About Marcus Aurelius l Meditations


Excerpt from Meditations

Book Six - Book Eight

Book Six

33. Pain of hand or foot is nothing unnatural, so long as hand and foot are doing their own work. Likewise no pain is contrary to the nature of man, as man, so long as he is doing man's work. And if it accords with nature, it cannot be an evil.

34. In what extraordinary pleasures do robbers, perverts, parricides, and tyrants find their enjoyment!

35. Notice how common artificers will meet the wishes of an unskilled employer up to a certain point, but none the less stand fast by the rules of their trade and refuse to depart from them. Is it not deplorable that a builder or a physician should have more respect for the canons of his craft than man has for his own, which he shares with the gods?

36. In the universe Asia and Europe are but two small corners, all ocean's waters a drop, Athos a puny lump of earth, the vastness of time a pin's point in eternity. All is petty, inconstant, and perishable. All proceeds from the one source, springing either directly or derivatively from the universal sovereign Reason. Even the lion's open jaws, the deadly poison, and all other things that do hurt, down to the bramble-bush and the slough, are by-products of something else that is itself noble and beautiful. Do not think of them, then, as alien to That which you reverence, but remember the one origin that is common to them all.

37. To see the things of the present moment is to see all that is now, all that has been since time began, and all that shall be unto the world's end; for all things are of one kind and one form.