Echoes through time: the totality of all Being

Think of the totality of all Being, and what a mite of it is yours; think of all Time, and the brief fleeting instant of it that is allotted to yourself; think of Destiny, and how puny a part of it you are.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (5.24)

I also quite like the Gregory Hays’ translation of this:

Remember:

Matter. How tiny your share of it.

Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it.

Fate. How small a role you play in it.

 

Echoes through time: what nature gives us

Each of us needs what nature gives us, when nature gives it.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (10.20)

Note: I usually quote the Maxwell Staniforth translation from the Penguin Great Ideas edition. However, for this I preferred the more recent (and much lauded) Gregory Hays translation from 2003.

 

Echoes through time: a single screw’s turn

Let your mind constantly dwell on all Time and all Being, and thus learn that each separate thing is but as a grain of sand in comparison with Being, and as a single crew’s-turn in comparison with Time.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (10.17)

 

Echoes through time: the totality of all Being

Think of the totality of all Being, and what a mite of it is yours; think of all Time, and the brief fleeting instant of it that is allotted to yourself; think of Destiny, and how puny a part of it you are.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (5.24)

 

Downtime: Marcus Aurelius – Warrior, Philosopher, Emperor by Frank McLynn

We talk a lot about Marcus Aurelius, but often know nothing beyond the 100-odd pages of Meditations, the published collection of his private notebooks.

Frank McLynn corrects this with a comprehensive biography of the famed philosopher-king. It’s a weighty read, but fascinating. I came away a much richer understanding of Roman history, economy, geography and military as well as some insight into the man and his beliefs.

I think it’s fair to say that McLynn is no Stoic himself, but it is interesting to understand the history of Stoicism and how it was understood in Marcus’ own time.

If I’m not too late, this would make a fantastic holiday read.

Echoes through time: most of what we say and do…

‘If thou wouldst know contentment, let thy deeds by few,’ said the sage. … Most of what we say and do is not necessary, and its omission would save both time and trouble. At every step, therefore, a man should ask himself, ‘Is this one of the things that are superfluous?’ Moreover, not idle actions only but even idle impressions ought to be suppressed; for then unnecessary action will not ensue.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (4.24)