ne te quaesiveris extra

My most recent tattoo:

I drew inspiration from Emerson’s opening line in his essay Self-Reliance. It literally translates: No you seek yourself outside. More poetically: ‘Do not seek yourself outside yourself’ or, ‘seek yourself within’.

Quaesīverīs is the second-person singular perfect active subjunctive of quaerō. Or quaesīveris, which is the second-person singular future perfect active indicative of quaerō. Quaerō means: I seek, look for; I ask, question, inquire; I strive for; endeavor; seek to obtain; I miss, lack; I desire, require.

Some interpretations:  ‘Stretch your arm no farther than your sleeve will reach’, or ‘Cut your Coat according to your Cloth’

Many think it was a misquote from the Satires of A. Persius Flaccus, who lived in the first century AD: “… nec te quaesiveris extra” which means: “Nor look for yourself (what you can find only in yourself) outside yourself.”  “Be your own norm.” Others arrange it: “ne quaesiveris extra te,” or “nor ask any opinion but your own.” Pretor translated “nec te quaesiveris extra” from “do not try to correct the tongue of your delicate balance by applying it to a pair of ordinary scales.” That is, do not seek out the opinion of another beside yourself.

Essentially the message is, you find yourself by looking inwards, not by turning to the pedagogy and opinions of teachers and preachers and judgments of others.”


Self-Reliance: To friends and foes

“I shall endeavor to nourish my parents, to support my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife, — but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way. I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men’s, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. — But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility. Besides, all persons have their moments of reason, when they look out into the region of absolute truth; then will they justify me, and do the same thing.”

“The populace think that your rejection of popular standards is a rejection of all standard, and mere antinomianism; and the bold sensualist will use the name of philosophy to gild his crimes. But the law of consciousness abides. There are two confessionals, in one or the other of which we must be shriven. You may fulfil your round of duties by clearing yourself in the direct, or in the reflex way. Consider whether you have satisfied your relations to father, mother, cousin, neighbour, town, cat, and dog; whether any of these can upbraid you. But I may also neglect this reflex standard, and absolve me to myself. I have my own stern claims and perfect circle. It denies the name of duty to many offices that are called duties. But if I can discharge its debts, it enables me to dispense with the popular code. If any one imagines that this law is lax, let him keep its commandment one day.”

“And truly it demands something godlike in him who has cast off the common motives of humanity, and has ventured to trust himself for a taskmaster. High be his heart, faithful his will, clear his sight, that he may in good earnest be doctrine, society, law, to himself, that a simple purpose may be to him as strong as iron necessity is to others!”

Emerson.
Self-Reliance

transcendentalism

As John Scotus Erigena put it to Frankish king Charles the Bald in the year 840 A.D., “We do not know what God is. God himself doesn’t know what He is because He is not anything. Literally God is not, because He transcends being.”

deep.

anyway. im very fascinated with transcendentalism at the moment. the ideology, philosphies, and priciples of reality that originated out of american intellects in the 1800’s as a way to figure out through the process of thought, and put the world into a more understandable perspective based on the intuitive and spiritual world- rather than emperical or scientific reasoning. it just fascinated me. anyway. bought a bunch of emerson’s work. i figure if nothing else than to better understand a different perspective of the world i’ll be reading one of the world’s greatest writers. which is something i feel obligated to do. the past few months ive bought literally dozens of books and read them repeatedly.

basically whats got me feeling so good and confident right now is my mindset. its incredible right now. its unwaivering in the deepset determination it has for success and achieving everything in front of it. any obstacle, any fear, any anxiety, and every doubt anyone ever had about my abilities to do it. and most of all… the feeling of stretching my dreams to match the potential i;ve always had, instead of selling myself short- which is what i did for so long and what so many people do. im not saying anybodies any better than anyone else.. honestly i think we’ve all been givin the same potential its just a matter of each of us to realize it for ourselves and put ourselves in a position to maximize our potential to meet every dream we could chalk up for ourselves. and it starts with positive thinking… good feelings… and action. you can talk about your dreams all day and all night but if you do nothing about it, it serves for nothing better than a conversation piece over a cup of coffee. dont be lazy. dont procrastinate. and have faith in yourselves. if you think you’re in a bad position right now that means two things. you thought yourself there… and those thoughts birthed into circumstances. but you have the ability to think yourself into a better position. we always have that power of free choice and free thought.

anyway. i know what i want to do in life. and i know where i want to be. which is HUGE.