Friday, June 5, 2009

Leonardo da Vinci Quote

"You can have neither greater nor lesser dominion than that over yourself".

Whether Da Vinci really said this or not, I think these are wise words. So many people focus more on what is external to them and their lives - that which they cannot really control. Then, there are others who relinquish what they can control - what is internal to them and their lives - to others, as if others knew best for them. Neither scenario seems to work very well, in the long run.

I think there is a good possibility that every war, every injustice, every abuse, every "grand scheme" to make the world a better place, every mistreatment of any animal, all needless destruction of the environment, every religion, every philosophy, every ideology (including Scientism, as opposed to Science), all politics, most morals, most ethics, most blogs, most forums, claims of right and wrong about things that affect only one person, and most expectations of etiquette could be the result of a desire for some form of control outside of ourselves and immediate lives.

And as one can see, these controls don't always work so well, since much of the world is in the shitter. Perhaps that is because we do not really have the power to control that which is external to us and our immediate lives.

Likewise, every depression (except those caused "naturally"), every reactionary response, every complaint, every suicide attempt, every willing dependence on anything, all lack of meaning, every shun of responsibility for choice, and every assumption of being owed something could be the result of ignoring what we have the power to control - ourselves and our immediate lives.

That's not even counting the willingness to follow and obey everything listed in the previous paragraph of external controls simply because it is "accepted" that this is "the way" (nevermind there is no "way") or "the fact" (nevermind that "facts" change constantly). Again, so much of the world is in the shitter, so is abandoning internal control doing us any good?

Alas, I don't think it can be said that all of the world has gone to pot. There seem to be many people in the world who are happy for a variety of reasons that please them.

I wonder, however, if this is due to those people considering those things good for them but not expecting everyone else to make the same assumption for themselves, letting everyone else make that choice for themselves. These are the same people who might realize that the internal and personal life is theirs to control, not someone else's, and that which is external to their immediate life is something they have no real power over.

Perhaps, as Da Vinci might have said, you can have neither greater nor lesser dominion than that over yourself.

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