Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

Emperor of Rome (AD 161-180)

Thanks to the wonderful Ridley Scott, most people will know of Marcus Aurelius from the Gladiator movie as played by the one and only Richard Harris.( It’s rather ironic that Richard Harris played this as his last role, though as you will find on reading the book “To himself”, now known as “Meditations”, who would not want to aspire to this man’s /Emperor’s philosophy).

Marcus Aurelius has left us an incredible gift. I urge anyone interested in personal growth, right-thinking, philosophy and or history to read this book.

Quotes from Meditations

Soon you will have forgotten all things: soon all things will have forgotten you.

Do not trouble yourself, keep yourself simple. Someone does wrong? He/She does wrong to himself/herself. Has something happened to you? Fine. All that happens has been fated by the Whole (universe) from the beginning and spun for your own destiny. In sum, life is short: make your gain from the present moment with right reason and justice. Keep sober and relaxed.

That all is as thinking makes it so – and you control your thinking. So remove your judgements whenever you wish and there is calm.

Possibly my favourite of all:

We should all attend to things like these, observing that even the incidental affects of the processes of nature have their own charm and attraction. Take the baking of bread. The loaf splits open here and there, and those very cracks, in one way a failure of the baker’s profession, somehow catch the eye and give particular stimulus to our appetite. Figs likewise burst open at full maturity: and in olives ripened on the tree the very proximity of decay lends a special beauty to the fruit…So any man with a feeling and deeper insight for the workings of the Whole (Universe) will find some pleasure in almost every aspect of their disposition…he will see a kind of bloom and fresh beauty in an old woman or an old man…

I’m cool