“How does your ruling reason manage itself? For in that is the key to everything.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 12.33
Yesterday’s morning meditation from “The Daily Stoic” really struck a chord with me. This is one of the first passages I’ve read from the Stoics that mentions the importance of understanding why our mind works the way it does. They often preach about the importance of using reason, but rarely have I seen them ask what brings about reason on a fundamental level.
Biology, society, spirituality, relationships, exercise, nutrition, meditation, reading, artistic endeavors, and a thousand other things impact our ability to think and act rationally. This is really the foundation of my thirst for knowledge. I dive into books about evolutionary biology and psychology and fitness and psychedelic substances and sexuality and philosophy because they are all pieces that help me answer the most important question in my life, “How can I live the best life?”
All things are interrelated in some way. The food I put in my body can change my mood which affects my relationship with my partner which impacts my productivity at work which changes my economic status that impacts my community. My ability to use my rational mind is connected to my actions and the actions of millions of others, what we do ripples across space and time both expanding and limiting the options we (and others) have. So, I think it is important to understand as much as possible about as many things as possible.
It is often easy to talk about the “body” and the “mind” as separate entities, but they are not. The mind and body are different aspects of the same being. Categorizing and compartmentalizing things might make communication and learning easier, but those are just tools and are not the truth. They are convenient and necessary shadows of reality but they shouldn’t be mistaken for reality. The truth may be beyond our comprehension but we get closer to it by learning about the world around us, experiencing as many diverse activities, and sharing love and intimacy with as many people as possible, including ourselves.
Wanna stay in touch? Got a question for me? Want to tell me why I’m wrong and are curious how I got everything so backward? Have an idea for a blog post? Drunk and wanna send me a snapchat? Wanna become penpals and send each other letters in the mail about life in general?
Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions: pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”