Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Buffeted here and there

In Seneca’s letters, then, there is at bottom a kind of dualism inherent in what is. God/Nature and Fortuna, that is, are simply different ways to name the character of what is. Neither God nor Fortuna is personal in any kind of significant sense. They are, rather, textures of the cosmos, reasonable and wild, respectively. To survive the wild, Seneca counsels his pupil, our lives must become aligned with the reasonable; we thereby live in accordance with nature and ourselves become God, thus achieving divine happiness in the midst of the world’s wild, excessive power (see Ep. 48.11; 59.14; 82.1).—One True Life: The Stoics and Early Christians as Rival Traditions, 30

<idle musing>
And there's the rub, isn't it? We are on our own. If we don't make the most of our lives, it's our own fault. Sure, we're gods, but gods without any real power. The only power we have is to live for the present—but in a reasonable way.

I don't know about you, but I'll take Christianity, with a personal (in the sense of having personality) god, who doesn't just show the way, but lives inside us to enable us. We aren't on our own.

We might still appear powerless, but we have "exceeding great and precious promises" that the Holy Spirit is within us and that God is in the process of re-creating all things new—including not just us, but the whole of creation.

Just an
</idle musing>

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