Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Sunday night sulk.

I found this old post on one of my long abandoned blogs.  At the time I was clearly in the grips of a good old Sunday night 'don't want to go to work' sulk.


How good it is, when you have roast meet or suchlike foods before you, to impress on your mind that this is the dead body of a fish,this the dead body of a bird or pig; and again, that the Falernian wine is the mere juice of grapes, and your purple-edged robe simply the hair of a sheep soaked in shell-fish blood! And in sexual intercourse that it is no more than the friction of a membrane and a spurt of mucus ejected. - Marcus Aurelius

Merismos, meaning 'dissection or breaking into parts' is  a classical Stoic exercise aimed at analyzing the world of men and matter into it's parts to further human understanding of Nature and as a psychological tool to prevent harmful attachments to social conventions.

Consider the work I do:  I help a financial services company scrape a few percent from economic transactions by creating pretend virtual transactions to ensure this ridiculous system of technocratic bottom feeding is working as expected.  If it were not for the endless shifting rules and regulations and 'innovation',  my job would be redundant.  And yet this absurd job is necessary for my basic standard of living.

It is not in my nature to enjoy such employment; nor to derive satisfaction from it's completed work; nor to covet the rewards - cars, clothes, houses - that such work brings. Yet, clearly there are those with natures that do enjoy such work.  It is childish to resent them and childish also to expect a job free from drudgery.  Any suffering is self-inflicted from poor discipline.  But remember too the absurdity of such work and the sophistry of its culture.  Learn to become indifferent to it's ebbs and flows and to those who swim among it's tides.


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