People try to get away from it all — to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful — more free of interruptions — than your own soul. Especially if you have other things to rely on. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquility.
Marcus Aurelius is the fifth among the five good emperors of the Roman Empire. Meditations is pretty much his self-reflective diary or his collection of “notes-to-self.” He didn’t intend to publish his writings as he was only writing for himself but in 1559, centuries after his death, the first print came out. (Makes me wonder how he’d feel when he finds out it’s read by millions of people already.) 🙂
Meditations in a nutshell: coming out on top, if not better, after overcoming/enduring the many stresses of the world. We can not control other things except ourselves. Appreciating life in a larger context. Accepting things (and people) as they are and not how we want them to be.
Having been able to peek into the mind of an emperor from one of the greatest empires of history, this is a fascinating read. I personally think though that Marcus Aurelius is a bit too forgiving or lenient so not everything he wrote resonates with me and the Stoic philosophy is not everyone’s cup of tea, however, it’s a book you can go back to time and again, worthy of a deep and thoughtful read to be able to absorb the wisdom that is offered.
Quotable Quotes :
“The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do. Not to be distracted by their darkness. To run straight for the finish line, unswerving.”
“Don’t look down on death, but welcome it.”
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
“For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.”
Rating : 4/5 stars