Susan prompted me to buy Gregory Hays' new translation of the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I thought that commenting on the meditations would be good grist for the blogging mill.
Marcus Aurelius Book 2, 2
Yes, I am flesh, and thinking, and a little spirit. Yes, books are a distraction. Looking inward into the world of my own thoughts, and even easier, looking inward into the world of thinking about other's thoughts is a distraction. I should not allow myself this, but I can't avoid it. I am jerked around by the mess of blood and bone that is my body, and the mess of guilt and fear and jealousy that is my social self. Yes, my mind is a slave, and I shouldn't allow it to be the puppet of selfish impulses. Still, selfish impulses are what make my self, and that is the core of what I have. But I can try to fix on what's outside me; while just as much in flux as anything else, it is the greater part than just the selfish self.