Circumstance Defining | Douglas Colston

The Birth of a Sage? Circumstance.
Real change? Defining.

Justice, relationships, good conduct and intent
determining, stabilizing, establishing and resolving
refreshed aims, standard, criteria, integrity and temperance?

Giving birth 
to the propitious, efficacious, favourable and protective.

The noble, venerable, holy or sacred?

Being born.

Backbone, spirit, integrity, drive, ambition and temperance?

The aim, standard and criterion –
bindu (बिंदु [the optimal potential in each emerging moment]).


True, genuine and honest 
intent, good conduct, relationships and justice.


A celebration.

The optimal potential?

Renewal, explanation, action, clarity,
precision, deciding, expressing our essential nature
and sharp demarcation of outer limits.

(Food for those that are good and their minds)

Some ancient texts 
are more difficult to decipher 
than others. 

One relevant factor is that, 
varying meanings may be applied 
to words or phrases 
that can radically alter a ‘reading’. 

There is, 
the matter of the influence 
of prevailing expectations—
including those that might be reasonably ascribed 
to dogma.

To illustrate those points, 
when reading a traditional English translation 
of Martial (XI: 56), 
it would be easy to receive that material 
as a satirical epigram 
of the male Alexandrian Stoic, 

Reading the Latin, 
particularly appreciating how Koine Greek terms 
were rendered by authors writing in Latin 
might well turn such a translation on its head.

For starters, 
many relevant terms used by Martial 
are set with a feminine inflection—
indicating that the action 
relates to a woman. 

That is reinforced 
by the use of the term hanc 
(an accusative feminine singular construction 
meaning ‘her’) 
in respect of Chaeremon. 

A little later on, 
the term nigrō is used—
which could imply 
the intended communication is, 
“I am black”, 
but it is also—
substituted by “wan”, “bad”, “evil” or “ill-omened”. 

One might also observe 
that ‘Chaeremon’ 
could be a Latinised variation 
of an ancient Greek word—
that can be read 
as “The Χαίρω” 
(“The Joyful”) … 
and perhaps even ☧.

the closing passage—
at least as far as my translation goes—
seems eternally relevant:

	The good-natured, yielding and courteous 
	feed on deeds 
	against constriction and fore-shortened lives … 
	they disparage and humble—
	strongly, powerfully, bravely and boldly—
	those seeking to facilitate 
	what is wretched, worthless, tragic, sick or tormented.

©2022 Douglas Colston
All rights reserved

Douglas Colston…

…has played in Ska bands, picked up university degrees, supported his parents during terminal  illnesses, experienced chronic mental and physical illnesses consequential to workplace harassment, married  his love, transitioned into Counselling as a vocation, fathered two great children and had his inheritance embezzled. Now, among other things, he is pursuing a PhD.



Be inspired… Be creative… Be peace… Be

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