Wednesday, December 28, 2011


“Say to yourself at break of day, I shall meet with meddling, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, and ungrateful men. All these vices have fallen to them because they have no knowledge of good and bad. But I, who have beheld the nature of the good, and seen that it is the right; and of the bad, and seen that it is the wrong; and of the wrongdoer himself, and seeing that his nature is akin to my own - not because he is of the same blood and seed, but because he shares with me in mind and a portion of the divine - I, then, can neither be harmed by any of these men, nor can I become angry with one who is akin to me, nor can I hate him, for we have come into being to work together, like feet, hands, or eyelids, or the two rows of teeth in our upper and lower jaws. To work against one another is therefore contrary to nature; and to be angry with another and turn away from him is surely to work against him.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.1

I expect that I will share more from Meditations as I found that it speaks to me. I do not agree with all of his philosophy, but I think that most of what he writes is still applicable today.

Meditations is organized into books and chapters. Each chapter is only a paragraph or two long. The first book is an acknowledgment to writers, teachers, friends and relatives of Aurelius and how they influenced him. This selection is then actually the opening words of his book.

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius, Wordsworth Classics of World Literature, 1997; translated by Robin Hard with Introduction and Notes by Christopher Gill. Marcus lived from 121 to 180 AD (CE).

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