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Meditations

Meditations

by Marcus Aurelius

MARCUS AURELIUS

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one

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Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Marcus was born in AD 121, in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. At first he was Marcus Annius Verus, but his well-born father died young and he was adopted by his grandfather, who had him educated by number of excellent tutors.

When he was sixteen, he was adopted by his unc...

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Meditations

Marcus Aurelius' writing known as the Meditations, are unique in classical literature - the personal and the philosophical diary written in Greek by an intellectual Roman Emperor without any thought or intention of publication, and remain of unique interest and relevan...

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How could reader of the meditations tell he was a Stoic?

There is no work quite like the Meditations in Greek or Roman philosophical literarture.

Readers who come to this book expecting the hardness and austerity of a Stoic will not be disappointed, but they will be surprised by prose that often read like modern peotry and startled by the vivid i...

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Meditation Book: 1 Passage: 3

From my mother: piety, generosity, the avoidance of wrong-doing and even the thought of it; also simplicity of living, well clear of habits of the rich.

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Meditation Book: 2 Passage: 8

Failure to read what is happening in another's soul is not easily seen as a cause of unhappiness: but those who fail to attend to the motions of their own soul are necessarily unhappy.

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Meditation Book: 3 Passage: 4

Do not waste the remaining part of your life in thoughts about other people, when you are not thinking with reference to some common good. 

Why deprive yourself of the time for some other task? Thinking about what so-and-so is doing and why, what he is saying or plotting, a...

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Meditation Book: 4 Passage: 26

You have seen that: now look at this. Do not trouble yourself, keep your self simple. Someone does wrong? He does wrong to himself. Has something happened to you? Fine. 

All that happens has been fated by the Whole from the beginning and spun for your own destiny. In sum, life is short: mak...

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Meditation Book: 5 Passage: 8.3, 8.4

"Fate brought this on him." So let us accept these prescribtions just as we accept those of Asclepius - many of them too are harsh, but we welcome them in the hope of the health.

You should take the same view of the process and completion of the universal nature as you do of your own health...

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Meditation Book: 5 Passage: 8.5

So there are two reasons why you should be content with your experiences: One is that this has happened to you, was prescribed to you, a thread of destiny spun for you by most anicent cause. Second is that what comes to each individual is determining part of the welfare, perfection, and indeed th...

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Meditation Book: 6 Passage: 21

If somone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one's own self-deception and ignorance.

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Meditation Book: 7 Passage: 18

Is someone afraid of change? Well, what can ever come to be without change? Or what is dearer or closer to the nature of the Whole than change? Can you yourself take a bath, if the wood that heats it is not changed? Can you be fed, unless what you eat changes? Can any other of the benefits of the...

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Meditation Book: 8 Passage: 17

If the choice is yours, why do the thing? But if it is another's choice, why do you blame - atoms or gods? Either is madness. There is no blame. If you can, put him right: if you can't, at the least put the matter itslef right. If that too is impossible, what further purpose does blame serve? Not...

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Meditation Book: 9 Passage: 32

You can strip away many unnecessary troubles which lie wholly in your own judgement. And you will immediately make large and wide open room for yourself by grasping the whole universe in your thought, contemplating the eternity of time, and reflecting on the rapid change of each thing in every pa...

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Meditation Book: 10 Passage: 2

Observe what your physical nature requires, as one subject to the condition of mere life. Then do it and welcome it, as long as nature as an animate being will not be impaired. Next, you should observe what your nature as an animate being requires: again, adopt all of this, as long as your nature...

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Meditation Book: 11 Passage: 9

Just as those who try to block your progress along the straight path of the reason will not be able to divert you from principled action, so you must not let them knock you out of your good will towards them. Rather you shold watch yourself equally on both fronts, keepind only a stablity of judge...

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Meditation Book: 12 Passage: 32

What a tiny part of the boundless abyss of time has been allotted to each of us - and this is soon vanished in eternity; what a tiny part of the universal substance and the universal soul; how tiny in the whole earth the mere clod on which you creep. Reflecting on all this, think nothing importan...

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All of us are creatures of a day; the rememberer and the remembered alike. All is ephemeral—both memory and the object of memory. The time is at hand when you will have forgotten everything; and the time is at hand when all will have forgotten you. Always reflect that soon you will be no one, and nowhere. For what purpose then, have you been brought to this world?

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