be drawn up and down with unreasonable and unsociable lusts and motions, as it were with wires and nerves; suffer it not any more, either to repine at anything now present, or to fear and fly anything to come, which the destiny hath appointed thee.
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
The men and women who are truly filled with light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect existence.