Tag: Stoicism

Echoes through time: a brief sojourning in an alien land

In the life of a man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his senses a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, and his fame doubtful. In short, all that is of the body is as coursing waters, all that is of the soul as dreams and vapours; life, a warfare, a brief sojourning in an alien land; and after repute, oblivion.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (2.17)

A man sees in the world…

Steve Layman, in his “Checking in with…” series, gathers some inspiring quotes from Goethe:

A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.

Find the others, here. Well worth a ponder.

I realise I know hardly anything about Goethe, other than Faust.

The above quote reminds me of Marcus (Meditations, 5.16): “for the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.”

Image: Goethe in 1828, by Joseph Karl Stieler.

Echoes through time: life begins anew

Principles can only lose their vitality when the first impressions from which they derive have sunk into extinction; and it is for you to keep fanning these continually into new flame… You have only to see things once more in the light of your first and earlier vision, and life begins anew.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.2)

Echoes through time: the Gulph of Time

All Compositions of Matter fly off apace to the common stock and Receptacle: Spirits are quickly swallow’d up in the Soul of the Universe, and so is Memory and Fame in the Gulph of Time.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (7.10)

The above comes from this 1726 translation of Meditations…

The London Library, Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The “Soul of the Universe” and the “Gulph of Time” are maybe more evocative than the more recent version from Gregory Hays:

All substance is soon absorbed into nature, all that animates it soon restored to the logos, all trace of them both soon covered over by time.