“If you’ve seen the present, you’ve seen all things, from time immemorial into all of eternity. For everything that happens is related and the same.”MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.37
Everything that happens today has happened before — and has happened a million times before that as well.
The trees continue to reach for the sun. The sun continues to send its warmth down to the earth and to all things. The living creatures scrabble around on the earth looking for sustenance and the ability to procreate. Sadly, some humans continue an existence that is not much more than that either. Other humans create lives of complexity and busy-ness for themselves in an effort to feel complete. This has been going on for an eternity, and it will continue on for an eternity.
People fight, people make love. People hurt each other, or feel hurt by things they can’t control. The waves continue to crash on the shore, as they have a thousand times before. Someone loses a job, another finds a new opportunity. Someone else is devastated by calamity. A dog barks at you on the way to work. The wind knocks down your fence.
These things have always happened. The core of each thing that you’ve experienced, has been experienced by someone else at some point in the past. It’s an endless cycle, and it continues now and forevermore. In the end, your existence is actually quite brief.
In a way, it’s kind of comforting to know that we’re not that special, says the author of The Daily Stoic. Our concerns and fears have been experienced by countless generations before us. And countless more will come after us, likely experiencing the same thoughts. You’re not the first to feel this way, and you won’t be the last.