Regardless of what this Naropoid thinks, the idea we’re examining today is “internal integration”, according to Ryan Holiday.
Since we’re making this up as we go, I offer (in other words, I make up) that the definition of internal integration is: a holistic unifying of independent, beneficial parts (illusory or actual) of our mental and spiritual landscape. In other words, constantly working to experience the forest as a forest… and not a bunch of individual trees vying for our attention.
Perhaps, though, trees are not the right metaphor? Perhaps the importance of remaining ignorant to the forces at the root of our mindless desires and illogical fears, forces that could tear us apart, cannot be conveyed by gentle tree imagery?
If I’m interpreting this lesson correctly, what I’m seeing is us, as individuals, at the center of a multi-player tug-o-war. With rope attached to one of our legs, one desire pulls one way. Another, attached to one of our arms, pulls in a different direction. Tied to our neck, one fear pulls us opposite of another fear, tied to our once-free arm.
Holidays says that, “We can’t live as both Jekyll AND Hyde. Not for long, anyway.” (The Daily Stoic, p 73). He’s right… but it’s worse than just reconciling between two sides. It’s multi-faceted, and well beyond a binary.
Epictetus counsels us to, “... stand with the philosopher, or else with the mob.” (Discourses, 3.15.13) As the “master of my fate” and “captain of my soul” (Henley, Invictus), I’ll either be the kind of captain making decisions from a holistic, mutually beneficial, healthy, Courageous space… or the kind who bends to the whims of the desirous individual, or worse, the unaware mob.
With awareness, we set sail.
(See y’all tomorrow)