Share the Wealth: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

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Avete Alchemists!

Usually I subject you folks to whatever word cage I’m exploring at the moment, so if ever you see a big “DUH!” posted on hgd, you know I’ve decided to read Decision Points by Bush the Lesser (insert laughing emoticon here).  Nah man, can neither stomach the masterful gloss on imperial aggression nor could I subject you folks to propaganda.  Truth be told amigos, I avoid advocacy of any position that doesn’t resonate with the indweller, which ultimately has to be reconciled with the Coincidence Control Office on a daily basis. While it does take some work, eventually one learns to refute the allure of the Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor, soon to be King of Scotland spiel.  Trading my soul for the illusory rewards of maya will leave me bankrupt.  And you can take that to the bank.

I wanted to share a real reward with you today however.  Same drill as the other shares in this series – free and short.

While popularized by Dr, King, Transcendentalist Theodore Parker originally wrote about the moral arc of the universe bending towards justice.   I like to think that this book can aid in bending the spiritual arc of a man towards virtue.  And at the end of the day partners, this is the objective undertaken by all Jedi.   I didn’t open this book until manhood and certainly would have benefited much from the ideas herein at the ages where impetuosity and rashness reign.  The chaotic waves of infinite time lie on either side of the present, and nowhere is a man more aware of this than when he cannot retire into his own soul.  The wisdom contained in this little gem can certainly help to still those turbulent waters of the past and future that perturb the present.

Meditations has the ability to transform one’s outlook on the world.  Twelve segments, twelve days.  Are you up for it? I think a reintroduction and popularizing of philosophical concepts in the instruction of the young would be profoundly beneficial to society at large.  And I don’t mean solely for children of privilege.  Can you imagine the potential of a society where a group of 12 year old kids openly discuss their place in the universal order?  Maybe a pipe dream, but maybe not. If you do decide to read this book, consider using the themes as the subjects of discussion with your kids versus subjecting yourself to the normalizing of neuroticism otherwise known as television.  It’s the duty of all people to inquire into the fundamental fabric of their lives.  I’m aiming for the stars here compadres and hoping for some societal level conditioning.

I’ll leave you with a few nuggets to ignite your interest:

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.”

“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.”

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

“Remember that man lives only in the present, in this fleeting instant; all the rest of his life is either past and gone, or not yet revealed.  Short, therefore, is man’s life, and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein he dwells.”

“Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul.”

Take heed not to be transformed into a Caesar, not to be dipped in the purple dye, for it does happen. Keep yourself therefore, simple, good, pure, grave, unaffected, the friend of justice, religious, kind, affectionate, strong for your proper work. Wrestle to be the man philosophy wished to make you. Reverence the gods, save men. Life is brief; there is but one harvest of earthly existence, a holy disposition and neighborly acts.

Link to the text : Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Time for Natty Bumppo to hit the hills.

One love,

HJ

 

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About H3nry J3kyll
Vincit omnia veritas (using an obscure Latin heraldry motto makes one seem kinda learned and distinguished).

4 Responses to Share the Wealth: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

  1. Michael says:

    Henry,

    Thanks for your visits to my blog. I love your writing style and sense of humor and look forward to reading more here. The Meditations nuggets were great, and I confess with great sadness that while I have come across the name Marcus Aurelius once or twice in the past and been told of his stoic brilliance, I have until now not had the pleasure of a direct encounter. But I did see the movie Gladiator, and well… nevermind.

    See you on the footsteps of the Coincidence Control Office with that list of places and times that never really happened, but for which we deserve some explanation.

    Michael

    • H3nry J3kyll says:

      Hi Michael,
      It’s good to connect with you. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and really appreciate the kind remarks.

      Picking nuggets was very easy with this one as the book is full of beautiful gems. And as for Gladiator, let’s just say that I’m quite fond of embracing my inner Maximus. lol

      I’ll see you at the CCO but lately it seems that they are really bad at offering explanations.

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