NuVision Publications, LLC, 01.01.2004
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was born on April 26, A.D. 121. His real name was M. Annius Verus, and he was sprung of a noble family which claimed descent from Numa, second King of Rome. This is the first book Marcus the roman emperor wrote concerning himself. Profound as philosophy these Meditations certainly are not; but Marcus Aurelius was too sincere not to see the essence of such things as came within his experience. Ancient religions were for the most part concerned with outward things. Do the necessary rites, and you propitiate the gods; and these rites were often trivial, sometimes violated right feeling or even morality. Even when the gods stood on the side of righteousness, they were concerned with the act more than with the intent. But Marcus Aurelius knows that what the heart is full of, the man will do. 'Such as thy thoughts and ordinary cogitations are,' he says, 'such will thy mind be in time.' And every page of the book shows us that he knew thought was sure to issue in act. He drills his soul, as it were, in right principles, that when the time comes, it may be guided by them. To wait until the emergency is to be too late. He sees also the true essence of happiness. 'If happiness did consist in pleasure, how came notorious robbers, impure abominable livers, parricides, and tyrants, in so large a measure to have their part of pleasures?' He who had all the world's pleasures at command can write thus 'A happy lot and portion is, good inclinations of the soul, good desires, good actions.' Please Note: This book has been reformatted to be easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. The Adobe eBook has bookmarks at chapter headings and is printable up to two full copies per year. Both versions are text searchable.
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able according to nature Aesculapius affectation angry art thou benevolent blame body breath Chrysippus conformable consider constitution continually daemon dead death desire disposition disturb divine doest dost thou earth endure Epictetus Epicurus everything which happens evil exist external fame find fault formed by nature give gods Hadrian happen to thee harm Heraclitus hinder thee intelligence judgement justice kind labour look man's nature manner matter movement nature to bear necessity never observe pain pancratium perish philosophy Plato pleasure praise rational animal reason received remember respect ruling faculty ruling principles Socrates soon soul substance things which happen thou art thou canst thou didst thou dost thou hast thou mayest thou seest thou shalt thou shouldst thou wilt thy duty thy mind thy nature thy power thy present thy thoughts tranquility trouble truth understanding universal nature vexed virtue whole wilt thou wouldst wrong Zeus