Think of the universal substance, of which thou has a very small portion; and of universal time, of which a short and indivisible interval has been assigned to thee; and of that which is fixed by destiny, and how small a part of it thou art ? Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
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.
We are the other of the other
And in the case of superior things like stars, we discover a kind of unity in separation. The higher we rise on the scale of being, the easier it is to discern a connection even among things separated by vast distances.
It is a ridiculous thing for a man not to fly from his own badness, which is indeed possible, but to fly from other men's badness, which is impossible.
Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; and if it is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.
Look to nothing, not even for a moment except to reason.
Whenever you want to cheer yourself up, consider the good qualities of your companions, for example, the energy of one, the modesty of another, the generosity of yet another, and some other quality of another; for nothing cheers the heart as much as the images of excellence reflected in the character of our companions, all brought before us as fully as possible. Therefore, keep these images ready at hand.
Kindness is unconquerable, so long as it is without flattery or hypocrisy. For what can the most insolent man do to you, if you contrive to be kind to him, and if you have the chance gently advise and calmly show him what is right...and point this out tactfully and from a universal perspective. But you must not do this with sarcasm or reproach, but lovingly and without anger in your soul.
It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.
Will any man despise me? Let him see to it. But I will see to it that I may not be found doing or saying anything that deserves to be despised.
The time of a man's life is as a point; the substance of it ever flowing, the sense obscure; and the whole composition of the body tending to corruption. His soul is restless, fortune uncertain, and fame doubtful; to be brief, as a stream so are all things belonging to the body; as a dream, or as a smoke, so are all that belong unto the soul. Our life is a warfare, and a mere pilgrimage. Fame after life is no better than oblivion. What is it then that will adhere and follow? Only one thing, philosophy. And philosophy doth consist in this, for a man to preserve that spirit which is within him, from all manner of contumelies and injuries, and above all pains or pleasures; never to do anything either rashly, or feignedly, or hypocritically: only to depend from himself, and his own proper actions: all things that happen unto him to embrace contentendly, as coming from Him from whom he himself also came; and above all things, with all meekness and a calm cheerfulness, to expect death, as being nothing else but the resolution of those elements, of which every creature is composed. And if the elements themselves suffer nothing by their perpetual conversion of one into another, that dissolution, and alteration, which is so common unto all, why should it be feared by any? Is not this according to nature? But nothing that is according to nature can be evil.
Never forget that the universe is a single living organism possessed of one substance and one soul, holding all things suspended in a single consciousness and creating all things with a single purpose that they might work together spinning and weaving and knotting whatever comes to pass.
The world is mere change, and this life, opinion.
Do not be ashamed of help.
Not to waste time on nonsense. Not to be taken in by conjurors and hoodoo artists with their talk about incantations and exorcism and all the rest of it. Not to be obsessed with quail-fighting or other crazes like that.
Today I escaped all circumstance, or rather I cast out all circumstance, for it was not outside me, but within my judgements.
Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be.
In an expression of true gratitude, sadness is conspicuous only by its absence
How soon will time cover all things.
Remember two things: i. that everything has always been the same, and keeps recurring, and it makes no difference whether you see the same things recur in a hundred years or two hundred, or in an infinite period; ii. that the longest-lived and those who will die soonest lose the same thing. The present is all that they can give up, since that is all you have, and what you do not have you cannot lose.
Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
The best revenge is not to do as they do.
You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant. And certainly everything self-important or malicious. You need to get used to winnowing your thoughts, so that if someone says, "What are your thinking about?" you can respond at once (and truthfully) that you are thinking this or thinking that.
Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself, and is complete in itself; praise forms no part of it. So it is none the worse nor the better for being praised.
Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.
Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.
Everything in any way beautiful has its beauty of itself, inherent and self-sufficient: praise is no part of it. At any rate, praise does not make anything better or worse. This applies even to the popular conception of beauty, as in material things or works of art. So does the truly beautiful need anything beyond itself? No more than law, no more than truth, no more than kindness or integrity. Which of these things derives its beauty from praise, or withers under criticism? Does an emerald lose its quality if it is not praised? And what of gold, ivory, purple, a lyre, a dagger, a flower, a bush?
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 the motions of their own soul are necessarily unhappy.
We must make haste then, not only because we are daily nearer to death, but also because the conception of things and the understanding of them cease first.
When force of circumstance upsets your equanimity, lose no time in recovering your self-control, and do not remain out of tune longer than you can help. Habitual recurrence to the harmony will increase your mastery of it.
Frequently consider the connection of all things in the Universe. ... Reflect upon the multitude of bodily and mental events taking place in the same brief time, simultaneously in every one of us and so you will not be surprised that many more events, or rather all things that come to pass, exist simultaneously in the one and entire unity, which we call the Universe. ... We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a Citizen of the Universe'.
In a sense, people are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them. But when they obstruct our proper tasks, they become irrelevant to us—like sun, wind, animals. Our actions may be impeded by them, but there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer.
...life is a warfare and a stranger's sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion.
That which has died falls not out of the universe. If it stays here, it also changes here, and is dissolved into its proper parts, which are elements of the universe and of thyself. And these too change, and they murmur not".
Live every day as if they last.
In everything that you do, pause and ask yourself if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives you of this
Stop wandering about! You aren't likely to read your own notebooks, or ancient histories, or the anthologies you've collected to enjoy in your old age. Get busy with life's purpose, toss aside empty hopes, get active in your own rescue-if you care for yourself at all-and do it while you can.
Accustom yourself not to be disregarding of what someone else has to say: as far as possible enter into the mind of the speaker.
Be your own master, and look at things as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal creature.
In the morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present,—I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie in the bed-clothes and keep myself warm?—But this is more pleasant.—Dost thou exist then to take thy pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion? Dost thou not see the little plants, the little birds, the ants, the spiders, the bees working together to put in order their several parts of the universe? And art thou unwilling to do the work of a human being, and dost thou not make haste to do that which, is according to thy nature? But it is necessary to take rest also.—It is necessary. However, Nature has fixed bounds to this too: she has fixed bounds to eating and drinking, and yet thou goest beyond these bounds, beyond what is sufficient; yet in thy acts it is not so, but thou stoppest short of what thou canst do. So thou lovest not thyself, for if thou didst, thou wouldst love thy nature and her will. But those who love their several arts exhaust themselves in working at them unwashed and without food; but thou valuest thy own nature less than the turner values the turning art, or the dancer the dancing art, or the lover of money values his money, or the vain-glorious man his little glory. And such men, when they have a violent affection to a thing, choose neither to eat nor to sleep rather than to perfect the things which they care for. But are the acts which concern society more vile in thy eyes and less worthy of thy labor?
Our inward power, when it obeys nature, reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces - to what is possible. It needs no specific material. It pursues its own aims as circumstances allow; it turns obstacles into fuel. As a fire overwhelms what would have quenched a lamp. What's thrown on top of the conflagration is absorbed, consumed by it - and makes it burn still higher.
If something is difficult for you to accomplish, do not then think it impossible for any human being; rather, if it is humanly possible and corresponds to human nature, know that it is attainable by you as well.
From my great-grandfather: not to have attended schools for the public; to have had good teachers at home, and to realize that this is the sort of thing on which one should spend lavishly.
Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial
If any man is able to convince me and show me that I do not think or act right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth by which no man was ever injured. But he is injured who abides in his error and ignorance.
He is so rich, he has no room to shit.
A Man's life is dyed the color of his imagination.
When you run up against someone else’s shamelessness, ask yourself this: Is a world without shamelessness possible? No. Then don’t ask the impossible. There have to be shameless people in the world. This is one of them. The same for someone vicious or untrustworthy, or with any other defect. Remembering that the whole world class has to exist will make you more tolerant of its members.
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? So you were born to feel nice? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.
Art thou angry with him whose armpits stink? Art thou angry with him whose mouth smells foul?
Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned to you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return.
Do the things external which fall upon thee distract thee? Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around.
Your life is what your thoughts make it
If you do the task before you always adhering to strict reason with zeal and energy and yet with humanity, disregarding all lesser ends and keeping the divinity within you pure and upright, as though you were even now faced with its recall - if you hold steadily to this, staying for nothing and shrinking from nothing, only seeking in each passing action a conformity with nature and in each word and utterance a fearless truthfulness, then the good life shall be yours. And from this course no man has the power to hold you back.
Our actions may be impeded... But there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impeding to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
Give up your thirst for books, so that you do not die a grouch.
If the gods have determined about me and about the things which must happen to me, they have determined well, for it is not easy even to imagine a deity without forethought; and as to doing me harm, why should they have any desire towards that? For what advantage would result to them from this or to the whole, which is the special object of their providence? But if they have not determined about me individually, they have certainly determined about the whole at least, and the things which happen by way of sequence in this general arrangement I ought to accept with pleasure and to be content with them.
The man of ambition thinks to find his good in the operations of others; the man of pleasure in his own sensations; but the man of understanding in his own actions.
Do not disturb yourself by picturing your life as a whole; do not assemble in your mind the many and varied troubles which have come to you in the past and will come again in the future, but ask yourself with regard to every present difficulty: 'What is there in this that is unbearable and beyond endurance?' You would be ashamed to confess it! And then remind yourself that it is not the future or what has passed that afflicts you, but always the present, and the power of this is much diminished if you take it in isolation and call your mind to task if it thinks that it cannot stand up to it when taken on its own.
Retire into thyself. The rational principle which rules has this nature, that it is content with itself when it does what is just, and so secures tranquility.
This thing, what is it in itself, in its own constitution? What is its substance and material?
Be not disgusted, nor discouraged, nor dissatisfied, if thou dost not succeed in doing everything according to right principles; but when thou bast failed, return back again, and be content if the greater part of what thou doest is consistent with man's nature, and love this to which thou returnest
If all emotions are common coin, then what is unique to the good man? To welcome with affection what is sent by fate. Not to stain or disturb the spirit within him with a mess of false beliefs. Instead, to preserve it faithfully, by calmly obeying God – saying nothing untrue, doing nothing unjust. And if the others don’t acknowledge it – this life lived in simplicity, humility, cheerfulness – he doesn’t resent them for it, and isn’t deterred from following the road where it leads: to the end of life. An end to be approached in purity, in serenity, in acceptance, in peaceful unity with what must be.
Never let the future disturb you - you will meet it with the same weapons of reason and mind that, today, guard you against the present...
, The Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius
Do not let the future disturb you, for you will arrive there, if you arrive, with the same reason you now apply to the present.
Wilt thou, then, my soul, never be good and simple and one and naked, more manifest than the body which surrounds thee?
Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, Why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it? You’ll be embarrassed to answer. Then remind yourself that past and future have no power over you. Only the present—and even that can be minimized. Just mark off its limits.
It is in your own power to maintain the beauty of your soul, or to be a decent human being.
All of us are creatures of a day; the rememberer and the remembered alike.
In the human life time is but an instant, and the substance of it a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of certainty. And, to say all in a word, everything that belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger's sojourn, and after- fame is oblivion. What then can guide a man? One thing and only one, philosophy.
Whether you are shivering with cold or too hot, sleepy or wide awake, spoken well of or badly, dying, or doing anything else, do not let it interfere with doing what is right. For whatever causes us to die is also one of life's processes. Even for this, nothing is required of us than to accomplish well the task at hand.
To live happily is an inward power of the soul.
Meditate upon what you ought to be in body and soul when death overtakes you; meditate on the brevity of life, and the measureless gulf of eternity behind it and before, and upon the frailty of everything material.
Its a dream, a fearful dream, life is
Every man is worth just so much as the things about which he busies himself.
, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
…praise does not make anything better or worse.
All things from eternity are of like forms and come round in a circle.
As for others whose lives are not so ordered, he reminds himself constantly of the characters they exhibit daily and nightly at home and abroad, and of the sort of society they frequent; and the approval of such men, who do not even stand well in their own eyes, has no value for him.
, The Meditations of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
In this flowing stream, then, on which there is no abiding, what is there of the things which hurry by on which a man would set a high price? It would be just as if a man should fall in love with one of the sparrows which fly by, but it has already passed out of sight.
How many together with whom I came into the world are already gone out of it.
Be cheerful also, and seek not external help nor the tranquility which others give. A man then must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.
Whatever time you choose is the right time. Not late, not early.
Objective judgment, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance—now, at this very moment—of all external events. That’s all you need.
From my Great-grandfather, not to have frequented public schools, and to have had good teachers at home, and to know that on such things a man should spend liberally.
If unwilling to rise in the morning, say to thyself, ‘I awake to do the work of a man.
striid andWthdraw into yourself. Our master-reason asks no more than to act justly, and thereby to achieve calm.
Everything that happens is either endurable or not. If it’s endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining. If it’s unendurable … then stop complaining. Your destruction will mean its end as well.
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.
I can control my thoughts as necessary; then how can I be troubled? What is outside my mind means nothing to it. Absorb that lesson and your feet stand firm.
That to expect bad people not to injure others is crazy. It's to ask the impossible. And to let them behave like that to other people but expect them to exempt you is arrogant--the act of a tyrant.
Hour by hour resolve firmly to do what comes to hand with dignity, and with humanity, independence, and justice. Allow your mind freedom from all other considerations. This you can do, if you will approach each action as though it were your last, dismissing the desire to create an impression, the admiration of self, the discontent with your lot. See how little man needs to master, for his days to flow on in quietness and piety: he has but to observe these few counsels, and the gods will ask nothing more.
No more roundabout discussions of what makes a good man. Be one!
It is my bad luck that this has happened to me.' No, you should rather say: 'It is my good luck that, although this has happened to me, I can bear it without pain, neither crushed by the present not fearful of the future.' Because such a thing could have happened to any man, but not every man could have borne it without pain. So why see more misfortune in the event than good fortune in your ability to bear it?
The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it.
That all is as thinking makes it so – and you control your thinking. So remove your judgements whenever you wish and then there is calm - as the sailor rounding the cape finds smooth water and the welcome of a waveless bay.
The soul of a man harms itself, first and foremost, when it becomes (as far as it can) a separate growth, a sort of tumour on the universe; because to resent anything that happens is to separate oneself in revolt from Nature, which holds in collective embrace the particular natures of all other things.
Some things are hurrying into existence and others are hurrying out of it and of that which is coming into existence, part is already extinguished. In this flowing stream then, on which there is no abiding, what is there of things which hurry on by on which a man would set a high price. It would be just as if a man should fall in love with one of the sparrows which fly by but has already passed out of sight.
Manusia mampu melakukan semua yang Tuhan ingin ia lakukan.
The gods either have power or they have not. If they have not, why pray to them? If they have, then instead of praying to be granted or spared such-and-such a thing, why not rather pray to be delivered from dreading it, or lusting for it, or grieving over it? Clearly, if they can help a man at all, they can help him in this way. You will say, perhaps, ‘But all that is something they have put in my own power.’ Then surely it were better to use your power and be a free man, than to hanker like a slave and a beggar for something that is not in your power. Besides, who told you the gods never lend their aid even towards things that do lie in our own power? Begin praying in this way, and you will see. Where another man prays ‘Grant that I may possess this woman,’ let your own prayer be, ‘Grant that I may not lust to possess her.’ Where he prays, ‘Grant me to be rid of such-and-such a one,’ you pray, ‘Take from me my desire to be rid of him.’ Where he begs, ‘Spare me the loss of my precious child,’ beg rather to be delivered from the terror of losing him. In short, give your petitions a turn in this direction, and see what comes.
To read with diligence; not to rest satisfied with a light and superficial knowledge, nor quickly to assent to things commonly spoken
Nothing is more scandalous than a man that is proud of his humility.
But among the things readiest to hand to which you shall turn, let there be these two: One is that things do not touch the soul, for they are external to its movement, but your anguish only comes from judgments within. The other is that all these things which you see now are changing and will cease to be, and constantly bear in mind how many of these changes you have already witnessed. The universe is transformation. Life is judgement.
Anger and the sorrow it produces are far more harmful than the things which make us angry.
The universe is change, and life mere opinion
Thou sayest, Men cannot admire the sharpness of thy wits.- Be it so: but there are many other things of which thou canst not say, I am not formed for them by nature. Show those qualities then which are altogether in thy power, sincerity, gravity, endurance of labour, aversion to pleasure, contentment with thy portion and with few things, benevolence, frankness, no love of superfluity, freedom from trifling magnanimity. Dost thou not see how many qualities thou art immediately able to exhibit, in which there is no excuse of natural incapacity and unfitness, and yet thou still remainest voluntarily below the mark? Or art thou compelled through being defectively furnished by nature to murmur, and to be stingy, and to flatter, and to find fault with thy poor body, and to try to please men, and to make great display, and to be so restless in thy mind? No, by the gods: but thou mightest have been delivered from these things long ago. Only if in truth thou canst be charged with being rather slow and dull of comprehension, thou must exert thyself about this also, not neglecting it nor yet taking pleasure in thy dulness.
Swiftly the remembrance of all things is buried in the gulf of eternity.
De multe ori am fost uimit de faptul ca fiecare, desi se iubeste pe sine insusi mai mult decat pe toti ceilalti, pune totusi mai putin pret pe propria parere despre sine decat pe parerea celorlalti despre el.
Though thou shouldst be going to live three thousand years, and as many times ten thousand years, still remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives, nor lives any other than this which he now loses. The longest and shortest are thus brought to the same. For the present is the same to all, though that which perishes is not the same; and so that which is lost appears to be a mere moment.
All things fade into the storied past, and in a little while are shrouded in oblivion.
How good it is, when you have roast meat or suchlike foods before you, to impress on your mind that this is the dead body of a fish, this the dead body of a bird or pig.
Everything of the body is a river. Everything of the soul is dream and vapour. Life is war and the abode of a stranger. The only fame after death is oblivion.
Never value the advantages derived from anything involving breach of faith, loss of self-respect, hatred, suspicion, or execration of others, insincerity, or the desire for something which has to be veiled and curtained.
Frightened of change? But what can exist without it? What’s closer to nature’s heart? Can you take a hot bath and leave the firewood as it was? Eat food without transforming it? Can any vital process take place without something being changed? Can’t you see? It’s just the same with you—and just as vital to nature.
The sexual embrace can only be compared with music and with prayer. (Despite goodreads continual mix-up--Marcus Aurelius gave us that. NOT havelock ellis!)
So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine. What is done to me is ordained by nature, what I do by my own.
Men seek for seclusion in the wilderness, by the seashore, or in the mountains - a dream you have cherished only too fondly yourself. But such fancies are wholly unworthy of a philosopher, since at any moment you choose you can retire within yourself. Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul; above all, he who possesses resources in himself, which he need only contemplate to secure immediate ease of mind - the ease that is but another word for a well-ordered spirit. Avail yourself often, then, of this retirement, and so continually renew yourself.
It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.
Everything is only for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered
Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.
Even if you’re going to live three thousand more years, or ten times that, remember: you cannot lose another life than the one you’re living now, or live another one than the one you’re losing. The longest amounts to the same as the shortest. The present is the same for everyone; its loss is the same for everyone; and it should be clear that a brief instant is all that is lost. For you can’t lose either the past or the future; how could you lose what you don’t have?
All is ephemeral, both what remembers and what is remembered.
We should remark the grace and fascination that there is even in the incidentals of Nature's processes.. When a loaf of bread,. for instance,. is in the oven,. crack appear in it here and there; and these flaws,. though not intended in the baking,. have a rightness of their own,. and sharpen the appetite..
In the life of man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his senses a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, and his fame doubtful. In short, all that is of the body is as coursing waters, all that is of the soul as dreams and vapours; life a warfare, a brief sojourning in an alien land;and after repute, oblivion. Where, then, can man find the power to guide and guard his steps? In one thing and one alone: the love of knowledge.
What else did you expect from helping someone out? Isn’t it enough that you’ve done what your nature demands? You want a salary for it too? As if your eyes expected a reward for seeing, or your feet for walking. That’s what they were made for.
We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
10. Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see. The span we live is small—small as the corner of the earth in which we live it. Small as even the greatest renown, passed from mouth to mouth by short-lived stick figures, ignorant alike of themselves and those long dead.
Do every act of your life as if it were your last.
Whatever happens, happens such as you are either formed by nature able to bear it, or not able to bear it. If such as you are by nature form’d able to bear, bear it and fret not: But if such as you are not naturally able to bear, don’t fret; for when it has consum’d you, itself will perish. Remember, however, you are by nature form’d able to bear whatever it is in the power of your own opinion to make supportable or tolerable, according as you conceive it advantageous, or your duty, to do so.
Does the emerald lose its beauty for lack of admiration?
Give your heart to the trade you have learnt, and draw refreshment from it.
Do unsavory armpits and bad breath make you angry?
Soon you’ll be ashes, or bones. A mere name, at most—and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, and trivial. Dogs snarling at each other. Quarreling children—laughing and then bursting into tears a moment later. Trust, shame, justice, truth—gone from the earth and only found in heaven. Why are you still here? Sensory objects are shifting and unstable; our senses dim and easily deceived; the soul itself a decoction of the blood; fame in a world like this is worthless. —And so? Wait for it patiently—annihilation or metamorphosis. —And until that time comes—what? Honor and revere the gods, treat human beings as they deserve, be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood—and nothing else is under your control.
Hippocrates cured many illnesses—and then fell ill and died. The Chaldaeans predicted the deaths of many others; in due course their own hour arrived. Alexander, Pompey, Caesar—who utterly destroyed so many cities, cut down so many thousand foot and horse in battle—they too departedthis life. Heraclitus often told us the world would end in fire. But it was moisture that carried him off; he died smeared with cowshit. Democritus was killed by ordinary vermin, Socrates by the human kind. And? You boarded, you set sail, you’ve made the passage. Time to disembark. If it’s for another life, well, there’s nowhere without gods on that side either. If to nothingness, then you no longer have to put up with pain and pleasure, or go on dancing attendance on this battered crate, your body—so much inferior to that which serves it. One is mind and spirit, the other earth and garbage.
Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do. Self-indulgence means tying it to the things that happen to you. Sanity means tying it to your own actions.
Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions—not outside.
Since it is possible that you might depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly.
The offender needs pity, not wrath; those who must needs be corrected, should be treated with tact and gentleness; and one must be always ready to learn better. 'The best kind of revenge is, not to become like unto them.
The things ordained for you—teach yourself to be at one with those. And the people who share them with you—treat them with love. With real love.
Forget everything else. Keep hold of this alone and remember it: Each of us lives only now, this brief instant. The rest has been lived already, or is impossible to see.
There is no man so blessed that some who stand by his deathbed won't hail the occasion with delight.
Never value anything as profitable that compels you to break your promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains:
To be like the rock that the waves keep crashing over. It stands unmoved and the raging of the sea falls still around it.
Take the shortest route, the one that nature planned—to speak and act in the healthiest way. Do that, and be free of pain and stress, free of all calculation and pretension.
In everything that you do, pause and ask yourself if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives you of this.
Not to assume it’s impossible because you find it hard. But to recognize that if it’s humanly possible, you can do it too.
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for— the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? —But it’s nicer here. . . . So you were born to feel nice? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? —But we have to sleep sometime. . . . Agreed. But nature set a limit on that—as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota. You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts. Is helping others less valuable to you? Not worth your effort?
Every hour be firmly resolved... to accomplish the work at hand with fitting and unaffected dignity, goodwill, freedom, justice. Banish from your thoughts all other considerations. This is possible if you perform each act as if it were your last, rejecting every frivolous distraction, every denial of the rule of reason, every pretentious gesture, vain show, and whining complaint against the decrees of fate. Do you see what little is required of a man to live a well-tempered and god-fearing life? Obey these precepts, and the gods will ask nothing more (II.5).
, The Emperor's Handbook
Live every day as if thy last.
III. I have often wondered how it should come to pass, that every man loving himself best, should more regard other men's opinions concerning himself than his own. For if any God or grave master standing by, should command any of us to think nothing by himself but what he should presently speak out; no man were able to endure it, though but for one day. Thus do we fear more what our neighbours will think of us, than what we ourselves.
That which rules within, when it is according to nature, will always adapt itself easily to that which is possible and is presented to it. For it requires no definite material, in moving toward its purpose, but rather certain conditions; and it makes a material for itself out of that which opposes it, as a great fire lays hold of a mass that would have extinguished a tiny flame: when the fire is strong, it soon appropriates to itself the matter that is heaped on it and consumes it, rising higher by means of this very material.
Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people—unless it affects the common good. It will keep you from doing anything useful. You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.
If anyone can refute me—show me I’m making a mistake or looking at things from the wrong perspective—I’ll gladly change. It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.
The pride which is proud of want of pride is the most intolerable of all.
Keep this constantly in mind: that all sorts of people have died—all professions, all nationalities. Follow the thought all the way down to Philistion, Phoebus, and Origanion. Now extend it to other species. We have to go there too, where all of them have already gone: . . . the eloquent and the wise—Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Socrates . . . . . . the heroes of old, the soldiers and kings who followed them . . . . . . Eudoxus, Hipparchus, Archimedes . . . . . . the smart, the generous, the hardworking, the cunning, the selfish . . . . . . and even Menippus and his cohorts, who laughed at thewhole brief, fragile business. All underground for a long time now. And what harm does it do them? Or the others either—the ones whose names we don’t even know? The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.
Death is a cessation from the impression of the senses, the tyranny of the passions, the errors of the mind, and the servitude of the body.
A good man does not spy around for the black spots in others, but presses unswervingly on towards his mark.
But if anything in thy own disposition gives thee pain, who hinders thee from correcting thy opinion? And even if thou art pained because thou art not doing some particular thing which seems to thee to be right, why dost thou not rather act than complain?- But some insuperable obstacle is in the way?- Do not be grieved then, for the cause of its not being done depends not on thee.- But it is not worth while to live if this cannot be done.- Take thy departure then from life contentedly, just as he dies who is in full activity, and well pleased too with the things which are obstacles.
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: I have to go to work—as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for—the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?
How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.
You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. 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.
In no great while you will be no one and nowhere, and nothing that you now behold will be in existence, nor will anyone now alive. For it is in the nature of all things to change and alter and perish, so that others may arise in their turn.
Even the least of our activities ought to have some end in view.
The first step: Don’t be anxious. Nature controls it all. And before long you’ll be no one, nowhere—like Hadrian, like Augustus. The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.
Make for thyself a definition or description of the thing which is presented to thee, so as to see distinctly what kind of a thing it is in its substance, in its nudity, in its complete entirety, and tell thyself its proper name, and the names of the things of which it has been compounded, and into which it will be resolved. For nothing is so productive of elevation of mind as to be able to examine methodically and truly every object which is presented to thee in life, and always to look at things so as to see at the same time what kind of universe this is, and what kind of use everything performs in it, and what value everything has with reference to the whole, and what with reference to man, who is a citizen of the highest city, of which all other cities are like families; what each thing is, and of what it is composed, and how long it is the nature of this thing to endure which now makes an impression on me, and what virtue I have need of with respect to it, such as gentleness, manliness, truth, fidelity, simplicity, contentment, and the rest. ... If thou workest at that which is before thee, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract thee, but keeping thy divine part pure, as if thou shouldst be bound to give it back immediately; if thou holdest to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with thy present activity according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which thou utterest, thou wilt live happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this.
a limit of time is fixed for thee, which if thou dost not use for clearing away the clouds from thy mind, it will go and thou wilt go, and it will never return.
A man’s greatness lies not in wealth and station, as the vulgar believe, not yet in his intellectual capacity, which is often associated with the meanest moral character, the most abject servility to those in high places and arrogance to the poor and lowly; but a man’s true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examination, and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself, as the emperor says he should not, about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not do that which he thinks and says and does.
The universe is change; life is your perception of it.
The present moment is the only thing of which anyone can be deprived, at least if this is the only thing he has and he cannot lose what he has not got.
If you can cut yourself—your mind—free of what other people do and say, of what you’ve said or done, of the things that you’re afraid will happen, the impositions of the body that contains you and the breath within, and what the whirling chaos sweeps in from outside, so that the mind is freed from fate, brought to clarity, and lives life on its own recognizance —doing what’s right, accepting what happens, and speaking the truth— If you can cut free of impressions that cling to the mind, free of the future and the past—can make yourself, as Empedocles says, a sphere rejoicing in its perfect stillness, and concentrate on living what can be lived (which means the present) . . . then you can spend the time you have left in tranquillity. And in kindness. And at peace with the spirit within you.
How much time he saves who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks.
Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.
, Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius
When you need encouragement, think of the qualities the people around you have: this one’s energy, that one’s modesty, another’s generosity, and so on. Nothing is as encouraging as when virtues are visibly embodied in the people around us, when we’re practically showered with them. It’s good to keep this in mind.
I do not regard a man as poor, if the little which remains is enough for him.
, Stoic Six Pack - Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Golden Sayings, Fragments and Discourses of Epictetus, Letters From A Stoic and The Enchiridion
Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return.
We must make haste, then, not only because we are daily nearer to death, but also because the conception of things and the understanding of them cease first.
, The Thoughts of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Think not so much of what you lack as of what you have: but of the things that you have, select the best, and then reflect on how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them.
Disgraceful: for the soul to give up when the body is still going strong.
Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if you will ever dig.
So other people hurt me? That’s their problem. Their character and actions are not mine. What
In the morning, when you rise unwillingly, let this thought be present: I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world? Or have I been made for this, to lie under the blankets and keep myself warm? But this is more pleasant. Do you exist then to take your pleasure, and not at all for action or exertion?
To stand up straight — not straightened
You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.
every man is worth just so much as the things are worth about which he busies himself.
What is divine deserves our respect because it is good; what is human deserves our affection because it is like us.
Precz z ksi??kami! Ju? nie dawaj si? im poci?gn??! Nie wolno! (...) ?aknienie za? ksi??ek precz od siebie rzu?, by? nie umiera? w?ród narzeka?, lecz spokojnie.
Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present—thoughtfully, justly. Unrestrained moderation.
32. You have to assemble your life yourself—action by action. And be satisfied if each one achieves its goal, as far as it can. No one can keep that from happening. —But there are external obstacles.… Not to behaving with justice, self-control, and good sense. —Well, but perhaps to some more concrete action. But if you accept the obstacle and work with what you’re given, an alternative will present itself—another piece of what you’re trying to assemble. Action by action.
It should be a man's task, says the Imitation, 'to overcome himself, and every day to be stronger than himself.' 'In withstanding of the passions standeth very peace of heart.' 'Let us set the axe to the root, that we being purged of our passions may have a peaceable mind.' To this end there must be continual self-examination. 'If thou may not continually gather thyself together, namely sometimes do it, at least once a day, the morning or the evening. In the morning purpose, in the evening discuss the manner, what thou hast been this day, in word, work, and thought.
There’s nothing more insufferable than people who boast about their own humility
It is not death that a man should fear, but rather he should fear never beginning to live.
Never value anything as profitable that compels you to break your promise, to lose your self-respect, to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to act the hypocrite, to desire anything that needs walls and curtains: for he who has preferred to everything else his own intelligence and daimon and the worship of its excellence, acts no tragic part, does not groan, will not need either solitude or much company; and, what is chief of all, he will live without either pursuing or flying from death; but whether for a longer or a shorter time he shall have the soul enclosed in the body, he cares not at all: for even if he must depart immediately, he will go as readily as if he were going to do anything else that can be done with decency and order; taking care of this only all through life, that his thoughts abide with the concerns of an intelligent animal and a member of a civil community.
Everything is only for a day, both that which remembers and that which is remembered.
True understanding is to see the events of life in this way: 'You are here for my benefit, though rumor paints you otherwise.' And everything is turned to one's advantage when he greets a situation like this: You are the very thing I was looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art-- and this art called 'life' is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend?
Not the not but the not yet.
What am I but a little flesh, a little breath, and the thinking part that rules the whole?
, The Emperor's Handbook
If you set yourself to your present task along the path of true reason, with all determination, vigour,and good will: if you admit no distraction, but keep your own divinity pure and standing strong, as if you had to surrender it right now; if you grapple this to you, expecting nothing, shirking nothing, but self-content with each present action taken in accordance with nature and a heroic truthfulness in all that you say and mean - then you will lead a good life. And nobody is able to stop you.
People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. Especially if you have other things to rely on. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquillity. And by tranquillity I mean a kind of harmony. So keep getting away from it all—like that. Renew yourself. But keep it brief and basic. A quick visit should be enough to ward off all < . . . > and send you back ready to face what awaits you. What’s there to complain about? People’s misbehavior? But take into consideration: • that rational beings exist for one another; • that doing what’s right sometimes requires patience; • that no one does the wrong thing deliberately; • and the number of people who have feuded and envied and hated and fought and died and been buried. . . . and keep your mouth shut. Or are you complaining about the things the world assigns you? But consider the two options: Providence or atoms. And all the arguments for seeing the world as a city. Or is it your body? Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life—the rough and the smooth, either one. And remember all you’ve been taught—and accepted—about pain and pleasure. Or is it your reputation that’s bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us—how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space—and most of it uninhabited. How many people there will be to admire you, and who they are. So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human being, like a citizen, like a mortal. And among the things you turn to, these two: i. That things have no hold on the soul. They stand there unmoving, outside it. Disturbance comes only from within—from our own perceptions. ii. That everything you see will soon alter and cease to exist. Think of how many changes you’ve already seen. The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.
Don’t look down on death, but welcome it. It too is one of the things required by nature. Like youth and old age. Like growth and maturity. Like a new set of teeth, a beard, the first gray hair. Like sex and pregnancy and childbirth. Like all the other physical changes at each stage of life, our dissolution is no different. So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happen to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment. Or perhaps you need some tidy aphorism to tuck away in the back of your mind. Well, consider two things that should reconcile you to death: the nature of the things you’ll leave behind you, and the kind of people you’ll no longer be mixed up with. There’s no need to feel resentment toward them—in fact, you should look out for their well-being, and be gentle with them—but keep in mind that everything you believe is meaningless to those you leave behind. Because that’s all that could restrain us (if anything could)—the only thing that could make us want to stay here: the chance to live with those who share our vision. But now? Look how tiring it is—this cacophony we live in. Enough to make you say to death, Come quickly. Before I start to forget myself, like them.
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. 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 obstructions.
Pride is a master of deception: when you think you’re occupied in the weightiest business, that’s when he has you in his spell.
From my governor, to be neither of the green nor of the blue party at the games in the Circus, nor a partisan either of the Parmularius or the Scutarius at the gladiators' fights; from him too I learned endurance of labor, and to want little, and to work with my own hands, and not to meddle with other people's affairs, and not to be ready to listen to slander.
, Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius
—Then where is harm to be found? In your capacity to see it. Stop doing that and everything will be fine.
recognize the malice, cunning, and hypocrisy that power produces, and the peculiar ruthlessness often shown by people from good families.
IN THE morning when thou risest unwillingly, let this thought be present- I am rising to the work of a human being. Why then am I dissatisfied if I am going to do the things for which I exist and for which I was brought into the world?
, Stoic Six Pack - Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Golden Sayings, Fragments and Discourses of Epictetus, Letters From A Stoic and The Enchiridion
23. Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone—those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the what is in constant flux, the why has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us—a chasm whose depths we cannot see. So it would take an idiot to feel self-importance or distress. Or any indignation, either. As if the things that irritate us lasted. 24.
To be like the rock that the waves keep crashing over. It stands unmoved and the raging of the sea falls still around it. 49a. —It’s unfortunate that this has happened. No. It’s fortunate that this has happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it—not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it. Why treat the one as a misfortune rather than the other as fortunate? Can you really call something a misfortune that doesn’t violate human nature? Or do you think something that’s not against nature’s will can violate it? But you know what its will is. Does what’s happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness, and all the other qualities that allow a person’s nature to fulfill itself? So remember this principle when something threatens to cause you pain: the thing itself was no misfortune at all; to endure it and prevail is great good fortune.
Perfection of character: to live your last day, every day, without frenzy, or sloth, or pretense.
No te aficiones más que a lo que te acontezca y a lo que forme la trama de la vida. ¿Pues qué otra cosa podrá serte más oportuna?
The end and object of a rational constitution is, to do nothing rashly, to be kindly affected towards men, and in all things willingly to submit unto the gods. Casting therefore all other things aside, keep thyself to these few, and remember withal that no man properly can be said to live more than that which is now present, which is but a moment of time.
He who eats my bread does my will.
fame in a world like this is worthless.
In a little while you will have forgotten everything; in a little while everything will have forgotten you.
We ought to consider not only that our life is daily wasting away and a smaller part of it is left, but also that if a man should live longer, it is quite uncertain whether the understanding will still continue sufficient for the comprehension of things and retain the power of contemplation that strives to acquire the knowledge of the divine and the human. For if he shall begin to fall into dotage, perspiration and nutrition and imagination and appetite and whatever else there is of the kind will not fail; but the power of making use of ourselves, and filling up the measure of our duty, and clearly separating all appearances, and considering whether a man should now depart from life, and whatever else of the kind absolutely requires a disciplined reason, all this is already extinguished. We must make haste then, not only because we are daily nearer to death, but also because the conception of things and the understanding of them cease first.
17. Human life. Duration: momentary. Nature: changeable. Perception: dim. Condition of Body: decaying. Soul: spinning around. Fortune: unpredictable. Lasting Fame: uncertain. Sum Up: The body and its parts are a river, the soul a dream and mist, life is warfare and a journey far from home, lasting reputation is oblivion. Then what can guide us? Only philosophy. Which means making sure that the power within stays safe and free from assault, superior to pleasure and pain, doing nothing randomly or dishonestly and with imposture, not dependent on anyone else’s doing something or not doing it. And making sure that it accepts what happens and what it is dealt as coming from the same place it came from. And above all, that it accepts death in a cheerful spirit, as nothing but the dissolution of the elements from which each living thing is composed. If it doesn’t hurt the individual elements to change continually into one another, why are people afraid of all of them changing and separating? It’s a natural thing. And nothing natural is evil.
III. They seek for themselves private retiring places, as country villages, the sea-shore, mountains; yea thou thyself art wont to long much after such places. But all this thou must know proceeds from simplicity in the highest degree. At what time soever thou wilt, it is in thy power to retire into thyself, and to be at rest, and free from all businesses. A man cannot any whither retire better than to his own soul; he especially who is beforehand provided of such things within, which whensoever he doth withdraw himself to look in, may presently afford unto him perfect ease and tranquillity. By tranquillity I understand a decent orderly disposition and carriage, free from all confusion and tumultuousness. Afford then thyself this retiring continually, and thereby refresh and renew thyself. Let these precepts be brief and fundamental, which as soon as thou dost call them to mind, may suffice thee to purge thy soul throughly, and to send thee away well pleased with those things whatsoever they be, which now again after this short withdrawing of thy soul into herself thou dost return unto. For what is it that thou art offended at? Can it be at the wickedness of men, when thou dost call to mind this conclusion, that all reasonable creatures are made one for another? and that it is part of justice to bear with them? and that it is against their wills that they offend? and how many already, who once likewise prosecuted their enmities, suspected, hated, and fiercely contended, are now long ago stretched out, and reduced unto ashes? It is time for thee to make an end. As for those things which among the common chances of the world happen unto thee as thy particular lot and portion, canst thou be displeased with any of them, when thou dost call that our ordinary dilemma to mind, either a providence, or Democritus his atoms; and with it, whatsoever we brought to prove that the whole world is as it were one city? And as for thy body, what canst thou fear, if thou dost consider that thy mind and understanding, when once it hath recollected itself, and knows its own power, hath in this life and breath (whether it run smoothly and gently, or whether harshly and rudely), no interest at all, but is altogether indifferent: and whatsoever else thou hast heard and assented unto concerning either pain or pleasure? But the care of thine honour and reputation will perchance distract thee? How can that be, if thou dost look back, and consider both how quickly all things that are, are forgotten, and what an immense chaos of eternity was before, and will follow after all things: and the vanity of praise, and the inconstancy and variableness of human judgments and opinions, and the narrowness of the place, wherein it is limited and circumscribed? For the whole earth is but as one point; and of it, this inhabited part of it, is but a very little part; and of this part, how many in number, and what manner of men are they, that will commend thee? What remains then, but that thou often put in practice this kind of retiring of thyself, to this little part of thyself; and above all things, keep thyself from distraction, and intend not anything vehemently, but be free and consider all things, as a man whose proper object is Virtue, as a man whose true nature is to be kind and sociable, as a citizen, as a mortal creature. Among other things, which to consider, and look into thou must use to withdraw thyself, let those two be among the most obvious and at hand. One, that the things or objects themselves reach not unto the soul, but stand without still and quiet, and that it is from the opinion only which is within, that all the tumult and all the trouble doth proceed. The next, that all these things, which now thou seest, shall within a very little while be changed, and be no more: and ever call to mind, how many changes and alterations in the world thou thyself hast already been an eyewitness of in thy time. This world is mere change, and this life, opinion.
Blame and praise have no true effects.
La mejor forma de defenderte, es no parecerte al ellos
Jangan pernah menyakiti orang lain dengan perbuatan mau pun kata-kata.
Do not waste what remains of your life in speculating about your neighbours, unless with a view to some mutual benefit. To wonder what so-and-so is doing and why, or what he is saying, or thinking, or scheming – in a word, anything that distracts you from fidelity to the Ruler within you – means a loss of opportunity for some other task.
It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own. If a god appeared to us—or a wise human being, even —and prohibited us from concealing our thoughts or imagining anything without immediately shouting it out, we wouldn’t make it through a single day. That’s how much we value other people’s opinions—instead of our own.
And so accept everything that happens, even if it is disagreeable, because it leads to this, to the health of the universe and to the prosperity and felicity of Zeus
Whatever may happen to you, it was prepared for you from all eternity; and the implication of causes was from eternity spinning the thread of your being, and of that which is incident to it.
People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time—even when hard at work.
It is man's peculiar duty to love even those who wrong him.
Remember how long you have been putting off these things, and how often you have received an opportunity from the gods, and yet do not use it.
How cruel—to forbid people to want what they think is good for them. And yet that’s just what you won’t let them do when you get angry at their misbehavior. They’re drawn toward what they think is good for them. —But it’s not good for them. Then show them that. Prove it to them. Instead of losing your temper.
Within ten days you will seem a god to those to whom you are now a beast and an ape, if you will return to your principles and the worship of reason.
Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. Especially
Do not waste the remainder of thy life in thoughts about others, when thou dost not refer thy thoughts to some object of common utility.
Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.
If you work at that which is before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything else to distract you, but keeping your divine part pure, as if you should be bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this, expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with your present activity according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which you utter, you will live happy. And there is no man who is able to prevent this.
This you must always bear in mind, what is the nature of the whole, and what is my nature, and how this is related to that, and what kind of a part it is of what kind of a whole; and that there is no one who hinders you from always doing and saying the things that conform to the nature of which you are a part.
It is not fit that I should give myself pain, for I have never intentionally given pain even to another.
The time of a man's life is as a point; the substance of it ever flowing, the sense obscure; and the whole composition of the body tending to corruption. His soul is restless, fortune uncertain, and fame doubtful; to be brief, as a stream so are all things belonging to the body; as a dream, or as a smoke, so are all that belong unto the soul. Our life is a warfare, and a mere pilgrimage. Fame after life is no better than oblivion. What is it then that will adhere and follow? Only one thing, philosophy. And philosophy doth consist in this, for a man to preserve that spirit which is within him, from all manner of contumelies and injuries, and above all pains or pleasures; never to do anything either rashly, or feignedly, or hypocritically: wholly to depend from himself and his own proper actions: all things that happen unto him to embrace contentedly, as coming from Him from whom he himself also came; and above all things, with all meekness and a calm cheerfulness, to expect death, as being nothing else but the resolution of those elements, of which every creature is composed.
Alexander the Great and his mule driver both died and the same thing happened to both.
Y recuerda que has de tratarles como a hombres, porque son tan humanos como tú y por tanto te resultan tan imprescindibles como la mandíbula inferior lo es para la superior.
The best revenge is not to be like that.
goodness—what defines a good person. Keep to it in everything you do.
In a sense, people are our proper occupation. Our job is to do them good and put up with them.
As a horse when he has run, a dog when he has tracked the game, a bee when it has made the honey, so a man when he has done a good act, does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season.
, The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
No lo hagas, si no conviene; no lo digas si no es verdad.
Why should any of these things that happen externally, so much distract thee? Give thyself leisure to learn some good thing, and cease roving and wandering to and fro. Thou must also take heed of another kind of wandering, for they are idle in their actions, who toil and labour in this life, and have no certain scope to which to direct all their motions, and desires.
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself, "I have to go to work - as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I'm going to do what I was born for - the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?
These things thou must always have in mind: What is the nature of the universe, and what is mine—in particular: This unto that what relation it hath: what kind of part, of what kind of universe it is: And that there is nobody that can hinder thee, but that thou mayest always both do and speak those things which are agreeable to that nature, whereof thou art a part.
Remember how long thou hast already put off these things, and how
Consider how quickly all things are dissolved and resolved:
Maximus was my model for self-control, fixity of purpose, and cheerfulness under ill-health or other misfortunes. His character was an admirable combination of dignity and charm, and all the duties of his station were performed quietly and without fuss. He gave everyone the conviction that he spoke as he believed, and acted as he judged right. Bewilderment or timidity were unknown to him; he was never hasty, never dilatory; nothing found him at a loss. He indulged neither in despondency nor forced gaiety, nor had anger or jealousy any power over him. Kindliness, sympathy, and sincerity all contributed to give the impression of a rectitude that was innate rather than inculcated. Nobody was ever made by him to feel inferior, yet none could have presumed to challenge his pre-eminence. He was also the possessor of an agreeable sense of humour.
All of us are working on the same project. Some consciously, with understanding; some without knowing it. (I think this is what Heraclitus meant when he said that those who sleep are also hard at work—that they too collaborate in what happens.) Some of us work in one way, and some in others. And those who complain and try to obstruct and thwart things—they help as much as anyone. The world needs them as well. So make up your mind who you’ll choose to work with. The force that directs all things will make good use of you regardless—will put you on its payroll and set you to work. But make sure it’s not the job Chrysippus speaks of: the bad line in the play, put there for laughs.
Spend not the remnant of thy days in thoughts and fancies concerning other men, when it is not in relation to some common good, when by it thou art hindered from some other better work.
Do your best to convince them. But act on your own, if justice requires it. If met with force, then fall back on acceptance and peaceability. Use the setback to practice other virtues. Remember that our efforts are subject to circumstances; you weren’t aiming to do the impossible. —Aiming to do what, then? To try. And you succeeded. What you set out to do is accomplished.
Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.
Now it is true that these may impede my action, but they are no impediments to my affects and disposition, which have the power of acting conditionally and changing: for the mind converts and changes every hindrance to its activity into an aid; and so that which is a hindrance is made a furtherance to an act; and an obstacle on the road helps us along this road.
Treat what you don’t have as nonexistent. Look at what you have, the things you value most, and think of how much you’d crave them if you didn’t have them. But be careful. Don’t feel such satisfaction that you start to overvalue them —that it would upset you to lose them.
I was once a fortunate man but at some point fortune abandoned me. But true good fortune is what you make for yourself. Good fortune: good character, good intentions, and good actions.
Stupidity is expecting figs in winter, or children in old age.
In comparing sins (the way people do) Theophrastus says that the ones committed out of desire are worse than the ones committed out of anger: which is good philosophy. The angry man seems to turn his back on reason out of a kind of pain and inner convulsion. But the man motivated by desire, who is mastered by pleasure, seems somehow more self- indulgent, less manly in his sins. Theophrastus is right, and philosophically sound, to say that the sin committed out of pleasure deserves a harsher rebuke than the one committed out of pain. The angry man is more like a victim of wrongdoing, provoked by pain to anger. The other man rushes into wrongdoing on his own, moved to action by desire.
Stop drifting. You’re not going to re-read your Brief Comments, your Deeds of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the commonplace books you saved for your old age. Sprint for the finish. Write off your hopes, and if your well-being matters to you, be your own savior while you can.