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Selections from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 
Adaptation © SpiritSite.com (language has been adapted and/or simplified)

 


"Always remember your relationship to the Whole. You are part of the Whole, and cannot live without it. No one – no matter how powerful – can tear you from your place."

Meditations: Books One and Two

Every morning we should say to ourselves, "today I welcome this arrogant person...and this dishonest person...and this angry person." For regardless of their attitudes, these people are our brothers. They are not evil, for they act out of ignorance.

And no one – however persuasive they may be – can force us to be angry or upset.

Whatever a person’s attitude may be, he and I have been created for cooperation. We are like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth.

If I attack a brother, I am attacking all my brothers.

To be angry with a brother is to be angry with myself.

It is not the body, nor the personality that is the true self. The true self is eternal. Even on the point of death we can say to ourselves, "my true self is free. I cannot be contained."

Everything from the gods is full of Divinity – all the things that we have been given on earth. Even difficult events have a place in the whole. The Divine gifts are right here in our midst, joined together with invisible threads.

All things flow from the gods – all things in the universe, of which we are a part. If we were to learn just this, we would never again need books.

Remember how many moments you have been given, and how many are gone. Time is valuable – it should be used for the highest purpose. Every moment is an chance to clear the mind, and seek a state of calm.

Strive to do your work with feelings of peace – and give yourself freedom from all other thoughts. You deserve the freedom that a peaceful mind brings. If you seek only peace, you will see how easy it is to live a happy live – one that is like the life of the gods.

Do activities break you from your peace? If so, give yourself some quiet time to return to your path. If necessary, change directions or take up a new activity. The most important thing in life is to have a focus and purpose.

It’s not another person’s minds that destroys us, but our own. If we are watchful of our mind’s contents, we will rise above the troubles of the outside world.

Always remember your relationship to the Whole . You are part of the Whole, and cannot live without it. No one – no matter how powerful – can tear you from your place.

This moment may be your last on earth; remember this, and choose every thought and act carefully. Remember, too, that to leave the earth is nothing to be afraid of, for the nature of the Universe is eternal and good.

All earthly things disappear – first the bodies of men, and in time the memories of them. Seek what is eternal, and there you will find true peace.

Nothing is sadder than the man who goes around analyzing his neighbors’ actions, while failing to perceive the Divinity within.

Even if you were to live three thousand years, or thirty thousand years, remember that no one loses any other life except the one he’s living. The longest life and the shortest life lead to exactly the same end.

The present is the only thing of value. In the present everything is equal, and everyone is equal.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

There are five things that cause the soul pain: One, when the soul tries to split itself off from the Whole. Two, when it turns away from its neighbors. Three, when it seeks after pleasure or pain. Four, when it supports dishonesty. And fifth, when it falls into aimlessness and lack of purpose.

Everything is in accord with nature, and nothing is evil which is in accord with nature. The philosopher keeps this in mind, and does not judge things falsely.

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