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Roman Republic: Res publica Romana • View topic - "Meditations; Marcus Aurelius, Book 7, Verses 1, 2, and 3

"Meditations; Marcus Aurelius, Book 7, Verses 1, 2, and 3

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"Meditations; Marcus Aurelius, Book 7, Verses 1, 2, and 3

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:41 am



1--This is wickedness: this is what you have often seen. And you should have this thought ready to hand against any eventuality: ‘I have seen this often before.’ Generally wherever you look you will find the same things. The histories - ancient, more recent, and modern -- are full of them: cities and households are full of them today. There is nothing new. All is familiar, and all short-lived.

2--Your principles are living things. How else could they be deadened, except by the extinction of the corresponding mental images? And the constant rekindling of these is up to you. ‘I am able to form the judgement I should about this event. If able, why troubled? All that lies outside my own mind is nothing to it.’ Learn this, and you stand upright. You can live once more. Look at things again as you used to look at them: in this is the resumption of life.

3--The empty pomp of a procession, plays on the stage, flocks and herds, jousting shows, a bone thrown to puppies, tid-bits into the fishponds, ants toiling and carrying, the scurries of frightened mice, puppets dancing on strings. Well, amid all this you must keep yourself tolerant -- do not snort at them. But bear in mind that a person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values.

>>> Editor’s Notes <<<

>> “Your principles are living things: Marcus’ principles or doctrines were of constant importance to him to be kept alive and ready at all times.

>> “You can live once more: Similar (to the above). Marcus was given to moods of self- disgust and did not spare himself.

>> “A bone thrown to puppies: Marcus was fond of colorful lists expressive of the miscellany of human life. This was one of the liveliest and most cynical comment. It is characteristic of Marcus’ fastidious benevolence to combine recognition of the virtue and obligation to tolerance with an effective “but only so far” caveat.

>>> Marcus Auden’s Comments <<<

I have very often been forced by my curiosity to dig deeper into Marcus’ sayings and ideas in order to gain the kernel of truth that resides therein for today’s world in which I live. Most times I am able to find that kernel but sometimes I am not. Marcus says to me, value yourself as your ideas are valued and keep yourself alive to the world around you. Sitting at my desk and contemplating his words, that challenge seems easy to comprehend and carry out. However, I find that in the hurly-burly of everyday life, of facing those who challenge me and who are challenged by me, facing the problems small and large that seem to assail all of us day by day, the thought becomes on occasion almost impossible to maintain. That is when his views are the most important and when I must stop for a moment collect myself, remind myself of who I am and what I am really striving for, and then continue strengthened in some mysterious way by the words of a man coming from centuries in the past. I often must take to the quiet of the woodlands, and the peace that I find therein, to contain my frustratrations and walk off my agonies and regrets and contemplate my loves and my successes such as they may be. Strange?? Yes, but somehow I feel much, much, better!

Respectfully Submitted;

Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens
 

Re: "Meditations; Marcus Aurelius, Book 7, Verses 1, 2, and

Postby Appius Claudius Tuscus » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:51 am

Salve, Minucius Audens -

Thanks for the quotes! These particular ones I did not remember (sometimes the translations vary a lot, too).

Stick with Marcus. Myself, I carry him with me daily, even if I don't always have a chance to read.

For me one of the beauties of Stoicism is that it requires engagement with self and with world - to try to uphold the better self and to try to avoid horror or disgust or alienation at the rest of the world. For me, Marcus helps me remember: We are in charge of our opinions; others in charge of theirs; that's the natural order of things, even if it seems purely a mess. I tell myself: Don't get mad, get interested: ask questions, let people explain their folly. They, too, are participating in this strange universe, parallel to me, strange to me, yet akin to me in many ways.

Valete bene!
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"Meditations; Marcus Aurelius

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:28 pm

Thank you Appius Claudius Tuscus for your kind words. The more that I read of Marcus Aurelius and, I have read nearly the whole book and quoted many of his verses to others, I find the closer that I come to the idea of Stoicism. At first the idea of something so strictly laid down and seemingly unforgiving, I virtually dismissed as such, but as I grow older I begin to see the value in much of what is said about the psychology. One must live with others in this world, and I find in my experience that litterally no-one has the same ideas, or views exactly as I do, so it is very necessary to have patience, which I am sadly in lack of, to deal with those who cannot see what is obvious before them. Now if someone is a proven thief, then he or she is a thief, if someone is a proven liar then he or she is a liar, and those who cannot see that, I have trouble with dealing with. So, that requires a great deal of patience, and alas that is what I struggle to develop!

Respectfully Submitted;
Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens
 


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