The Meditations Essay

926 words - 4 pages

The Meditations
Marcus Aurelius was a famous philosopher in 121 through 180 C.E. He lived a hard life and even though he was surrounded by crowds he was considered a recluse. He was known for his kindness and mercy. The last years of his life were spent on a military campaign. It is said that these years were the hardest and loneliest. However, instead of becoming bitter and angry Aurelius wrote The Meditations. This was a diary or journal of his personal thoughts. He believed that by writing this it was his duty to his soul. The Meditations, is a popular piece of stoic literature. In this paper I will be describing how Aurelius used stoicism in book two of The Meditations and what I liked ...view middle of the document...

You get serenity through self-discipline. They believed that serenity came to people whose will is in harmony with World Reason or the Logos. Aurelius thought that we as people are a part of the Universe and the World-Nature assigns us to keep it good. This comes into play with the stoic belief that we do not control our destinies. We influence them by making choices that make us behave responsibly. Logos is the one that controls the universe. Our job is to recognize the Logo’s will and then put that in accordance with it.
Aurelius also writes about the stoic belief that to achieve happiness one must follow a disinterested attitude toward our lives and in general all life. They believed that everything is a matter of attitude and that a person can be happy under all and any conditions. Aurelius states that, “You will not easily find a man coming to grief through indifference to the workings of another’s soul; but for those who pay no heed to the motions of their own, happiness is their sure reward.” He also writes about how that no one can impede you from being in line with Nature that you are a part of. Which goes back to the belief that you achieve happiness through detachment.
I found that when Aurelius wrote, that, “In all you do or say or think, recollect that at any time the power of withdrawal from life is in your own hands.” He also says that if gods exist then when we die we have nothing to fear. However, if there are no gods, or if they do not concern themselves with us and what we do, then what is the purpose of life. Stoics believed that everything...

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