Meditations Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Meditations Summary

About Meditations Book

Meditations (Medieval Greek: Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν, romanized: Ta eis he'auton, lit. 'things to one's self') is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. It is possible that large portions of the work were written at Sirmium, where he spent much time planning military campaigns from 170 to 180. Some of it was written while he was positioned at Aquincum on campaign in Pannonia, because internal notes tell us that the first book was written when he was campaigning against the Quadi on the river Granova (modern-day Hron) and the second book was written at Carnuntum.

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Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Here are some insights from meditations that teach us a lot about how to think and lead our lives

~MARCUS AURELIUS

Focus on controlling your own thoughts and actions, rather than worrying about external events

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~MARCUS AURELIUS

Strive to be a good person rather than getting caught up in debates about what it means to be good.

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~ MARCUS AURELIUS

Seek to understand and empathize with others, rather than seeking

revenge.

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Dive into "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, a timeless guide to living a virtuous life. Embrace stoic wisdom for inner peace, resilience, and true fulfillment.

MARCUS AURELIUS

Meditate on the impermanence of life and the transient nature of all things. Accept that everything changes and ends, fostering a mindset of detachment and peace.

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MARCUS AURELIUS

You have power over your mind, not external events. Realize that your thoughts shape your reality, and cultivate inner tranquility regardless of external circumstances.”

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MARCUS AURELIUS

Live in harmony with nature and follow its rational order. Understand your role in the larger context of the universe, and act according to your true nature.”

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Think about the daily stress we face—school, relationships, and future plans. Yes, it can be overwhelming. That's the same for Marcus Aurelius, he faced huge pressures too, as a leader of a vast empire. He wrote "Meditations" as a way to remind himself to stay focused, calm, and grounded. With it, his thoughts can help us handle our own challenges with more peace and strength.

INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

Hey everyone! Today, we're going to dive into "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius. This book is packed with wisdom about how to live a good life, stay calm, and deal with challenges. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor, but his advice is timeless and can help us today. I’ll share some key ideas from the book, along with simple examples and how I apply these lessons in my life.

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1. Control What Can Be Controlled

1. Control What Can Be Controlled

Key Idea: Focus on what you can change, let go of what you can't.

Examples:

  • If I have a test, I can control how much I study, but I can't control the questions on the test. So, I focus on studying as how much I think is needed.
  • When plans get canceled, I use the time to do something productive or relaxing instead of feeling disappointed.

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2. Live in the Present

2. Live in the Present

Key Idea: Be present and make the most of now.

Examples:

  • When I'm with my family, I put away my phone and really listen to them.
  • During a walk, I pay attention to the sights and sounds around me instead of worrying about tomorrow.

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Who was Marcus Aurelius and why listen to him?

Marcus Aurelius was the most powerful and important man in the world. He was emperor of Rome for almost two decades starting in the year 161 A.D.

Although Marcus was a powerful ruler, his problems appear to be surprisingly similar to the problems we all face daily. For example,

  • He felt anxious about his son getting sick,
  • He worried about other people’s opinions,
  • He tried not to get angry with selfish people,

    and most importantly…
  • He had trouble sometimes, living inside his comfort zones.

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The Evil That Men Do Harms You Only if You Do Evil in Response

Marcus reminded himself to not be upset by the misdeeds of others and to correct them if possible, but if they were stubborn and would not change, to accept it. In reacting to such people, we must never allow our own principles to be violated. Moreover, we should never be surprised by the wicked deeds of others. He believed that people do bad things out of ignorance of what is good and evil, and that we should forgive them for their errors, even when they harm us.

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Fame and Desires are Not Worth Pursuing

Marcus repeatedly explains why the pursuit of fame and praise is foolish and why we especially should not care about what others think of us after we die. He points out that so many famous men have been forgotten, that those who would praise one posthumously will themselves soon die. He explains that there are no immortal actions. He also explains that nothing is made better by praise, the beauty of things comes from the thing itself and not what people say about it. 

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marcus aurelius

"Discourse no more of what a good man should be; but be one."

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Marcus aurelius

"Continually reflect that all that is happenning now happened exactly in the same way before; and reflect it will happen again. Place before your eyes all that you have ever known from your own experience or from ancient history; dramas and scenes... All these were similar , only the actors different."

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1. Mind Your Business

1. Mind Your Business

Forget what other people are doing, forget what they're doing wrong. You've got enough on your plate. Focus on yourself-focus on what you might be doing wrong. Fix that.

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2. Our Greatest Asset

2. Our Greatest Asset

Our ability to reason is what sets us apart from the animals and is an important power that we must use to the fullest.

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3. You're in Control

3. You're in Control

You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

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This helps me wake up in the morning and get ready for the day. Great stoic wisdom of Marcus Aurelius.

#1 Marcus Aurelius: Morning Reminder

#1 Marcus Aurelius: Morning Reminder

When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself:

  • The people I deal with today will be Meddling, Ungrateful, Arrogant, Dishonest, Jealous and Surly.

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#2 Marcus Aurelius: Morning Reminder

#2 Marcus Aurelius: Morning Reminder

  • They are like this because they can't tell good from evil.
  • But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own - not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine.

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#3 Marcus Aurelius: Morning Reminder

#3 Marcus Aurelius: Morning Reminder

  • And so none of them can hurt me.
  • No one can implicate me in ugliness.
  • Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him.
  • We were born to work together like feet, hands and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural.
  • To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are unnatural.

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Marcus aurelius

“No, you do not have thousands of years to live. Urgency is on you. While you live, while you can, become good.” -Book 4.17

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As a man, everyone should be known about the logos and Stoicism

Who is Marcus Aurelius?

Who is Marcus Aurelius?

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire lasting from 27 BCE to 180 CE. He was born in 121 AD Rome, Italy

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What is a Stoicism?

What is a Stoicism?

Of the doctrines central to the Stoic worldview, perhaps the most important is the unwavering conviction that world is organised in a rational and coherent way. More specifically it is controlled and directed by an all-prevading force that the Stoics designated by the term logos. The term (from which English "logic" and the suffix "-logy" derive) has a semantic range so broad as to be almost untranslatable.

In simple words,

Stoicism is from the outset a deterministic system that appears to leave no room for human free-will or moral responsibility.

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An example to understand Stoicism properly.

An example to understand Stoicism properly.

If the dog refuses to run along with the wagon he will be dragged by it, yet the choice remains his: to run or be dragged. In the same way, humans are responsible for their choices and actions, even though these have been anticipated by the logos and form of its plan.

Every action is governed by the logos ( Active reason prevading and animating the whole Universe)

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Such a simple declaration about the relationship between our happiness and thoughts has us thinking deeply. We can observe the thoughts that we are having and then choose again if we need to. Making a commitment to choose thoughts that are of a good quality is essential if you want to be happy. Be discerning about the quality of thoughts you let run through your precious mind every day.  No-one else is responsible for our happiness. Only ourselves and our thoughts.

MARCUS AURELIUS

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”

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