Download Meditations - Marcus Aurelius PDF

TitleMeditations - Marcus Aurelius
File Size347.1 KB
Total Pages68
Table of Contents
Marcus Long - Unknown
Document Text Contents
Page 34

6 How many after being celebrated by fame have been given up to
oblivion; and how many who have celebrated the fame of others have
long been dead.
7 Be not ashamed to be helped; for it is thy business to do thy duty
like a soldier in the assault on a town. How then, if being lame
thou canst not mount up on the battlements alone, but with the help of
another it is possible?
8 Let not future things disturb thee, for thou wilt come to them, if
it shall be necessary, having with thee the same reason which now thou
usest for present things.
9 All things are implicated with one another, and the bond is holy;
and there is hardly anything unconnected with any other thing. For
things have been co-ordinated, and they combine to form the same
universe (order). For there is one universe made up of all things, and
one God who pervades all things, and one substance, and one law, one
common reason in all intelligent animals, and one truth; if indeed
there is also one perfection for all animals which are of the same
stock and participate in the same reason.
10 Everything material soon disappears in the substance of the whole;
and everything formal (causal) is very soon taken back into the
universal reason; and the memory of everything is very soon
overwhelmed in time.
11 To the rational animal the same act is according to nature and
according to reason.
12 Be thou erect, or be made erect.
13 Just as it is with the members in those bodies which are united in
one, so it is with rational beings which exist separate, for they have
been constituted for one co-operation. And the perception of this will
be more apparent to thee, if thou often sayest to thyself that I am
a member (melos) of the system of rational beings. But if (using the
letter r) thou sayest that thou art a part (meros) thou dost not yet
love men from thy heart; beneficence does not yet delight thee for its
own sake; thou still doest it barely as a thing of propriety, and
not yet as doing good to thyself.
14 Let there fall externally what will on the parts which can feel
the effects of this fall. For those parts which have felt will
complain, if they choose. But I, unless I think that what has happened
is an evil, am not injured. And it is in my power not to think so.
15 Whatever any one does or says, I must be good, just as if the
gold, or the emerald, or the purple were always saying this,
Whatever any one does or says, I must be emerald and keep my colour.
16 The ruling faculty does not disturb itself; I mean, does not
frighten itself or cause itself pain. But if any one else can frighten
or pain it, let him do so. For the faculty itself will not by its
own opinion turn itself into such ways. Let the body itself take care,
if it can, that is suffer nothing, and let it speak, if it suffers.
But the soul itself, that which is subject to fear, to pain, which has
completely the power of forming an opinion about these things, will
suffer nothing, for it will never deviate into such a judgement. The
leading principle in itself wants nothing, unless it makes a want
for itself; and therefore it is both free from perturbation and
unimpeded, if it does not disturb and impede itself.
17 Eudaemonia (happiness) is a good daemon, or a good thing. What
then art thou doing here, O imagination? Go away, I entreat thee by
the gods, as thou didst come, for I want thee not. But thou art come
according to thy old fashion. I am not angry with thee: only go away.
18 Is any man afraid of change? Why what can take place without change?
What then is more pleasing or more suitable to the universal nature?
And canst thou take a bath unless the wood undergoes a change? And
canst thou be nourished, unless the food undergoes a change? And can

Page 35

anything else that is useful be accomplished without change? Dost thou
not see then that for thyself also to change is just the same, and
equally necessary for the universal nature?
19 Through the universal substance as through a furious torrent all
bodies are carried, being by their nature united with and
cooperating with the whole, as the parts of our body with one another.
How many a Chrysippus, how many a Socrates, how many an Epictetus
has time already swallowed up? And let the same thought occur to
thee with reference to every man and thing.
20 One thing only troubles me, lest I should do something which the
constitution of man does not allow, or in the way which it does not
allow, or what it does not allow now.
21 Near is thy forgetfulness of all things; and near the
forgetfulness of thee by all.
22 It is peculiar to man to love even those who do wrong. And this
happens, if when they do wrong it occurs to thee that they are
kinsmen, and that they do wrong through ignorance and unintentionally,
and that soon both of you will die; and above all, that the wrong-doer
has done thee no harm, for he has not made thy ruling faculty worse
than it was before.
23 The universal nature out of the universal substance, as if it were
wax, now moulds a horse, and when it has broken this up, it uses the
material for a tree, then for a man, then for something else; and each
of these things subsists for a very short time. But it is no
hardship for the vessel to be broken up, just as there was none in its
being fastened together.
24 A scowling look is altogether unnatural; when it is often assumed,
the result is that all comeliness dies away, and at last is so
completely extinguished that it cannot be again lighted up at all. Try
to conclude from this very fact that it is contrary to reason. For
if even the perception of doing wrong shall depart, what reason is
there for living any longer?
25 Nature which governs the whole will soon change all things which
thou seest, and out of their substance will make other things, and
again other things from the substance of them, in order that the world
may be ever new.
26 When a man has done thee any wrong, immediately consider with what
opinion about good or evil he has done wrong. For when thou hast
seen this, thou wilt pity him, and wilt neither wonder nor be angry.
For either thou thyself thinkest the same thing to be good that he
does or another thing of the same kind. It is thy duty then to
pardon him. But if thou dost not think such things to be good or evil,
thou wilt more readily be well disposed to him who is in error.
27 Think not so much of what thou hast not as of what thou hast: but of
the things which thou hast select the best, and then reflect how
eagerly they would have been sought, if thou hadst them not. At the
same time however take care that thou dost not through being so
pleased with them accustom thyself to overvalue them, so as to be
disturbed if ever thou shouldst not have them.
28 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.
29 Wipe out the imagination. Stop the pulling of the strings. Confine
thyself to the present. Understand well what happens either to thee or
to another. Divide and distribute every object into the causal
(formal) and the material. Think of thy last hour. Let the wrong which
is done by a man stay there where the wrong was done.
30 Direct thy attention to what is said. Let thy understanding enter
into the things that are doing and the things which do them.
31 Adorn thyself with simplicity and modesty and with indifference

Page 67

proper time, suffers no evil because it has ceased; nor he who has
done this act, does he suffer any evil for this reason that the act
has ceased. In like manner then the whole which consists of all the
acts, which is our life, if it cease at its proper time, suffers no
evil for this reason that it has ceased; nor he who has terminated
this series at the proper time, has he been ill dealt with. But the
proper time and the limit nature fixes, sometimes as in old age the
peculiar nature of man, but always the universal nature, by the change
of whose parts the whole universe continues ever young and perfect.
And everything which is useful to the universal is always good and
in season. Therefore the termination of life for every man is no evil,
because neither is it shameful, since it is both independent of the
will and not opposed to the general interest, but it is good, since it
is seasonable and profitable to and congruent with the universal.
For thus too he is moved by the deity who is moved in the same
manner with the deity and moved towards the same things in his mind.
24 These three principles thou must have in readiness. In the things
which thou doest do nothing either inconsiderately or otherwise than
as justice herself would act; but with respect to what may happen to
thee from without, consider that it happens either by chance or
according to Providence, and thou must neither blame chance nor accuse
Providence. Second, consider what every being is from the seed to
the time of its receiving a soul, and from the reception of a soul
to the giving back of the same, and of what things every being is
compounded and into what things it is resolved. Third, if thou
shouldst suddenly be raised up above the earth, and shouldst look down
on human things, and observe the variety of them how great it is,
and at the same time also shouldst see at a glance how great is the
number of beings who dwell around in the air and the aether,
consider that as often as thou shouldst be raised up, thou wouldst see
the same things, sameness of form and shortness of duration. Are these
things to be proud of?
25 Cast away opinion: thou art saved. Who then hinders thee from
casting it away?
26 When thou art troubled about anything, thou hast forgotten this,
that all things happen according to the universal nature; and
forgotten this, that a man's wrongful act is nothing to thee; and
further thou hast forgotten this, that everything which 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 thou hast forgotten this too, that
every man's intelligence is a god, and is an efflux of the deity;
and forgotten this, that nothing is a man's own, but that his child
and his body and his very soul came from the deity; forgotten this,
that everything is opinion; and lastly thou hast forgotten that
every man lives the present time only, and loses only this.
27 Constantly bring to thy recollection those who have complained
greatly about anything, those who have been most conspicuous by the
greatest fame or misfortunes or enmities or fortunes of any kind: then
think where are they all now? Smoke and ash and a tale, or not even
a tale. And let there be present to thy mind also everything of this
sort, how Fabius Catullinus lived in the country, and Lucius Lupus
in his gardens, and Stertinius at Baiae, and Tiberius at Capreae and
Velius Rufus (or Rufus at Velia); and in fine think of the eager
pursuit of anything conjoined with pride; and how worthless everything
is after which men violently strain; and how much more philosophical
it is for a man in the opportunities presented to him to show

Similer Documents