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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidan [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. It is possible that large portions of the work were written at Sirmium, where he spent much time planning military campaigns from 170 to 180. Some of it was written while he was positioned at Aquincum on campaign in Pannonia, because internal notes tell us that the first book was written when he was campaigning against the Quadi on the river Granova (modern-day Hron) and the second book was written at Carnuntum. It is unlikely that Marcus Aurelius ever intended the writings to be published and the work has no official title, so "Meditations" is one of several titles commonly assigned to the collection. These writings take the form of quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs. BONUS : • Meditations Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Marcus Aurelius ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.


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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidan [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius wrote the 12 books of the Meditations in Koine Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. It is possible that large portions of the work were written at Sirmium, where he spent much time planning military campaigns from 170 to 180. Some of it was written while he was positioned at Aquincum on campaign in Pannonia, because internal notes tell us that the first book was written when he was campaigning against the Quadi on the river Granova (modern-day Hron) and the second book was written at Carnuntum. It is unlikely that Marcus Aurelius ever intended the writings to be published and the work has no official title, so "Meditations" is one of several titles commonly assigned to the collection. These writings take the form of quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs. BONUS : • Meditations Audiobook. • 10 Illustrations about Marcus Aurelius ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.

30 review for Meditations (Illustrated) + Free Audiobook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Russell

    In many important ways, the reflections of Marcus Aurelius (121 AD-180 AD) crystallize the philosophical wisdom of the Greco-Roman world. This little book was written as a diary to himself while emperor fighting a war out on the boarder of the Roman Empire and today this book is known to us as The Meditations. The Roman philosophers are not as well known or as highly regarded as Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, or Zeno the Stoic - and for a simple reason: the Roman thinkers In many important ways, the reflections of Marcus Aurelius (121 AD-180 AD) crystallize the philosophical wisdom of the Greco-Roman world. This little book was written as a diary to himself while emperor fighting a war out on the boarder of the Roman Empire and today this book is known to us as The Meditations. The Roman philosophers are not as well known or as highly regarded as Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, or Zeno the Stoic - and for a simple reason: the Roman thinkers were not primarily interested in abstract theory; rather, they were concerned with behavior, that is, understanding how to live in the everyday world and putting their understanding into practice,the goal being to live the life of an authentic philosopher, to be a person of high character and integrity and virtue, to develop inner strength and a quiet mind and value such strength and quietude above all else. Indeed, to accomplish such a lofty goal, the Romans realized the need for radical transformation, a complete overhauling of one's life through rigorous mental and physical training, like turning base metal into pure gold. And once a person takes on the role of a philosopher, their deeds must reflect their words - no hypocrisy, thank you! Thus, it isn't surprising the Romans put a premium on memorizing and internalizing simple proverbs and maxims and employed the metaphor of philosophy as the medicine to cure a sick soul. Turning now to Marcus Aurelius, we can appreciate how he imbibed the wisdom not only from the Stoics (along with Seneca and Epictetus, Marcus is considered one of the three major Roman Stoics), but he was also willing to learn from the schools of Epicurus, Plato and Aristotle. In the Greco-Roman world, being eclectic was perfectly acceptable; truth was valued over who said what. We find several recurring themes in The Meditations: 1) develop self-discipline to gain control over judgments and desires; 2) overcoming a fear of death; 3) value an ability to retreat into a rich, interior mental life (one's inner citadel); 4) recognize the world as a manifestation of the divine; 5) live according to reason; 6) avoid luxury and opulence. But generalizations will not approach the richness and wisdom nuggets a reader will find in Marcus's actual words. Thus I'll conclude with my personal observations coupled with quotes from Book One, wherein Marcus begins by expressing heartfelt thanks to his family and teachers for the many fine lessons he learned as a youth. Here are four of my favorites: "Not to have frequented public schools, and to have had good teachers at home" ---------- After my own nasty experience with the mindless competition and regimentation of public schools, I wish I had Marcus's good fortune of excellent home schooling. "Not to meddle with other people's affairs, and not to be ready to listen to slander." ---------- I didn't need a teacher here; I recognized on my own at an early age that gossip is a colossal waste of time and energy, both listening to gossip and spreading gossip. I can't imagine a clearer indication of a base, coarse mind than someone inclined to gossip and slandering others. "To read carefully, and not to be satisfied with a superficial understanding of a book." ---------- How true. Reading isn't a race to get to the last page; matter of fact, I agree with Jorge Luis Borges that focused, precise rereading is the key to opening oneself to the wisdom of a book. "To be satisfied on all occasions, and be cheerful." ---------- I'm never in a hurry. Life is too beautiful to be in a hurry. For me, there is only one way to live each day: in joy and free from anxiety and worry. In a sense, along with the goal of virtue, all of the meditations of Marcus Aurelius amplify this simple view of life. I've written this review as an encouragement to make Marcus Aurelius a part of your life. You might not agree with everything he has to say, but you have to admit, Marcus has a really cool beard and head of hair.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brad Lyerla

    When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a dorm. My roommate was on the football team. He would write inspiring things on poster board and hang them in our room often on the ceiling above his bed to motivate himself. He favored straightforward sentiments like "never give up." The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius did not hang motivational posters for inspiration. Instead, he kept a journal in which he collected his thoughts about how to live well. MEDITATIONS is that book. Most people have heard When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a dorm. My roommate was on the football team. He would write inspiring things on poster board and hang them in our room often on the ceiling above his bed to motivate himself. He favored straightforward sentiments like "never give up." The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius did not hang motivational posters for inspiration. Instead, he kept a journal in which he collected his thoughts about how to live well. MEDITATIONS is that book. Most people have heard that Aurelius counsels to expect the worst and you will never be disappointed. While that is part of what he has to say, it is not the most interesting of what he has to say. At his most thoughtful, Aurelius calls on us to ask the best of ourselves and never mind the behavior of others. His MEDITATIONS is a work of motivational advice to inspire us in the ways of stoicism. It is a manual for being a complete, mature adult. It is a guide for living a dignified, thoughtful life Consider: "Suppose that a god announced that you were going to die tomorrow 'or the day after'. Unless you were a complete coward you wouldn't kick up a fuss about which day it was - what difference could it make? Now recognize that the difference between years from now and tomorrow is just as small." Book IV (Greg Hays trans., Modern Library) Or: "Concentrate every minute like a Roman - like a man - on doing what's in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from distractions. Yes, you can - if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that's all even the gods can ask of you." Book II And: "If at some point in your life, you should come across anything better than justice, honesty, self-control, courage - than a mind satisfied that it succeeded in enabling you to act rationally, and satisfied to accept what is beyond its control - if you find anything better than that, embrace it without reservations - it must be an extraordinary thing indeed - and enjoy it to the full." Book III That these thoughts came from the most powerful man in the world, a man whose personal power so vastly exceeded the personal power of any American president that we have difficulty comprehending it, makes it all the more impressive. Aurelius continually writes that strength comes from humility, self-restraint and good humor towards others. He teaches us to accept what we cannot control and to trust what we know. Good advice, indeed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    Look within: do not allow the special quality or worth of anything to pass you by. I love this quote and I love the wisdom that runs through this book. It’s such a simple idea and it is also a very true one. Make the most of everything and everyone, of every situation and chance that life throws your way because when they have passed, we may not get them again. Marcus Aurelius is full of logic and revealing comments about life, death and the universe. His meditations are very open and Look within: do not allow the special quality or worth of anything to pass you by. I love this quote and I love the wisdom that runs through this book. It’s such a simple idea and it is also a very true one. Make the most of everything and everyone, of every situation and chance that life throws your way because when they have passed, we may not get them again. Marcus Aurelius is full of logic and revealing comments about life, death and the universe. His meditations are very open and very honest. And I found them quite touching. The history of his reign as Roman Emperor is impressive, but behind all his success was a very human person struggling and suffering with the same problems that plague all of us. He comes to terms with his mortality and his insignificance in the face of history and time. We are all of us only here a brief time, and we need to make the most of it. All is ephemeral, both memory and the object of memory The book moves into discussions over the temporary nature of things, of relationships and friendships and feelings. Everything changes given enough time, even memories and their ramifications. Aurelius soul searches. He writes these words during times of peace and war, during times of duty and heart ache, though his tone rarely changes. He remains detached and accepting of destiny and where it may take him. From this he ponders how to give life meaning and purpose. Aurelius suggests that one of the ways we can do this is through work, real work and toil as we strive to meet our goals. He suggests that it is an edifying pursuit, to serve the development of humanity. It gives life meaning and purpose as we work and improve. He also argues for the creation of art and that in attaining it, it's one of the greatest pursuits we can follow because of how it benefits mankind. I agree with so many of the sentiments in here, and those that challenged my own beliefs got me thinking about the nature of life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maru Kun

    Marcus gives us wise advice about using the Internet, particularly social networking sites: “...because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you'll have more time and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary…” He shares his opinions on the worst types of modern professional. He does not approve of lobbyists and is rightly worried about their influence on the legislative process. We should heed his words: “...so long as the law is safe, so i Marcus gives us wise advice about using the Internet, particularly social networking sites: “...because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you'll have more time and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, is this necessary…” He shares his opinions on the worst types of modern professional. He does not approve of lobbyists and is rightly worried about their influence on the legislative process. We should heed his words: “...so long as the law is safe, so is the city and the citizen…”. He has harsh things to say about public relations executives; “...to say what you don't think - the definition of absurdity…”. He understands the modern office dynamic, reminding himself: “...Not to be constantly telling people that I am too busy, unless I really am. Similarly, not to be always ducking my responsibilities to the people around me because of "pressing business"..." Marcus has advice for politicians, which it is clear from this book he thinks are untrustworthy, illogical and prone to anger. He condemns unreservedly all their faults and the problems with the modern electoral system: “...it makes you betray a trust, or lose your sense of shame, or make you show hatred, suspicion, ill will, or hypocrisy, or a desire for things best done behind closed doors. “...A desire for things best done behind closed doors…” - Marcus is spot on in identifying a lack of democratic accountability, fostered by the CIA, NSA, GCHQ and the rest of the security paraphernalia, as being at the root of many of our current political problems. In the UK there is a tradition for politicians, or at least for the posher type of politician, to study “PPE” or “Politics, Philosophy and Economics” at either Oxford or Cambridge University. But despite such an expensive education our political masters don't have half the grasp on the classics that Marcus has, which is remarkable considering he was home-schooled. I wish Marcus would consider a career in politics just to show up our current representatives for the intellectual pygmies that they really are. Marcus also gives us advice on a more personal level. I don’t know much about his background but I can be sure he is the father of teenage children! Can he really keep his temper? “...they are drawn toward what they think is good for them, but if it is not good for them then prove it to them instead of losing your temper…” Unlike other self-help writers he doesn’t flinch at reminding us about our own mortality: “...Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now take what's left and live it properly…” We should remember: “...not to live as if you had endless years in front of you. Death overshadows you. While you're alive and able, be good…” and also “...how much more damage anger and grief do than the things that cause them…” How refreshing if more authors of self help books would confront squarely the central issue of our own mortality and our negative emotions of anger or frustration instead of forever hiding from these topics. So to end with my favorite paragraph, from book 10 paragraph 5. One for physicists as well as philosophers to puzzle over: “...whatever happens to you has been waiting to happen since the beginning of time. The twining strands of fate wove both of them together: your own existence and the things that happen to you. ..” I don’t normally read self help books. Often they seem full of cliches left over from the Victorian era. And in this book, which may have been modeled on the writings of Alain De Botton, Marcus mixes in a lot of philosophy and this just isn’t to everyone’s taste. But with this short work Marcus, who is Italian, and his co-author Gregory Hays have brought the format right up to date by reflecting squarely on the types of issues that we all face today. A great book by an author who - and this is no exaggeration - deserves a statue to be put up for him. I can only wish I could meet Marcus one day. In fact I’ll be checking out if he has any book signings lined up. If he has a decent agent I’m sure he has.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Always Pouting

    Someone lent me this because they thought it might help me feel better/change my thinking. I was like sure I'll give it a chance but like sorry to say it did nothing. I feel as though many of the things in there that might be helpful are things I've already gotten elsewhere by this point or attitudes I already hold. Also I'm not sure but was this written at the end of his life because he just seems like he's mostly grappling with his impending mortality and what it means to be alive and how one Someone lent me this because they thought it might help me feel better/change my thinking. I was like sure I'll give it a chance but like sorry to say it did nothing. I feel as though many of the things in there that might be helpful are things I've already gotten elsewhere by this point or attitudes I already hold. Also I'm not sure but was this written at the end of his life because he just seems like he's mostly grappling with his impending mortality and what it means to be alive and how one can live in the right way. I personally couldn't care less about being dead so I'm not sure that's something I found resonated with me, it might for others though. Also just a lot of determinism and mind/body duality in there neither of which I personally believe to be true so that didn't endear me to it. What I'm trying to say is I can see why this might help other people in their own thinking/learning to cope with being alive but it just didn't do it for me. It wasn't terrible but like I never wouldve picked this up on my own honestly.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Petri

    This basically consists of Marcus Aurelius repeating, "Get it together, Marcus" to himself over and over again over the course of 12 chapters. SPOILER ALERT: -The time during which you are alive is very very brief compared to the time during which you did not exist and will not exist. -People who wrong you only do so from ignorance, and if you can correct them without being a jerk about it, you should do so. -You are a little soul dragging around a corpse. -Whether or not things injure you lies in This basically consists of Marcus Aurelius repeating, "Get it together, Marcus" to himself over and over again over the course of 12 chapters. SPOILER ALERT: -The time during which you are alive is very very brief compared to the time during which you did not exist and will not exist. -People who wrong you only do so from ignorance, and if you can correct them without being a jerk about it, you should do so. -You are a little soul dragging around a corpse. -Whether or not things injure you lies in your opinion about them, and you can control that opinion. That's about it. The fascinating thing about these philosophical ideas is that if they were expressed a single time, they might seem profound and solid and convincing. But repeated over and over like a rosary, you feel that Marcus is struggling against really serious grueling daily doubt -- that these are things that he wishes to be true, not things that he knows to be true, normative rather than descriptive statements. Which makes for a fascinating and subtext-y read, especially given his history.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Marcus Aurelius must have been a prolific reader. He sure was a prolific note-taker, for these meditations are surely his study-notes(?- after all he was a 'philosopher' from age 12). I don't know of the publishing system at the time but where are the detailed footnotes and references? Marcus Aurelius is quite a wise man or at least he read enough wise men. He sure nailed it as far as boring a reader is concerned. No better way to establish your book's wisdom quotient. I am being needlessly caust Marcus Aurelius must have been a prolific reader. He sure was a prolific note-taker, for these meditations are surely his study-notes(?- after all he was a 'philosopher' from age 12). I don't know of the publishing system at the time but where are the detailed footnotes and references? Marcus Aurelius is quite a wise man or at least he read enough wise men. He sure nailed it as far as boring a reader is concerned. No better way to establish your book's wisdom quotient. I am being needlessly caustic of course(do note my rating above). The book is quotable in almost every page and is good to dip in to now and then, you might well find an aphorism that fits the mood just right every time. And that is why the book is a classic and so well-loved. Don't read it as a scholar, you will end up like this reviewer. As I said earlier - He is like the wisdom of ages. Aargh :) Not that it is all bad - it is like reading an old uncles's notes after he has been preaching to you all your life. Good that I am a stoic too. All ills are imaginary. Yes. [ Or perhaps it was easier to be a Stoic while stoned: The emperor was a notorious opium user, starting each day, even while on military campaigns, by downing a nubbin of the stuff dissolved in his morning cup of wine. ]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Wearing Mismatched Socks at Work is Empowering: "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hays (trans.) “Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop lett If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Wearing Mismatched Socks at Work is Empowering: "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius, Gregory Hays (trans.) “Concentrate every minute like a Roman— like a man— on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can— if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered , irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.” In “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius “Para ser grande, sê inteiro: nada Teu exagera ou exclui. Sê todo em cada coisa. Põe quanto és No mínimo que fazes. Assim em cada lago a lua toda Brilha, porque alta vive.” In “Odes de Ricardo Reis” by Fernando Pessoa Word of caution: this "review" is going to be all over the place. I translated this into German a long time ago. I’m not sure I’m up to the task of translating this into English this time around… Let’s give it a go: “To be great, be whole: nothing Of yours exaggerate or exclude. Be all in everything. Put all you are In everything you do. Be like the moon that Shines whole in every lake Because it lives up high.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Adam Dalva

    It's, of course, completely ridiculous to rate a nearly 2000 year old journal by a Roman emperor who never intended it to be read. As a book experience, the repetition of Aurelius's thoughts can be frustrating (the excellent introduction in this volume provides context for it, and for the concept of stoicism), but I found his challenges, his every-day worries remarkably human. When they're good, they're incredible: "At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: 'I have to go t It's, of course, completely ridiculous to rate a nearly 2000 year old journal by a Roman emperor who never intended it to be read. As a book experience, the repetition of Aurelius's thoughts can be frustrating (the excellent introduction in this volume provides context for it, and for the concept of stoicism), but I found his challenges, his every-day worries remarkably human. When they're good, they're incredible: "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? T 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?"

  10. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Marcus Aurelius the wise Roman Emperor some said the greatest to ever reign, from A.D. 161 to 180, his ideas seemed baffling in an era that was noted for glorifying the soldier, their frequent triumphant marches through the huge capital sparked frenzy enthusiastic joyous response from the public honoring the vicious warrior conquering the barbarians , a strange mixture this human to be sure who felt the purpose of living is to help your fellow traveler find their destiny with the influence of st Marcus Aurelius the wise Roman Emperor some said the greatest to ever reign, from A.D. 161 to 180, his ideas seemed baffling in an era that was noted for glorifying the soldier, their frequent triumphant marches through the huge capital sparked frenzy enthusiastic joyous response from the public honoring the vicious warrior conquering the barbarians , a strange mixture this human to be sure who felt the purpose of living is to help your fellow traveler find their destiny with the influence of stoicism the ancient Greek philosophy, Marcus Aurelius the man believed in it but others didn't the Roman Empire was full of violence wasn't noted for being a gentle society. You can imagine the difficulties which transpired, people accepted pain and suffering without complaint, the land of the strong endured disasters and continued. The unnatural way is quite strange as people want to breath fire in hell not be lambs heading to the slaughterhouse without putting on a good fight against such a notion, history has shown this propensity.The good Emperor to show the Romans how to serve the world, not rule for selfish reasons was the only proper thing though the concept would be almost impossible to realize then and for modern people failure to engulf this a puzzlement, quite understandable still, for nature is painful. . Yet few believed greed and ambition the ultimate climb to raw power has a magical temptation not able to be tamed by an old philosophy thousands of years old which the people today will neglect, truth like a sinking useless ship which is empty of valuables slowly turns over and falls to the sparse bottom never to arise again...No one cares the ultimate knowledge each will try to discover for themselves by opening a door, the truth may be inside the hall or not , set you free, or bring destruction, maybe a clue to what you seek....however only time the judge of wisdom prevails . The puzzlement of life is what gives flavor to the mystery and those striving to solve the enigma. A well thought peek, still unclear view of the fuzzy future which could arise, nevertheless a guess will ultimately...be just that a guess and this will always be the truth.No system is perfect for the simple reason the human race doesn't function in an error free state, mistakes continue the sad results cause immense destruction millions perish we look but can not stop the evil. In my thoughts the odd universe while a wondrous place to live and many secrets unknown need to be explored however it is too gigantic for total discovery.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν = Meditations, Marcus Aurelius Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from AD 161 to 180, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. The Meditations is divided into 12 books that chronicle different periods of Aurelius' life. Each book is not in chronological order and it was written for no one but himself. The style of writing that permeates the text is one that is simplified, straightforward, and perhaps reflecting Τὰ εἰς ἑαυτόν = Meditations, Marcus Aurelius Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from AD 161 to 180, recording his private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy. The Meditations is divided into 12 books that chronicle different periods of Aurelius' life. Each book is not in chronological order and it was written for no one but himself. The style of writing that permeates the text is one that is simplified, straightforward, and perhaps reflecting Aurelius' Stoic perspective on the text. Aurelius advocates finding one's place in the universe and sees that everything came from nature, and so everything shall return to it in due time. Another strong theme is of maintaining focus and to be without distraction all the while maintaining strong ethical principles such as "Being a good man." تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نوزدهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2006میلادی عنوان: ت‍ام‍لات‌؛ نویسنده: م‍ارک‍وس‌ اورل‍ی‍وس‌ امپراتور روم؛ مت‍رج‍م ع‍رف‍ان‌ ث‍اب‍ت‍ی‌؛ تهران، ققنوس، 1384؛ در 158ص؛ شابک9643116107؛ چاپ دوم سال 1387؛ شابک9789643116101؛ چاپ سوم 1389؛ چاپ چهارم 1391؛ چاپ پنجم 1393؛ چاپ هفتم 1396؛ چاپ هشتم 1397؛ ویراست دوم تهران، ققنوس، چاپ دهم و یازدهم 1398؛ در 192ص؛ شابک 9786220402916؛ موضوع راه و رسم زندگی از نویسندگان روم - سده 02میلادی عنوان: ت‍ام‍لات‌؛ نویسنده: م‍ارک‍وس‌ اورل‍ی‍وس‌ امپراتور روم؛ مت‍رج‍مها: م‍ه‍دی‌ ب‍اق‍ی‌، ش‍ی‍ری‍ن‌ م‍خ‍ت‍اری‍ان‌؛ تهران، نشر نی، 1384؛ در 159ص؛ شابک9643127931؛ چاپ دوم 1386؛ شابک9789643127930؛ عنوان: تاملات؛ مارکوس ارلیوس (اورلیوس)؛ مترجم بابک کیان؛ تهران، میلکان، 1398؛ در 184ص؛ شابک ندارد این کتاب با بازنویسی «دونالد راتسون» و با عنوان «چگونه مانند یک امپراتور بیندیشیم» نیز چاپ شده است مارکوس آئورلیوس آنتونیوس، یا «مارک اورل»، از امپراتوران بزرگ «روم» بوده اند؛ ایشان یکی از «پنج امپراتور خوب»، از دودمان «آنتونی نروایی»، و یک فیلسوف رواقی (براساس آموزه های این فلسفه انسان باید راه رسیدن به خوشبختی را پیدا کند) بودند؛ که در روز بیست و ششم از ماه آوریل سال 121میلادی زاده‌ شدند، و در روز هفدم از ماه مارس 180میلادی به بیماری تیفوس درگذشتند؛ ایشان نقش برجسته‌ ای در آخرین دوره ی جنگ‌های «رم» علیه «اشکانیان» داشتند، این کتاب را بین سال‌های 170میلادی تا سال180میلادی، در حالی که «روم» در جنگ بود، بنگاشتند؛ «مارکوس آئورلیوس» فرمانروایی بودند، که فرمانروایی را دوست نداشتند؛ ایشان از کودکی میخواستند فیلسوف شوند، او با خوانش زندگی «سقراط» به وجد می‌آمد، کتاب «تأملات» اثری شامل دوازده کتاب است؛ که «آئورلیوس» اندیشه‌های خود را در آنها بیان کرده‌ اند؛ این اثر که شامل متن‌های کوتاه و یادداشت‌هاست؛ در دنیای غرب بسیار مورد توجه است، و بارها به زبان‌های اروپایی ترجمه شده‌ است نقل از متن: (مرا بردار و هر جای این جهان که می‌خواهی بینداز! هر جا که باشم، خدای قلبم را خوشحال و راضی نگه می‌دارد؛ که این نتیجه وقتی‌ست که کردار و رفتار ما، طبیعت حقیقی خود را دنبال کنند…؛ آیا آنچه که بر من می‌گذرد دلیلی کافی خواهد بود برای اینکه من بیمار و شکسته، تحقیر شده و گرسنه، و در غل و زنجیر باشم؟ آیا (هیچ جا) دلیلی کافی برای این‌گونه زیستن داری؟؛ ای هستی! نظم تو نظم درونی من است: هیچ چیز اگر در زمان مناسب توست، نه بر من زود و نه بر من دیر است؛ ای حقیقت هستی! هرچه که فصل‌هایت بار آرد بر من میوه (رضا) است: که همه چیز از تو می‌آید و هستی همه چیز در توست و به تو بازمی‌گردد…؛ این فکر را که «من رنج کشیده‌ام» را بیرون کن و رنج، خود بیرون خواهد رفت شرم‌آور است که عقل، ظاهرمان را شکل می‌دهد، اما قادر به شکل‌دادن خود نیست؛ بدیهی است که هیچ‌گاه در زندگی شرایطی بهتر از این برای فراگیری فلسفه نخواهی داشت!؛ زمانی که روز خود را آغاز می‌کنید، به این فکر کنید که چه موهبت با ارزشیست که زنده اید - که نفس می‌کشید، تفکر می‌کنید، لذت می‌برید، که عشق می‌ورزید شادی زندگی شما به کیفیت افکارتان بستگی دارد به درونت بنگر! در درونت چشمه ی قدرتی وجود دارد که هر وقت بخوانی اش، به تو یاری خواهد کرد خودت را در رویاهای داشتن چیزهایی که نداری، غرق نکن، اما موهبت‌هایی که دارا هستی را بشمار، و شکرگزارانه به خاطر داشته باش که چطور رؤیای داشتنشان را در سرت می‌پروراندی اگر نداشتی‌شان هدف زندگی این نیست که با اکثریت همراه شوی، بلکه در نپیوستن به جمع بیخردان است اصلی که بایستی در آینده به خاطر بسپاری، وقتی که رنج‌ها مجبورت می‌کنند که احساس تلخی کنی، این است: که افتادن اتفاق تلخ بداقبالی نیست، که تحمل رنج‌ها بدون از دست دادن امید است، که خوش‌ اقبالی است)؛ پایان تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Why do I always posit bizarre questions at the beginning of every review? Well, have you ever, after many talks with a chemist and micro-dosing guru, finally persuaded yourself that you’d be just peachy with pin-balling some spirit molecules around in your brain casket? Only to later profane against your prior optimism by leaping up, cleaving the coffee table with the blunted knife of your shins, all while struggling to quell the erratic gestures which are presently animating your limbs? Why? We Why do I always posit bizarre questions at the beginning of every review? Well, have you ever, after many talks with a chemist and micro-dosing guru, finally persuaded yourself that you’d be just peachy with pin-balling some spirit molecules around in your brain casket? Only to later profane against your prior optimism by leaping up, cleaving the coffee table with the blunted knife of your shins, all while struggling to quell the erratic gestures which are presently animating your limbs? Why? Well, if every time you hold your hands out, your fingers ejaculate pyrotechnic jets of DMT, the only sensible course of action is to shield your loved ones from harm by convulsing as if gripped by an invisible straight jacket and roil your way towards the balcony with the conspicuous golden thread. Why? Because it’s obviously Ariadne’s thread, you philistine! Your soul is attached to it, and your buoyant spirit, while great at making friends, is navigationally challenged and will breach the atmosphere to explode soundlessly in the vacuum of deep space if not for the cement shoes of your corporeality. At a time like this, a powerful aphorism could save you. The following apocryphal tale is how the last emperor of the Pax Romana riveted my stray quintessence back to my pineal gland using the pithy wisdom of The Meditations as adhesive. Giving me the incredible strength required to consume an entire box of grape popsicles, which in turn, carried me away from the jaws of psychosis on high fructose wings. Below the balcony. Street level. A man of anachronistic manner and dress watches my futile attempt to collapse a probabilistic cloud of electrons back into the wave function of its sebaceous prison. Me: “Think of the menstrual cramps you’ll miss!” Soul: “....” Stranger: “You are a little soul carrying about a corpse, as Epictetus used to say.” Me: “Wait, are y-“ Stranger: “How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.” Me: “You have to admit that some things are difficult to prepare for, and the shock of their oblique assault causes one to writhe as if restrained in the manner of Houdini and seek to rescue their soul from an eternity spent conversing with molecular hydrogen. Can’t you help me?! You seem so nonplussed. So.. stoic!” Stranger: “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” Me: “You’re right. What would my personal hero (Dr. Hannibal Lecter) do at a time like this? If he can bite the faces off rude corrections officers without his pulse rising above normal, surely I can manage this trivial ordeal.” Stranger: “Regain your senses, call yourself back, and once again wake up.” Me: *Deep centering breath* Stranger: “Now that you realize that only dreams were troubling you, view this ‘reality’ as you view your dreams.” Me: “Yes. Like the one with Dita von Teese and the Shibari Rope Bondage based on the quantum weirdness of spinnorial matter. If I spin her just so, she will arrive back at her original configuration only have 720-degrees of rotation!” Stranger: “Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” Me: “Damnit.” Stranger: “Consider that as the heaps of sand piled on one another hide the former sands, so in life the events that go before are soon covered by those that come after.” And that’s how I met Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. What a guy. This is another very important book to me. It’s message, contrary to conflations of stoicism with pure apathy, is this: The narrow band of experience, which comprises the entire trajectory of your life, is bracketed by voids of unknown dimensions. So in every sense, what you do here, in this blip of astronomical time, matters. Possessing this knowledge, how should we behave in the face of life’s travails? Give ourselves to nihilistic despair? Or bear, with dignity, our one and only experiential opportunity in this absurd system? This book contains the rumination of an emperor, a philosopher, and, most pertinent to our collective struggles, a fellow mortal, aware of their paltry chronological endowment. Trying to live well and love fully. Seeking to define goodness and hone the pursuit of it as earnestly as possible. Espousing the virtues of self reliance, of facing hardship with equanimity, of treating others with respect and compassion. Stressing the importance of habituating your thoughts in ways that are productive, rather than adopting fatalistic narratives. It’s a panacea against carping and catastrophizing. A set of conceptual triangulations to steady you in times when you feel unmoored. Succor in menacing shadow of life’s impermanence. It is fashionable to consider all works of philosophy to be stodgy and concerned with matters so esoteric that little practical value can be derived them. But this book chiefly concerns (by heavy dent of the Roman preoccupation with pragmatism, one imagines) the concrete ways in which a life of the mind can provide a bulwark against turmoil and tragedy. I encourage you to give it a chance, you might find yourself surprised by the power of ideas, and the fortitude of a life well lived.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis Eisenstadt

    THINK ABOUT IT! Never before have I given a five star rating to a book of which I had only read 9%. However, this book is special in many ways, and if the beginning is any indication of the author's thoughts and reflections, it merits this rating. I eagerly await my future readings of this splendid work. Like the Bible, it can be opened to any page, and the passage will resonate with most people at various times in their life. Each passage stands by itself and is not dependent upon what had preced THINK ABOUT IT! Never before have I given a five star rating to a book of which I had only read 9%. However, this book is special in many ways, and if the beginning is any indication of the author's thoughts and reflections, it merits this rating. I eagerly await my future readings of this splendid work. Like the Bible, it can be opened to any page, and the passage will resonate with most people at various times in their life. Each passage stands by itself and is not dependent upon what had preceded it. Therefore, although I am in the midst of reading two other books, I pick this one up sporadically, read a few passages, and am not confused about plot and characters. Although the book was written in a manner easy to understand, it is anything but simplistic; it is profound and replete with wisdom. Further, it should be read slowly so that the reader may absorb the words and delight in the meditations of Aurelius. I have done much highlighting in order to remember certain passages, and I know I will reread them throughout the years. Once again, my friend Steve Sckenda has recommended quality literature to his GR friends for which I thank him most sincerely. Phyllis Eisenstadt

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    “The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” After reading this book I realized that there was a wealth of wisdom from some of the greatest minds in history; all I had to do was take the time to meet them through books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    By today's standards, a bog-standard blog. The only reason that this was preserved in the first place is that the author happened to be a Roman emperor. (That, and that ancient Rome didn't have LiveJournal.) The only reason that Meditations is still being published today is that once a book gets labeled "classic," hardly anyone who reads it has the grapes to admit that it just wasn't that good. Well...the emperor has no clothes. By today's standards, a bog-standard blog. The only reason that this was preserved in the first place is that the author happened to be a Roman emperor. (That, and that ancient Rome didn't have LiveJournal.) The only reason that Meditations is still being published today is that once a book gets labeled "classic," hardly anyone who reads it has the grapes to admit that it just wasn't that good. Well...the emperor has no clothes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Walter

    Another great influence in my life; this was the personal philosophical diary of the last "good emperor" of the Roman Empire. In this work Marcus Aurelius draws a picture Stoicism as a philosophy that I call "Buddhism with balls". It is a harsh self discipline that trains its practitioners to be champions (of a sort). Champions of what? Mastery of the self. The heart of the book is that in order to make oneself free, they must train themselves to become indifferent to externals. The externals ar Another great influence in my life; this was the personal philosophical diary of the last "good emperor" of the Roman Empire. In this work Marcus Aurelius draws a picture Stoicism as a philosophy that I call "Buddhism with balls". It is a harsh self discipline that trains its practitioners to be champions (of a sort). Champions of what? Mastery of the self. The heart of the book is that in order to make oneself free, they must train themselves to become indifferent to externals. The externals are those elements in life of which we have no or little control: our ethnicity, sex appeal, intelligence, lifespan, the opinions of others, etc. We must also become very aware of the one thing which we do have control over: our perceptions. Through harsh self analysis, training of the reason and self discipline, we can learn to take control of our perceptions, and in this way become impervious to all misfortune/suffering. Through this practice one cuts the puppet strings by which most people are jerked through life: pleasing others, seeking fame, sexual dominance, material goods, etc., and in the process also is freed of the suffering that stems from not having these false goals met. This is a book that is extremely empowering. Even if some of the ideals and aims might be utterly impossible (but for a handful of great sages), they are worthy and worth striving towards. Another aspect that I found interesting, was that here we are able to open a window into the life of a great and noble soul who was struggling to come to terms with the universe. We read the personal thoughts of the master of the civilized world, a man utterly alone and free of peers, who is grappling with the need to find meaning in life. His efforts and obvious agonies are touching. This is a deeply humane work. In many sections he has to repeatedly remind himself of the nature of death (that it is an essential and good part of nature), and often repeated are metaphors relating to the death of a child. These reminders are made very poignant when you understand that several of the Emperor's children (who he apparently loved very much) were taken by disease. This was the one understanding that he seemed to have the hardest time coming to terms with or accepting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Krishna Chaitanya

    "If you want to gain control of pain, open up this blessed book and enter deep within it. Its wealth of philosophy will bring you to see with ease all the future, the present, and the past, and you will see that joy and distress have no more power than smoke." - One of Marcus' Greek readers. "If you want to gain control of pain, open up this blessed book and enter deep within it. Its wealth of philosophy will bring you to see with ease all the future, the present, and the past, and you will see that joy and distress have no more power than smoke." - One of Marcus' Greek readers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    Ah I had a far better review in my mind, but it has, like morning mist, cleared out from my mind leaving a jumble of words and impressions, so you will have to endure that, or skip to another GR update instead :) The weaknesses of Marcus Aurelius's jottings and musings, his inconsistencies, vaguenesses, intellectual messiness, the lack of exploration of any particular idea in detail are it's strengths. There is a Marcus Aurelius for everyone, or perhaps for everyday of the year (Selections from t Ah I had a far better review in my mind, but it has, like morning mist, cleared out from my mind leaving a jumble of words and impressions, so you will have to endure that, or skip to another GR update instead :) The weaknesses of Marcus Aurelius's jottings and musings, his inconsistencies, vaguenesses, intellectual messiness, the lack of exploration of any particular idea in detail are it's strengths. There is a Marcus Aurelius for everyone, or perhaps for everyday of the year (Selections from the Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius for every day in the year) (and I suspect there are Marcus Aurelius day by day calendars). I wondered if at some point the real Marcus Aurelius would stand up, and of course he does, just like Spartacus at the end of the Stanley Kubrik film. The work known variously as Meditations or the Golden Book was originally written in Greek and entitled 'To Himself', it is divided into twelve 'books' each perhaps fifteen or so printed pages in length. The first book is a listing of to whom and for what Marcus Aurelius is grateful - for things like his upbringing and character rather than that people pay their taxes and, by and large, obey the laws. The other eleven books don't have any thematic unity. At the end of the first book he writes: 'Among the Quadi, on the river Gran' this is the only indication of time and place in the entire work which is good from the point of view of approachability, Yes, you too, and me, have direct access to the personal musing of a Roman Emperor you can read his blogging, indeed in places almost his tweets, there is no barrier you can approach him with out prior knowledge - people have approached him with out prior knowledge for almost 2,000 years, so much so that I fear there is little novel here: be grateful, practise serenity, be kind to others, appreciate the order and structure of life, do your duty (like a Roman). The downside is you don't learn much about Marcus Aurelius, it is somehow so personal, private and interior that it has become indistinct and universal, suitable for fridge magnets or motivational posters anywhere. I believe that formally Marcus was a a stoic, if his reflections in his book represent cutting edge stoic philosophy or the ponderings of a well educated individual of his day I don't know. In book eleven particularly he quotes Homer, Sophocles, Euripides and Plato, but he never mentions the famous Roman stoic Seneca. Perhaps Seneca was already forgotten by Aurelius' time or perhaps the issue of how to behave under the rule of an emperor was a bit too close to the bone for the Emperor. As I mentioned in updates it reminded me in its stress on duty of what I have heard of the Bhagadvad Gita and I felt that Aurelius' : Worldnature, nature, world reason, cosmic purpose, gods, universal nature,mind of the universe, god... (a sample of the terms he seems to use for some kind of ordering principle in the universe) could all have been expressed as, or were reaching towards ideas of Dharma or Dao. Since this is a philosophical work, of sorts, or perhaps a religious one, I wondered if the translation was unhelpful - perhaps all these terms might have been rendered by one expression in the original, perhaps Logos (most famous now from the opening of the Gospel of Saint John), yet I think I read in the introduction that Marcus did use all these different terms even though, contextually they all appear to mean something similar if not identical. Given this and the Tao Te Ching, I would have imagined that the Tao Te Ching was the one written by a canny Emperor, Marcus somehow often manages to sound like a harassed corporate drone forced to share a workbench with people who don't brush their teeth and who wash and change their clothes regularly - meaning once every nine weeks - (5:28) I could imagine it as the basis for a new US Sit-Com, maybe Aurelius: the customer service years, a slight change from his previous appearances in the films The Fall of the Roman Empire and Gladiator both of which downplay quite how odd Marcus' son the Emperor Commodus was (view spoiler)[ he enjoyed dressing up (or down?) as Hercules and clubbing people with his club, he had all the months renamed after himself, still it was only after twelve years that he was strangled by his personal trainer (view spoiler)[ I have long been of the opinion that sport is bad for you, but in truth maybe it is just personal trainers (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] . Marcus says that he thinks praying for three hours a day is sufficient, but it was unclear to me quite what he would be praying to, his universe otherwise seems fairly deterministic and the gods a part of that as much as the fig trees, horses and people, perhaps his prayer was more his spiritual practise to encourage the serenity, kindness, and indifference to death that he speaks of rather than requests to the gods. Walking wet pavements observing (stoically of course) the flashes of lightening over the sky, I wondered if death and being forgotten (everybody who ever knew you also dying) was such a constant preoccupation in these writing because it was a prospect that he really feared, as it has happened this has preserved his memory fairly effectively. Everything he says is created for some duty (8:19) even if we accept that this is so and easily definable for his examples of a horse and a vine, the question that he does not address is what about an Emperor? Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero were all emperors and all acted as though they had different conceptions of duty. But Marcus while exposing his innermost thoughts does not want to reveal what he thought his own duty as an Emperor was. For me it was not a case of Howards end is no the landing but Marcus Aurelius was on the dusty shelf, picked up for two GBP I don't recall when, probably in disreputable company. At the same time I can not be completely comfortable with him. Mine [my concern], to be in friendship and charity with all men (11:13) he writes while fighting wars against the Marcomanni, Quadi and Samatians, so friendship and charity with not quite all men, I flicked through the relevant pages of Empires and Barbarians and saw that war began because they asked if they could enter the empire and had been refused, perhaps I am missing something here, also this was a period when punishments for crimes became harsher for those of lower social status, his self cultivation and personal serenity did not come into conflict with a conception of imperial duty that seems in practise to have been heavy handed (kindness is irresistible but he is partial to the decapitation of his enemies), perhaps for him there was no contradiction, he was no Ashokha (he says somewhere that you either have to improve people or put up with them, he does not seem to have tried improving them, that was not his duty). But his writings don't clarify his approach to authority and rule to me (view spoiler)[ my guess would be that for him non-Romans and lower class Romans - humiliores as they were called in distinction to the higher class honestiores did not count as full people but were a lower type of thing like horses and vines and therefore to be broken or pruned, but since few of us these days are Roman emperors we can maybe misread his words with a fraternal spirit, if a fig tree will (in good conditions) produce figs, so too a Roman Emperor will be a Roman Emperor (hide spoiler)] . I see here Marcus Aurelius for business: Meditations: Thoughts for Corporate Dominance this from the man who wrote (5:33) "all that men set their hearts on in this life is vanity, corruption and trash..."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic, a philosophy that is all about accepting the present moment as it is, and not letting the struggle to get away from pain and to acquire pleasure dictate our lives. This philosophy has always appealed to me, and obviously there are many similarities with Zen Buddhism to be found in Stoicism. This little book is the equivalent of a little diary one would keep on their nightstand, where they would scribble thoughts that they want to remind themselves of, and as the titl Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic, a philosophy that is all about accepting the present moment as it is, and not letting the struggle to get away from pain and to acquire pleasure dictate our lives. This philosophy has always appealed to me, and obviously there are many similarities with Zen Buddhism to be found in Stoicism. This little book is the equivalent of a little diary one would keep on their nightstand, where they would scribble thoughts that they want to remind themselves of, and as the title implies, insight gained from looking deep into oneself. While it can get a bit repetitive sometimes, and can, at times, feel like ideas we’ve heard a million times before, there is something profoundly soothing and inspiring in Marcus Aurelius’ little maxims: they are a refreshing reminder that leading a life of simplicity and compassion can be a much more rewarding life than one based on greed and superficial, fleeting satisfactions. If it feels oddly familiar, it’s probably because people have been quoting Marcus Aurelius for hundreds of years! He wrote most of these late in his life, and there are plenty of reflections on death in these pages: that is certainly explained in part by how old he was when he took up the pen, but it was also an important part of Stoic philosophy, to be aware that life is finite, and that we should therefore learn to be satisfied with how it is right now, as it could be gone tomorrow. When you consider the tone of the thoughts collected in “Meditations”, it can be surprising to remember that they were written down by the most powerful man of the Western world. Would powerful men today write so earnestly about dignity, thoughtfulness, modesty and honesty? Would they encourage people to truly look at themselves and give up caring about the things that are outside of our control? I don’t know. But Marcus was very aware of his humanity, and therefore, that even if he was the Emperor, he was fundamentally not all that different from other people. Just like when I read Cicero last year (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), I finished this book wishing this was still a mandatory text: it's not perfect, but there is some important wisdom in here, and I wish more people were exposed to this kind of writing. And it is still incredibly relevant, and applicable to many daily life situations. A very good book to start the new year (and decade!) with. "If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one's own self-deception and ignorance." "Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretense."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    The thoughts of Marcus Aurelius recorded as private notes to himself and now widely known as Meditations shows us what a deep thinker and a great philosopher he has been. It is of little surprise that he had been one of the "five good Emperors" since he surely must have ruled the Empire by the principles reflected in his meditations. But it is surprising why no one has given heed to these advisory notes he is so painstakingly recorded since he is the last of the five good Emperors. It is strange The thoughts of Marcus Aurelius recorded as private notes to himself and now widely known as Meditations shows us what a deep thinker and a great philosopher he has been. It is of little surprise that he had been one of the "five good Emperors" since he surely must have ruled the Empire by the principles reflected in his meditations. But it is surprising why no one has given heed to these advisory notes he is so painstakingly recorded since he is the last of the five good Emperors. It is strange how often good and just advice is overlooked. The book expresses profound thoughts on self-discipline and self-enlightenment; the conduct of one's self towards society, and nature. It is a thought-provoking book. Many of his ideas correspond with the tents of religions practiced in the world today. Meditations is the reflection of a great man who has lived nearly two thousand years ago. But still, they ring so true. This shows that mankind and human nature have not advanced much over the years. Human thinking and needs are not so different from the time of Aurelius. Aurelius's ideas are quite interesting and advisory. I enjoyed them. But I was a little put off by the manner in which they were presented. It is very matter of fact. Well, it can't be helped that the book is so presented, for these private thoughts of Aurelius were recorded as notes to himself. And so the published work corresponds to the initial style of how they were recorded. Nevertheless, it was a bit difficult for me to connect with this style, and so it did prevent me to some extent from going deeper into his thoughts and connecting wholly with them. Yet I believe that this small work is something which everyone must read at some point, for words of wisdom never fails in their allure.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Like the Tao Te Ching, this is a collection of short, powerful statements. If only Aurelius had as much humor as Lao Tzu, or as generous a view of life. Still, some of Aurelius's reflections have a cold, wintery beauty about them. Best read as poetry rather than any philosophy to take to heart. Only readable in small bites, which makes it perfect for the subway. Like the Tao Te Ching, this is a collection of short, powerful statements. If only Aurelius had as much humor as Lao Tzu, or as generous a view of life. Still, some of Aurelius's reflections have a cold, wintery beauty about them. Best read as poetry rather than any philosophy to take to heart. Only readable in small bites, which makes it perfect for the subway.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Parthiban Sekar

    “Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.” This little book is the most personal work existent on the surface of the Earth, floating across all continents and countries, in all language, from time to time. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor and unmistakably, a Stoic philosopher, through his reflective aphorisms and repetitive admonitions, captivates us to inquire about our living, review our doings, and eliminate our misconceptions. This was not targeted for “Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul.” This little book is the most personal work existent on the surface of the Earth, floating across all continents and countries, in all language, from time to time. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor and unmistakably, a Stoic philosopher, through his reflective aphorisms and repetitive admonitions, captivates us to inquire about our living, review our doings, and eliminate our misconceptions. This was not targeted for any audience; This was not intended to be published; This was unquestionably not to be made as international best seller; Yet, this single book has captured more men than Marcus could ever have captured with his lofty weapons and relentless army. These 12 books of personally directed writings might seem incomprehensible, at times, but, thanks to the foot-notes, some of them could be made clear. So, what does Marcus say in this mighty book of "motivating and reforming" writing? "The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." .::Directing Mind::. “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” All is as thinking makes it so. Our very souls are dyed by our thoughts. We are what our thoughts make us and our happiness rests in what we think. Throughout this book, it is constantly being reminded that one should keep himself free of alluring judgement, but he should conduct a precise analysis with unaffected dignity, with human sympathy, with dispassionate justice. “Vanity is the greatest seducer of reason.” Pride is what, often, drives us into undesirable circumstances and unalterable consequences, and so, He, Marcus, tell us to get rid of vanity and any emotion which might instigate vanity in us. Like most of the Stoics, he also tell us not to succumb to pleasures and pains, and not to be provoked by brute facts and mere things. Divinity is our mind and reason. .::Achievement Of Common Good::. "If mind is common to us, then also the reason, whereby we are reasoning beings, is common.' If this be so, then also the reason which enjoins what is to be done or left undone is common. If this be so, law also is common; if this be so, we are citizens; if this be so, we are partakers in one constitution;" Mind, "A perfect round in solitude" as addressed by Marcus, which is unreachable to any of external agents, and which can be impacted only by our thoughts, tends to join with people who bear the same thoughts and beliefs, leading to the fellowship of "Like-Minded" individuals. But, what Marcus dreams of, is something really quite unimaginable and the above quote vividly explains his desire to bring all people together under on constitution to live in all accord and harmony. It would be hard not to notice his relentless reverence for Gods and the importance of being God-fearing but not superstitious. Calculated honesty is a stiletto. Kindness, integrity and sincerity are the key virtues to live in accordance with the nature (the Whole) and fellow citizens, as Marcus empathetically tells. “All men are made one for another: either then teach them better or bear with them.” .::Inevitable Change::. "Is any man afraid of change? Why what can take place without change?" Universe is change. We are not what we, once, were. All things are in the process of change: Constant alteration and Gradual decay. Everything we undergo is part of the process of change, as the fig blossoms and ripens. It is not their actions which troubles us but our judgement of them. The more we control our emotions, closer we get to the power of precise judgement. .::Sense Of An Urgency::. "The present moment is equal to all." How quickly time runs out and How much we have already lost. Instead of fretting over the past and dream of future, Marcus asks us to find our purpose of our existence and work for it, with accordance to nature and appreciation of blessings in what we have. “Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence.” .::Death::. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” Death is inevitable, as birth is. According to him, it is not a "Non-Existence" but a "Not-Yet-Existence". He even further goes ahead and asks "Or is Death just a change of home?". So, lets take what we like from this unmistakable work of virtues and make no drama of our lives. "Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This book and Aurelius has been a near and dear constant companion for me for years. I doubt I'll ever really stop reading quotes by him or exploring his ideas of life on this earth. His prose is excellent and I largely agree with his personal views on Stoicism and believe it has helped me with my own mental ups and downs. This book and Aurelius has been a near and dear constant companion for me for years. I doubt I'll ever really stop reading quotes by him or exploring his ideas of life on this earth. His prose is excellent and I largely agree with his personal views on Stoicism and believe it has helped me with my own mental ups and downs.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Clausen

    The element that stands out in in Aurelius's meditations, other than his stoicism, is his utter thankfullness for the blessings around him. Every wise book I have written has marveled at the absolute wonder that is existence and understood what a gift it is. The other aspect of the writing that stands out is the injunction towards mildness. Excesses come in all forms, including philosophy, which can be corrupted by sophists and unneeded study. Not a flattering appraisal for someone like me who t The element that stands out in in Aurelius's meditations, other than his stoicism, is his utter thankfullness for the blessings around him. Every wise book I have written has marveled at the absolute wonder that is existence and understood what a gift it is. The other aspect of the writing that stands out is the injunction towards mildness. Excesses come in all forms, including philosophy, which can be corrupted by sophists and unneeded study. Not a flattering appraisal for someone like me who tended to sneak minutes at work to read this book. What can you learn from this book -- the simple, practical insights of stoicism: Death is natural; change is constant; fortify the self against the vagaries of life; seek a life of meaningful work, modesty, and simple goodness My favorite passage is this one. It is a part, complete and perfect unto itself: "Let nothing be done rashly, and at random, but all things according to the most exact and perfect rules of art." Perhaps some of the nuance of this book was lost on me because of the translation. I used the free version from Gutenberg Press. I've had this experience in the past. I've read three translations, for example, of the Tao Teh Ching and my experience reading it was vastly different depending on the translation. In this book, too, I think that some of the meaning and intent got lost in translation. Hopefully, I didn't lose too much. If I can put the book into a sentence: Make the best use of the valuable gift known as your life through discretion and proper action.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ted

    94th book of 2021. Despite reading some people balk nowadays at the Stoic mindset, I found it oddly comforting. The certain act of accepting that things happen by their own course and that being angry/upset with things is to go against nature is a difficult one to live by a nice one to consider. Of course, I expressed some of the mindsets that Aurelius' talks about within this text to my mother and she likened it to someone we know who is very ill (and sadly now passed since this conversation) an 94th book of 2021. Despite reading some people balk nowadays at the Stoic mindset, I found it oddly comforting. The certain act of accepting that things happen by their own course and that being angry/upset with things is to go against nature is a difficult one to live by a nice one to consider. Of course, I expressed some of the mindsets that Aurelius' talks about within this text to my mother and she likened it to someone we know who is very ill (and sadly now passed since this conversation) and said it is all well and good to say you do not fear death, that things happen, that you can't change it, but at the end of the day facing death is awful and terrifying not only for you but those around you. Essentially, she thought the Stoic mindset was a little belittling. I see both sides; and frankly, I think it must be very easy to live hypocritically if trying to live like a stoic. Marcus Aurelius was an emperor of Rome from 161 to 180. Meditations are his thoughts to himself, essentially his diary, in which he tried to live as a Stoic. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors" but sadly not one I ever studied in my own study of Classical Civilisation as we studied the Roman Empire's earlier years, beginning with Augustus. Though we touched briefly (I forget why) on Hadrian. This book really gets 4 or even 5 stars for the philosophy within but these texts are hard-going in that they are long and sometimes repetitive. Though worded differently (and I was surprised by Aurelius' poetic voice at times), the same sort of ideals were coming up again and again throughout. One of the main ideas was about not fearing death. Another about controlling your emotions. Another about being good to those around you, always. There's not much more to say other than to quote my favourite bits. I couldn't get my hands on Epictetus before reading this which is a shame as Aurelius was greatly influenced by him and quotes him a lot throughout. As I have settled on working my way through philosophy with some semblance of order it was nice to see Aurelius referring to Plato and names from his work such as Crito and knowing the references. In the past I have always picked a random philosophy book and tried to read it and have understood absolutely nothing. It is clearly the way forwards to read the ancient texts and then work your way through the centuries of the "modern" era. Anyway, here's a big dump of quotes. He himself [Apollonius] was a living proof that the fiercest energy is not incompatible with the ability to relax.—I. 8 ...first, that things can never touch the soul, but stand niert outside it, so that disquiet can arise only from fancies within...—IV. 3 Put from you the belief that 'I have been wronged', and with it will go the feeling. Reject your sense of injury, and the injury itself disappears.—IV. 7 Be like the headland against which the waves break and break: it stands firm, until presently the watery tumult around it subsides once more to rest. 'How unlucky I am, that this should have happened to me!' By no means; say rather, 'How lucky I am, that it has left me with no bitterness; unshaken by the present, and undismayed by the future.' The thing could have happened to anyone, but not everyone would have emerged unembittered.—IV. 49 To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.—VI. 6 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.—VII. 8 When anyone offends against you, let your first thought be, Under what conception of good and ill was this committed? Once you know that, astonishment and anger will give place to pity.—VII. 26 Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.—VII. 27 When another's fault offends you, turn to yourself and consider what similar shortcomings are found in you.—X. 30 Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us.—XI. 18 There are of course many, many more, but I cannot write them all out. Boundless wisdom within: read with pleasure.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor living 121-180 CE. He was born to a prominent, prosperous family in Rome. Emperor Hadrian sponsored his education. Later he was adopted by Hadrian’s successor, Emperor Antonius Pius, whose daughter he married. He became Pius’ confidant and friend, in effect ruling alongside him for ten years. At Pius’ death, in 161 CE, Marcus Aurelius and his adoptive brother, Lucius Aurelius Verus, ruled together as co-Emperors. It is thought that Meditations was written over Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor living 121-180 CE. He was born to a prominent, prosperous family in Rome. Emperor Hadrian sponsored his education. Later he was adopted by Hadrian’s successor, Emperor Antonius Pius, whose daughter he married. He became Pius’ confidant and friend, in effect ruling alongside him for ten years. At Pius’ death, in 161 CE, Marcus Aurelius and his adoptive brother, Lucius Aurelius Verus, ruled together as co-Emperors. It is thought that Meditations was written over a span of years around 170 CE, the actual date being unclear. Neither is it definitely sure that what is voiced are Aurelius' thoughts! Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic—a follower of the Greek school of philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in the early third century BCE, teaching that we are to be indifferent to fortune, pleasure and pain. One is to be unemotional, objective and have clear judgment. The “stiff upper lip” attitude of today. He was a “noble, intelligent, peaceful man; he worked assiduously and with integrity for the public good.” Stoicism underlies Meditations. The audiobook includes a PDF file including notes written by Roy McMillan. This and Wikipedia are my sources for the above information. I am glad I read this. The lines are not difficult to follow. What strikes one is the simplicity and beauty of that said, not the content’s originality. The guidelines are general, well-established and commonly accepted. Yet, one cannot help but marvel at the extent to which what we think today was voiced already two thousand years ago. Yeah, two thousand years ago! It is this that is amazing. However, a few principle ideas are repeated many times, some versions more beautifully expressed than others. The first time I thought WOW. The second time I nodded in agreement. The tenth time I started getting a bit bored. So what are we told eloquently, but also repeatedly? *Life is short. *We as individuals mean nothing in the overall longevity of time. *All things happen according to the universal laws of nature. *People hurt each other out of ignorance. Try to explain this to them, nicely. *Our hurt is a result of our own opinions, and these we can do something about. *A good deed is one that is just. *"If it is not right, do not do it. If it Is not true, do not say it.” *Good deeds need not be rewarded. Doing them is the reward itself. Atoms are spoken of several times. This dumbfounded me. Perhaps the translator used the word for a concept of similar meaning. Duncan Steen narrates the audiobook. The text itself is clear and simple; the narration is too. The two fit well. I have given the narration four stars. I read this book over an extended period of time. I advise others to do likewise. You can pick it up and start anywhere, reading as long or as short as you like.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Written between the years 170 and 180 while on campaign, Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations is one of the most enduring works of philosophy ever penned by man. I read this book very slowly, in an attempt to absorb the wisdom and instruction within its pages, but it will take more than one reading to do that, for every word has meaning and impact. Why is this not required reading in our schools? It could easily teach our children everything they will ever need to know to navigate life well and liv Written between the years 170 and 180 while on campaign, Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations is one of the most enduring works of philosophy ever penned by man. I read this book very slowly, in an attempt to absorb the wisdom and instruction within its pages, but it will take more than one reading to do that, for every word has meaning and impact. Why is this not required reading in our schools? It could easily teach our children everything they will ever need to know to navigate life well and live in happiness and peace. Just a few of the more poignant and meaningful quotations from this work (although I could have abandoned these and selected ten others which were just as good): 1. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. 2.The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. 3.Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. 4. Dwell upon the beauty of life. Watch the stars and see yourself running with them. 5. 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. 6. Our life is what our thoughts make it. 7. It is not death a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live. 8. If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it. 9. How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. 10. How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life. That Marcus Aurelius was one of the “five good emperors” does not surprise me. I had never thought that I would have found any joy in being a stoic, but I believe living your life according to the precepts he puts forward would bring both joy and peace. I will be re-reading The Meditations over the course of this year, one panel a night before going to bed seems like a good practice, to remind myself, as Marcus Aurelius was reminding himself, that a good life is found internally, not externally.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tharindu Dissanayake

    "People find pleasure in different ways. I find it in keeping my mind clear." "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?" If you read this book patiently, giving it enough time for the lightly mentioned yet very deeply meant to absorb thoroughly, you will find this to be one of the most enlightening experiences one will ever have. How Marcus Aurelius had thought of all this such a long time ago is unbelievable. I "People find pleasure in different ways. I find it in keeping my mind clear." "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?" If you read this book patiently, giving it enough time for the lightly mentioned yet very deeply meant to absorb thoroughly, you will find this to be one of the most enlightening experiences one will ever have. How Marcus Aurelius had thought of all this such a long time ago is unbelievable. I promise you, you will find wanting to highlight so many of it, if not everything. "Human life. Duration: momentary. Nature: changeable. Perception: dim. Condition of Body: decaying" One problem I had with this book is to find the 'correct' edition (or translation). I originally purchased the one translated by George W. Chrystal, which seemed a bit complicated. Then after doing a bit of searching, I found there are some popular ones out there. So I found the one by Gregory Hays, which was much clearer. However, now that I'm gone through the entire thing, I will hopefully find the time to read the Chrystal's version some other time. "You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought: everything random, everything irrelevant. And certainly everything self-important or malicious." "we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hirdesh

    Remarkable work of philosophy ! ! Super duper Recommended for a human being ! ! I don't remember how many times I read this book, It always speaks to your soul that who are you? What you're doing? What you should do? Greatest Book I've ever read. "What a book is this, I'll kept it with me until my death." Everyone should read it once in a life to know Philosophy Of Life. "The best provision for a happy life is to dissect everything, view its own nature, and divide it into matter and form. To practis Remarkable work of philosophy ! ! Super duper Recommended for a human being ! ! I don't remember how many times I read this book, It always speaks to your soul that who are you? What you're doing? What you should do? Greatest Book I've ever read. "What a book is this, I'll kept it with me until my death." Everyone should read it once in a life to know Philosophy Of Life. "The best provision for a happy life is to dissect everything, view its own nature, and divide it into matter and form. To practise honesty in good earnest, and speak truth from the very .soul of you. What remains but to live easy and cheerful, and crowd one good action so close to another that there may not be the least empty space between them.The great business of a man is to improve his mind, therefore consider how he does this. As for all other things, whether in our power to compass or not, they are no better than lifeless ashes and smoke." Best lines- *"I am satisfied the person disobliging is of kin to me, and though we are not just of the same flesh and blood, yet our minds are nearly related, being both extracted from the Deity—I am likewise convinced that no man can do me a real injury, because no man can force me to misbehave myself, nor can I find it in my heart to hate\nor to be angry with one of my own nature and family."" * "Let these two maxims be always ready : first, that things cannot disturb the soul, but remain motionless without, while disturbance springs from the opinion within the soul. The second is, to consider that the scene is just shifting and sliding off into nothing ; and that you yourself have seen abundance of great alterations. In a word, the world is all transformation, and life is opinion." *"Do not suppose you are hurt, and your complaint ceases. Cease your complaint, and you are not hurt." * "Do not forget the saying of Heraclitus, "That the earth dies into water, water into air, air into fire, and so backward" *"Every word seems Manuscript.\So, I'm taking full time with it. Love it" * "What is death ? It is a resting from the vibrations of sensation, and the swaying of desire, a stop upon the rambling of thought, and a release from the drudgery about your body." * "It is the privilege of human nature to love those that disoblige us. To practice this, you must consider that the offending party is of kin to you, that ignorance is the cause of the misbehavior," * "Fate mows down life like corn, this mortal falls,Another stands a while."" * "Sixthly, When you are most angry and vexed\ remember that human life lasts but a moment, and that we shall all of us very quickly be laid in our graves"

  30. 4 out of 5

    Raymond

    I have read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius three times. I read the Gregory Hays translation published in 2002 twice and then I recently finished the forthcoming 2021 translation by Robin Waterfield. Meditations is simply a 1,800 year old journal written by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, broken into 12 books or notebooks. The text consist of passages that are as short as one sentence or as long as several paragraphs, you don’t have to read the passages in sequential order. His purpose in writ I have read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius three times. I read the Gregory Hays translation published in 2002 twice and then I recently finished the forthcoming 2021 translation by Robin Waterfield. Meditations is simply a 1,800 year old journal written by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, broken into 12 books or notebooks. The text consist of passages that are as short as one sentence or as long as several paragraphs, you don’t have to read the passages in sequential order. His purpose in writing in his journal was to critically examine himself and his inner life. He used this journal as a form of self-analysis and self-improvement using Stoic philosophy. It was never meant to be published. Meditations focuses on four themes: 1. Anger Management, 2. Death, 3. Fame and how worthless it is, 4. and how to treat others. Aurelius’ writings on fame seemed to resonate with me in Waterfield’s translation, the death writings stuck out more when I read the Hays translation. Meditations is really good because even though you know Marcus was writing to himself sometimes it feels like he is writing directly to you. As I’ve mentioned before, I have read a previous translation of this book (Hays). Because of this I decided to compare the Hays and Waterfield translations. I went through both versions and saw that I either highlighted or underlined 104 meditations or verses in the book as a whole. 55 highlights were exclusively in the Hays translation, 27 exclusively in the Waterfield translation, and 22 passages were highlighted in both translations. Based on numbers alone it would seem that the Hays translation was the best. However, its probably not a fair comparison since I’ve read Hays twice and Waterfield only once. Next, I compared the highlighted passages in Waterfield to their counterparts in Hays. There are some passages that I liked better in Hays compared to Waterfield and vice versa. At some point in my review of the passages I came to the realization that Waterfield’s translation uses more modern words and phrases that may be relatable to everyday people. For example, Waterfield uses the term “high falutin” and “willy-nilly”. I’m not a classicist but I don’t think there is a Greek word that easily translates to those two terms. Hays’s translation sometimes comes across as if his words would make more sense to a Roman of Marcus’s day. Waterfield’s translation is also less abstract compared to Hays. Waterfield does not use the term logos, the Greek term for universal reason, providence, or God (there are a few mentions in the footnotes but not in Waterfield’s translation of Marcus’s words). Hays however used logos pretty frequently in his translation. To a new reader, Waterfield’s nonuse of the term logos may make his translation a little more readable. Overall, Waterfield’s translation makes Meditations more personal and relatable. At the end of the day its hard to pick a favorite translation. I will always cherish the Hays’s translation because it was the first one I read and there are some passages that resonate with me strongly in his version. I would recommend Waterfield’s translation to those who are new to Aurelius and Stoicism because it is heavily annotated and the introduction by Waterfield gives a good overview of both Aurelius and the significance of his writings. Even though I did not read every annotation, I thought the footnotes were very illuminating. Either way this will certainly not be the last time I read Meditations. Waterfield has written an accessible translation of Marcus’s writings that I believe even non-philosophy people will enjoy. Thanks to NetGalley, Basic Books, and Robin Waterfield for a free ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. This book will be released on April 6, 2021. Review first published here: https://medium.com/ballasts-for-the-m...

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