Echoes through time: the entire range of human fortunes

Exile, torture, war, shipwreck … We should set before our eyes the entire range of human fortunes, and calibrate our thoughts about the future not by the usual scale of events but by the magnitude of what could happen. If we wish not to be overwhelmed, stunned by rare occurrences as if they were unparalleled, we must take a comprehensive view of fortune.

… whatever we mortals construct is condemned to be mortal We live amid things that will die. … Let us, therefore, shape our minds to be such as will understand and endure our lot, knowing that fortune shrinks from nothing.

Seneca (4 BC – AD 65),  Moral Letters to Lucilius (91.8, 91.12, 91.15)

 

Image: Andrew Munro

Echoes through time: the romance of the unusual

Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.

Ernst Hemingway (1899 – 1961), The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

This quote comes via the irresistible Cultural Offering.

 

Image: Biography.com

 

Echoes through time: to remain an emerald

Whatever the world may say or do, my part is to keep myself good; just as a gold piece, or an emerald, or a purple robe insists perpetually, ‘Whatever the world may say or do, my part is to remain an emerald and keep my colour true.’

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.15)

 

Echoes through time: take your stand

An empty pageant; a stage play; flocks of sheep, herds of cattle; a tussle of spearmen; a bone flung among a pack of curs; a crumb tossed into a pond of fish; ants, loaded and labouring; mice, scared and scampering; puppets, jerking on their strings – that is life. In the midst of it all you must take your stand, good-temperedly and without disdain, yet always aware that a man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambition.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.3)

 

Echoes through time: habitual recurrence to the harmony

When force of circumstance upsets your equanimity, lose no time in recovering your self-control, and do not remain out of tune longer than you can help. Habitual recurrence to the harmony will increase your mastery of it.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (6.11)