But murmurs rose
From the young men—suppressed at first, then louder—
Until their leader, gaining courage, cried:
“Empty our life has been—while from far plains,
Vibrant with the romance, the living lustre,
Orányan’s name bestows, great rumours came
To mock our laggard seasons; and each year
Mórimi’s festival recalls alike
The hero’s name and Ífè’s greatness. Must
All Ífè slumber that the old may drowse?
No; we will have Orányan, and no other,
To be our King.” And a loud cry went up
From his followers: “Orányan is our King!”

Myths of Ífè

Book 2, XV

The time of a man’s life is as a point; the substance of it ever flowing, the sense obscure; and the whole composition of the body tending to corruption. His soul is restless, fortune uncertain, and fame doubtful; to be brief, as a stream so are all things belonging to the body; as a dream, or as a smoke, so are all that belong unto the soul. Our life is a warfare, and a mere pilgrimage. Fame after life is no better than oblivion.

What is it then that will adhere and follow?

Only one thing, philosophy. And philosophy doth consist in this, for a man to preserve that spirit which is within him, from all manner of contumelies and injuries, and above all pains or pleasures; never to do anything either rashly, or feignedly, or hypocritically: wholly to depend from himself and his own proper actions: all things that happen unto him to embrace contentedly, as coming from Him from whom he himself also came; and above all things, with all meekness and a calm cheerfulness, to expect death, as being nothing else but the resolution of those elements, of which every creature is composed.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?

Rabia al-Basri

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January 29, 2017