Marcus Aurelius

I am reading some Marcus Aurelius today.  He was the Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 A.D. and was one of the great Stoic philosophers.  Here are few passages that particularly resonated for me:

 

“The perfection of moral character consists in this, in passing every day as the last, and in being neither violently excited nor torpid nor hypocritical.”

 

“When you are troubled about anything, you have forgotten this, that all things happen according to the universal nature, and that a man’s wrongful act is nothing to you; and further you have forgotten this, that everything that happens always happened so, and will happen so, and now happens so everywhere; forgotten this too, how close is the kinship between a man and the whole human race, for it is a community, not of a little blood or seed, but of intelligence. And you have forgotten this too, that every man’s intelligence is a god, and is an efflux of the deity; and that nothing is a man’s own, but that his child and his body and his very soul came from the deity; that everything is opinion; and lastly that every man lives the present time only, and loses only this.”

 

“It is in your power to live free from all compulsion and in the greatest tranquility of mind, even if all the world cry out against you as much as they choose, and even if wild beasts tear you limb from limb.”

 

 

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