The wisdom of Marcus Aurelius

  1. Here is the rule to remember in the future, When anything tempts you to be bitter: not, ‘This is a misfortune’ but ‘To bear this worthily is good fortune
  2. To live happily is an inward power of the soul
  3. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul
  4. Let not your mind run on what you lack as much as on what you have already.
  5. Be content with what you are, and wish not change; nor dread your last day, nor long for it
  6. Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it… Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle
  7. Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too
  8. Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear
  9. The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away
  10. If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.
  11. Everything that happens happens as it should, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so
  12. “He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.
  13. Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live.
  14. Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish
  15. How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks
  16. Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present
  17. 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.
  18. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking
  19. You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
  20. When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love
  21. Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
  22. The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury
  23. Whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. The twining strands of fate wove both of them together: your own existence and the things that happen to you
  24. Why do you hunger for length of days? The point of life is to follow reason and the divine spirit and to accept whatever nature sends you. To live in this way is not to fear death, but to hold it in contempt. Death is only a thing of terror for those unable to live in the present. Pass on your way, then, with a smiling face, under the smile of him who bids you go.”
  25. When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. 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 or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine.

NOTE:

 

Marcus Aurelius (/ɔːˈriːliəs/; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus;[1][notes 1] 26 April 121 AD – 17 March 180 AD) was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus’ death in 169. He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.

 

During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East; Aurelius’ general Avidius Cassius sacked the capitalCtesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, with the threat of the Germanic tribes beginning to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.

 

Marcus Aurelius’ Stoic tome Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.

 Image

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s