The Greek motto gnōthi sauton (know thyself, nosce te ipsum)

The image used includes the following description:

Memento Mori mosaic from excavations in the convent of San Gregorio, Via Appia, Rome, Italy. Now in the National Museum Bath of Diocletian, Rome, Italy. The Greek motto gnōthi sauton (know thyself, nosce te ipsum) combines with the image to convey the famous warning: Respice post te; hominem te esse memento; memento mori. (Look behind; remember that you are mortal; remember death.)

It seems an appropriate comment for the current times. The future looks very dark for humanity. In the thousands of years that we have existed as the culmination of an unimaginably long evolution, the only thing we appear to have learnt is the divide and rule principle. The ability to kill and maim each other has been refined to an unbelievable degree. The current world situation is deeply ugly. On top of that, we have learnt to exploit each other and use that to form artificial hierarchies to oppress each other. All in the name of progress and civilisation.

And yet, there are, at the same time, so many good things being done to help each other to support and sustain each other. Basically, it's my experience that people are good and that they like to do good. It seems to me that what each person is looking for is to be content, to be happy. The efforts we go to to achieve that is huge: we invest in our education to get a better job, we save our money when we can to enjoy the things of this world, We strive and strive in search of that elusive feeling and forget that the feeling we are looking for is with us all the time, if only we would look. We are convinced it will come with the new partnership or the new job or the new home; it'll be great and perfect when we get that. And maybe it even is for a short time, till the next thing comes along to get or go for.

We don't sit still for long enough to be aware of all we already have and to be thankful for that. No we have to have more. 

For many, however, I see that they get their satisfaction and enjoyment when doing something together or for others. The joy of the smile on a child's face, the thank you smile from someone you've helped or been kind too. 

There was a time when love was what we all aspired to have and to feel. All the songs and stories of everlasting love inspire us to the search for that feeling. But the only constant is change, we all know that. Nothing lasts. Not even you or me. And certainly none of our relationships. And yet, we keep on looking and hoping for that love. I get that. It's what keeps me going. Maybe I have learnt something after all: the fact that I keep on getting breath is a truly remarkable expression of love that will last a whole lifetime. To understand that and acknowledge it makes me very happy. It's my eternal love, not depending on anyone or anything, just there. Now that's why I try to be conscious, to know myself, to understand the value of what I have. That's what makes me happy and I am truly grateful that I have been helped to understand that during my lifetime.

 

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