Learn, Share, Grow - See the World Like a Sage
October 23, 2023
Below is a lesson from Perennial Meditations via Medium on the best way to look at things/events in our life, as well as our key learnings.
The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth. We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”. We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning. As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.
How to See the World — Like a Sage
The Cosmic View from Above
Today’s meditation is part of our previous course, Perennial Habits: Ancient Practices for Daily Life, on Perennial Meditations. The course explored the art (and science) of change.
How to See the World — Like a Sage
According to the classicist Pierre Hadot, there is a conception of cosmic flight or view from above in each philosophical school as the best way to look at things. The Platonists, Epicureans, and Stoics all discovered an “exercise of imagination through the infinite vastnesses of the universe.”
The text from Philo of Alexandria describes philosophers in this way,
Their goal is a life of peace and serenity, they contemplate nature and everything found within her: they attentively explore the earth, the sea, the air the sky, and every nature found therein.
In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself, “Watch and see the courses of the stars as if you were running alongside them, and continually dwell in your mind upon the changes of the elements into one another; for these imaginations wash away the foulness on the Earth. When reasoning about humanity, look upon earthly things below as if from a vantage point above them.”
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- As classicist Pierre Hadot observed, philosophy deepens and transforms habitual perception, forcing us to become aware that we perceive the world. It is critical to ask ourselves whether or not we are perceiving the world accurately.
- "The view from above" (a distanced perspective) is a practice that helps us determine if we see ourselves, others, and the world clearly. It enables us to consider the whole of human reality and to see what does not depend on us: Health, fame, wealth, and death is reduced to its true dimensions.
- Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations: "Watch and see the courses of the stars as if you were running alongside them, and continually dwell in your mind upon the changes of the elements into one another; for these imaginations wash away the foulness on the Earth. When reasoning about humanity, look upon earthly things below as if from a vantage point above them.”
- It's essential to reflect on our actions and discern whether or not they are aligned with what truly matters. The view from above allows us to detach from the struggles and challenges of everyday life to see where we're headed and why.
- How we perceive and make sense of the world builds the foundation for our philosophy of life.
- The point is to look again and broaden our perspectives to gain necessary clarity and integrate the habits that genuinely matter to us. It is to see the whole and the part of what is happening. It helps us to make better decisions and realize that our lives are precious.
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