How to accept everything that happens

“A given action that stops when it’s supposed to is none the worse for stopping. Nor the persons engaged in it either. So too with the succession of actions we call “life.” If it ends when it’s supposed to, it’s none the worse for that. And the person who comes to the end of the line has no cause for complaint. The time and stopping point are set by nature – our own nature, in some cases (death from old age); or nature as a whole, whose parts, shifting and changing, constantly renew the world, and keep it on schedule.”

-Marcus Aurelius

At first when I read “constantly renew the world, and keep it on schedule” I thought it just meant some sort of superstitious grand plan, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the world does indeed seem to have a schedule – or at least, a series of unfolding events driven by systems and mechanisms far too large and complicated to be in our control as human beings (which for all intents and purposes may as well be regarded as a ‘divine’ plan).

We live in a delicate harmony with all of the things around us, and yes we can poke and prod and subtly manipulate things to our desire on a small scale, but overall, the world-nature-universe system is ultimately going to do whatever it needs to do to stay in harmony, and is completely indifferent to whether we survive or not.

You could look at the planet as an organism – it’s a very complex system composed of many smaller units all doing their thing in a harmonious manner. So what does this make of humans dying? If you look biggest picture, it’s the organism maintaining homeostasis. It doesn’t care about us dying, all it wants is equilibrium, and it will do whatever it needs to do to get it (and it’s far more powerful than any of us.)

So what does this make for the way you live your personal life? Well, if you view the world from the perspective of your ego, that is, your individual mind and body – the world is a horribly dangerous and tragic place. Like Marcus said, things are shifting and changing, constantly renewing the world – and any one of those moving pieces could take what you identify with as you out.

But what if you took a different perspective? If you could put your self-agenda (that is, your agenda to go on living, and to pass on your genes) aside, and see reality for what it is? As a complex, but beautiful and ingenious balance of systems? Well then death no longer seems so bad.

You could see as an absolutely natural process – whenever it may come. How? Well because you realize that it’s what the system as a whole (culture, crime, horrific accidents and misfortune included) is doing what it needs to do to maintain harmony, and that’s far more important than your self-agenda as an individual, because without harmony you wouldn’t even exist – nature is your mother, as far as we’re concerned.

So I guess the choice is yours: you can choose to fight against nature by trying to serve your self-agenda, and kick and scream all the way to your death, like a child being dragged away from a video game. Or, you can just surrender to it, and accept every single thing that happens to you, no matter how tragic, knowing that it was necessary to maintain the very harmony that lets us continue to play this little game we call ‘humanity’.

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This article is part of a series on “Perspective”, and I have much more where it came from. 

Your quality of life is 100% dependent on your perspective.

Nothing can phase you with the right perspective. Life is beautiful. And not in a trivial way. It’s absolutely fucking mind-blowing how beautiful it can be.  

The problem with maintaining perspective is that it can feel like digging a hole in the ocean – with every heave of the shovel the water just floods back in.

And for that reason it’s easy to just drift through life unconscious, blown around like a leaf in the wind, and suffering because of it.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. The more you realign with it the longer it sticks, and eventually you can entrench it permanently.

So I’m going to keep writing about it and sharing my insights, and if you want to come on this journey with me drop your email below and check out the social media icons.

Stick with me, and I’ll do my best to keep us both on track.

Much love ❤