A new translation, with an Introduction, by Gregory Hays Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (a.d. 121 180) succeeded his adoptive father as emperor of Rome in a.d. 161 and Meditations remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. With a profound understanding of human behavior, Marcus provides insights, wisdom, and practical guidance on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity to interacting with others. Consequently, the Meditations have become required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style. In Gregory Hays s new translation the first in a generation Marcus s thoughts speak with a new immediacy: never before have they been so directly and powerfully presented.
A deluxe special edition of the ancient classic written by the Roman Emperor known as “The Philosopher”
Meditations is a series of personal journals written by Marcus Aurelius, Emperor of Rome from 169 to 180 AD. The last of the “Five Good Emperors,” he was the most powerful and influential man in the Western world at the time. Marcus was one of the leaders of Stoicism, a philosophy of personal ethics which sought resilience and virtue through personal action and responsibility. Stoicism, viewed as a foundation of modern self-help, has inspired many personal development and psychotherapy approaches through to the present day.
Meditations is perhaps the most important source of our modern understanding of Stoic philosophy. Its twelve books chronicle different stages of Marcus Aurelius’ life and ideas. Although he ruled during the Pax Romana, the age of relative peace and stability throughout the empire, his reign was marked by near-constant military conflict and a devastating plague which killed upwards of five million people. Aurelius’ writings give modern readers an unprecedented look into the “spiritual exercises” which helped him through his tumultuous life and strengthened his patience, empathy, generosity, self-knowledge and emotional health. The private reflections recorded in the Meditations were never meant to be published, rather they were a source for Marcus’ own guidance and self-improvement, and jotted down by campfires or in military tents on the Roman front. The lessons, insights and perspectives contained within this remarkable work are just as relevant today as they were two millennia ago. This volume:
Part of the bestselling Capstone Classics Series edited by Tom Butler-Bowdon, this attractive, high-quality hardcover volume includes:
Meditations: The Philosophy Classic is a volume which will occupy a prominent place in any library for years to come.
Meditations: A Classic New Translation
A central theme to Meditations is the importance of analyzing one's judgment of self and others and developing a cosmic perspective:
"You have the power to strip away many superfluous troubles located wholly in your judgment, and to possess a large room for yourself embracing in thought the whole cosmos, to consider everlasting time, to think of the rapid change in the parts of each thing, of how short it is from birth until dissolution, and how the void before birth and that after dissolution are equally infinite".
Accepting life as it is, living a good life and being a good person, living in harmony with others, living in the present moment are some of the subjects of this book. The big ideas that are given in the book are if you are worried about something, it is because you have taken the wrong estimation of something. And you can get out of it by controlling your mind. You cannot change the external factors in the world that destroy your peace of mind but you have the power in your mind to deal with the situation.
You have to get energy from your inner self to fight any situation. When someone criticizes you or says something bad about you instead of feeling bad go to the souls and roots of that person and try to understand what type of people they are and why they said so. You will come to know there is no need to take them seriously and feel bad about yourself because of them. Instead of wasting time on what others said about you try to utilize it to build yourself.
Marcus Aurelius Meditations is written in a very precise and prismatic format which makes it very easy to read and understand. This book has amazing quotes that accelerate us to achieve our goals. It is a bunch of scattered ideas. It is all about understanding, accepting life, accepting responsibilities for your own self, living a disciplined and good life. In the present age, we can use the philosophies of this book and can have good results.
About The Book
Meditations remains one of the greatest works of spiritual and ethical reflection ever written. With a profound understanding of human behavior, Marcus provides insights, wisdom, and practical guidance on everything from living in the world to coping with adversity to interacting with others. Consequently, the Meditations have become required reading for statesmen and philosophers alike, while generations of ordinary readers have responded to the straightforward intimacy of his style.
Nearly two thousand years after it was written, Meditations remains profoundly relevant for anyone seeking to lead a meaningful life.
About Marcus Aurelius:
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (often referred to as "the wise") was Emperor of the Roman Empire from 161 to his death in 180. He was the last of the "Five Good Emperors", and is also considered one of the more important Stoic philosophers. His two decades as emperor were marked by near continual warfare. He was faced with a series of invasions from German tribes, and by conflicts with the Parthian Empire in the east. His reign also had to deal with an internal revolt in the east, led by Avidius Cassius.
Marcus Aurelius' work Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty and has been praised for its "exquisite accent and its infinite tenderness."
It was the doctrine of Marcus Aurelius that most of the ills of life come to us from our own imagination, that it was not in the power of others seriously to interfere with the calm, temperate life of an individual, and that when a fellow being did anything to us that seemed unjust he was acting in ignorance, and that instead of stirring up anger within us it should stir our pity for him. Oftentimes by careful self-examination we should find that the fault was more our own than that of our fellow, and our sufferings were rather from our own opinions than from anything real.
Assisting his uncle in the government of the great Roman Empire at seventeen, it was his aim constantly to restrain the power of the strong and to assist the weak. He studied the laws of his country, not for wisdom alone, but that he might make them more beneficial to his people. All his life he tried to bring his fellows to a higher level, and to think charitably of each other. Occupying himself a palace he lived simply, like other men. It was his greatest delight to retire to his country home and there, dwelling among his books, to meditate upon the great problems of life. He claimed that a man's life should be valued according to the value of the things to which he gave his attention.
At our first reading of the Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, we marked many sentences that appeared to us specially good; in the second, twice as many more. Where all is good it is hard to emphasize, but we will cite just one of his reflections, as illustrating the trend of his mind: "I have often wondered," he says, "how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, and yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others."
"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." ― Marcus Aurelius
"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." ― Marcus Aurelius
"So it is: we are not given a short life but we are wasteful of it... Life is long if you know how to use it.― Seneca
"We must indulge the mind and from time to time allow it the leisure which is its food and strength." ― Seneca
"Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it." ― Epictetus
"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." ― Epictetus
Three Stoic Classics contains three vital works introducing this life-changing philosophy.
The Shortness of Life is a succinct call to the pursuit of philosophy, which leads to wise choices and the full life:
"Of all men they alone are at leisure who take time for philosophy; they alone really live."
Seneca offers piercing and profound insights into human nature, and a vision of the good life, summarised in his aphorism, "Life is long, if you know how to use it." Seneca elucidates many of the principles of modern productivity manuals, including the wise valuing of time:
"People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy,"
intentionality, and rest and recreation:
"We must go for walks out of doors, so that the mind can be strengthened and invigorated by a clear sky and plenty of fresh air. At times it will acquire fresh energy from a journey by carriage and a change of scene, or from socializing and drinking freely."
Epictetus' Selected Discourses is a longer meditation on the sixty principles important to pursuing the Stoic Life. Beginning with the foundational principle: the difference in how we relate to the things under our control (our acts, thoughts, and desires) and those not under our control (our possessions, position, reputation), Epictetus's discourses cover topics including: How to maintain one's character in all circumstances, Friendship, Contentment, Anxiety, and On Dealing with Tyrants.
Meditations is a life-changing book. It contains the private meditations of the most powerful man in the Roman world, the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, as he wrestled with the complexities of his life using the wisdom of Stoic Philosophy. Meditations is written in lucid, accessible language and, interestingly, we see that the problems and perplexities of this philosopher-King are much like ours. Marcus Aurelius was impressively able to live out his philosophical ideals-such as the importance of gratitude, mindfulness, simplicity and life-long learning, of seizing the day, and of remembering the shortness of life-while administering the Roman Empire.
Stoic philosophy is, above all, practical. It uses reason and the careful observation of human life to address the problems of daily life. It is also universal-the emperor Marcus Aurelius and the freed slave Epictetus are both leading Stoic philosophers; indeed, Marcus Aurelius carefully studied the works of Epictetus. In recent years, Stoic philosophy has provided vital life lessons to people in all spheres of life. Indeed, modern Stoic thought "hold[s] fascinating promise for business and government leaders tackling global problems in a turbulent, post-recession slump," (Forbes).
Three Stoic Classics is an indispensable guide to Stoic philosophy.
"If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed."― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Meditations is a series of personal writings by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. He wrote it as a source for his guidance and self-improvement.
As it is his personal writings, it is very unlikely that he intended for it to be published thus, the work has no official title. "Meditations" is one of several titles commonly assigned to the collection. The said collection is mostly quotations varying in length from one sentence to long paragraphs.
Marcus Aurelius' writings have a wide variety of themes but one of the central themes is the importance of analyzing one's judgment of self and others.
Meditations is divided into 12 books that records different periods of Aurelius' life in nonchronological order. In his writings in Book 1, Aurelius expresses his gratitude to those whom he is indebted. He mentions some of the people he encountered and learned from such as his father- who taught him to be humble and calm; grandfather- who taught him to be candid and even-tempered. He also mentioned Rusticus- his main philosophical teacher; Sextus- a philosopher whose lectures Marcus attended; Fronto- Aurelius' tutor; and Alexander the Platonist- a Greek rhetorician who all respectively taught him self-discipline, rationality, and value of hard work- among many others. He also thanked his wife for being affectionate.
If you're just beginning to discover your path or even if you're well on your way to personal growth and looking for new practices to build into your daily life, this book will surely help a lot.
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