Today’s bit of ancient wisdom:

“Bear in mind that every man lives only this present time, which is an indivisible point, and that all the rest of his life is either past or it is uncertain. Short then is the time which every man lives, and small the nook of the earth where he lives; and short too the longest posthumous fame, and even this only continued by a succession of poor human beings, who will very soon die, and who know not even themselves, much less him who died long ago. “Marcus Aurelius. Meditations. Book 3.

Stoic philosophy is meant to be for everyone, regardless of class, race, age or occupation. This is because stoic philosophers themselves came from varying lifestyles and social classes, yet most of them arrived at the same conclusions. For example Epictetus was born a slave, yet Marcus Aurelius was born a Roman Emperor, both of them however lead extraordinary lives.

Therefore this philosophy transcends space, time, and personal circumstances, making it freely available to anyone who wishes to understand it.

Image: Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People by Joseph-Marie Vien, 1765 at the Musée de Picardie in Picardy, France.

Author: mydoina

Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes. -Carl Gustav Jung-

4 thoughts on “Today’s bit of ancient wisdom:”

    1. It was hard to become a philosopher if you were born a slave. In ancient Greece the status of a slave was inherited from parents to children …. Some ancient Greek authors (the most notable of these being Aristotle) considered that slavery is natural and even necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like your quote from Marcus A.: “… poor human beings … who know not even themselves …”

    If I may add more Marcus, for these times: “… he speaketh ill of thee, so much is reported. But that thou art hurt thereby, is not reported: that is the addition of opinion, which thou must exclude.” (Eighth Book)

    Marcus: “… as long as I conceive no such thing, that that which is happened is evil, I have no hurt; and it is in my power not to conceive any such thing.” (Seventh Book)

    Marcus: “… how miraculously things contrary one to another, concur to the beauty and perfection of this universe.” (Seventh Book)
    >>> “Why can’t we all just get along” (Rodney King, 1992)

    Marcus: “Now much time and leisure doth he gain, who is not curious to know what his neighbour hath said, or hath done, or hath attempted, but only what he doth himself, that it may be just and holy?” (Fourth Book)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.
      Interesting is that the “Meditations” were written in Greek- to such an extent had the union of cultures become a reality. In many ages these thoughts have been admired; the modern age, however, is more likely to be struck by the pathology of them, their mixture of priggishness and hysteria.

      Liked by 1 person

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