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Meditations

Meditations

By Marcus Aurelius (Translated by Gregory Hays)
Meditations

Review:

I heard and came across so many references to this book because of Ryan Holiday.

Marcus Aurelius seemed to practice many of the principles that are considered part of Stoicism and because of this was considered to be a Stoic himself.

Meditations are thought to be journals of Marcus, an emperor of the most powerful empires at the time, Rome.

But you wouldn't say so while reading the entries as they are insightful, wise, humble, and perfect inspiration for reflection all of which was not attributes you would associate with an emperor of Rome.

Even though Marcus was an emperor his life was by no means easy, he lost his father when he was young, survived many attempts at the thrown, went through plagues and wars but still managed to try and live his life with truth, justice and self-control.

This is a book that you don't read once but many times over and again.

To end I would like to quote a few of my favorite passages:

"You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think."

"Not just because we move daily closer to death but also because our understanding--our grasp of the world--may be gone before we get there."

"Not live as if you had endless years ahead of you. Death overshadows you. While you're alive and well--be good."

"The only thing that isn't worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don't."

"Before long, nature, which controls it all, will alter everything you see and use it as material for something else--over and over again. So that the world is continually changing."

"To love only what happens, what was destined. No greater harmony."

"Joy for humans lies in human actions. Human actions: kindness to others, contempt for the senses, the interrogation of appearances, observation of nature and of events in nature."

"To do harm is to do yourself harm. To do an injustice is to do yourself an injustice--it degrades you."

"You've lived as a citizen in a great city. Five years or a hundred--what's the difference? The laws make no distinction.

And to be sent away from it, not by a tyrant or a dishonest judge, but by Nature, who first invited you in--why is that so terrible?

Like the impresario ringing down the curtain on an actor: "But I've only gotten through three acts... !"

Yes. This will be a drama in three acts, the length fixed by the power that directed your creation, and now directs your dissolution. Neither was yours to determine.

So make your exit with grace--the same grace shown to you."

Suggested reading path:

Ego Is The Enemy

The Obstacle Is The Way

Stillness Is The Key

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck

Everything Is F*cked A Book About Hope