What is the most excellent kind of day for a human being? It is living in accordance with nature. What does this mean?
‘All that is in tune with you, O Universe, is in tune with me.’–Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
1. Following. A day touched by radiance follows the course of nature, coursing. As nature courses, becoming more alive to living, more in tune with itself, so I become more alive to living, more in tune with myself.
2. Modes of Becoming. A human life consists of basic modes of becoming. These are moving, resting, working, eating, speaking, thinking, and acting. Each mode of becoming can, with exercise and as a result of right discipline, become more excellent, thereby coursing. Or else it can become degraded, hence coarsened and coarsening.
3. Accordance. At its most excellent, each mode of becoming accords at one and the same time with itself and with nature.
4. Intensity and Duration. Each mode of becoming, at its most excellent, expresses the proper degree of energetic power coursing in and through the present activity. This proper intensity is called joy. Eating, for instance, is given no more and no less than its due. So too with an energetic movement such as climbing. So too with philosophical conversations. Therefore, it is done slowly, attentively, unhurriedly, in time and step with itself. The proper duration, neither too long nor too short, is also a way of ‘releasing’ oneself easily onto the next activity.
5. Transitions. Each transition from one mode of becoming to the next is unhurried, carried out with timing and grace. Not only that, but each follows organically from the last, each coursing onto the next in due course. Just in this way does a good human being, always in the midst of becoming more excellent, follow nature’s phases, sequences, and seasons. (Otherwise, he fights himself and struggles with life and is considered ‘sick.’)
6. Beauty. When a mode of becoming reaches a certain state of excellence both in its intensity and in its manner of unfolding, then it can be said to be beautiful. But then goodness raised to beauty just is radiance.