Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

For last month or so, I have been reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius  and found it be a profound book. Here are some quotes from the bok

Soon you’ll be ashes or bones. A mere name at most—and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, trivial.

and another one

Words that everyone once used are now obsolete, and so are the men whose names were once on everyone’s lips: Camillus, Caeso, Volesus, Dentatus, and to a lesser degree Scipio and Cato, and yes, even Augustus, Hadrian, and Antoninus are less spoken of now than they were in their own days. For all things fade away, become the stuff of legend, and are soon buried in oblivion. Mind you, this is true only for those who blazed once like bright stars in the firmament, but for the rest, as soon as a few clods of earth cover their corpses, they are ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ In the end, what would you gain from everlasting remembrance? Absolutely nothing. So what is left worth living for? This alone: justice in thought, goodness in action, speech that cannot deceive, and a disposition glad of whatever comes, welcoming it as necessary, as familiar, as flowing from the same source and fountain as yourself.

Original book is written in ‘Koine Greek’ language and so one needs to find a good english translation. There have been many english translations over the years and it is recommended to go over these (e.g., in a library) to figure out which one you like the best.

It is a small book, but one whose message will remain with you forever.

 

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