Thursday

July 10

IF you would be good, first believe that you are bad.

EPICTETUS. FRAGMENTS. 2.

WHAT is it then that doth keep thee here, if things sensible be so mutable and unsettled? and the senses so obscure, and so fallible? and our souls nothing but an exhalation of blood ? and to be in credit among such, be but vanity? What is it that thou dost stay for? an Extinction, or a Translation; either of them with a propitious and contented mind. But till that time come, what will content thee? what else, but to worship and praise the Gods; and to do good unto men. To bear with them, and to forbear to do them any wrong. And for all external things belonging either to this thy wretched body, or life, to remember that they are neither thine, nor in thy power.

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS. Book v. 27.

4 comments:

  1. So this passage seems to show that Marcus Aurelius is not sure about the after life or lack of it. He focuses on how you live now as being of most importance. To Bear and Forebear. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that he says "Until that time comes..." Whether there is life after death is not a 'big' question, the question is, are you living rightly now?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is death an extinction or a translation? We do not know. Until that time comes though, while we have life within us, let us do good to each other. Let us act with courgage, justice, moderation, widsom and compassion. And let us look with awe and reverence on the universe that birthed us, and to which we will ultimately return. - Inspired by Marcus Aurelius

    ReplyDelete
  4. On Epictetus -

    At first glance this seemed almost simplistic but after thinking for awhile I had a new view on this teaching. Humility. If we can approach with humility and a willingness to learn we open ourselves to growth and we remain teachable.

    ReplyDelete