Monday, August 11, 2008

Marcus Aurelius’ Six Timeless Observations on Life

This great post from last week appeared at Pick the Brain. Not often talked about as a wise man, Marcus Aurelius offered some pretty Buddhist advice. Check this stuff out.
Marcus Aurelius’ Six Timeless Observations on Life

marcus aurelius

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus was Roman emperor from 161 until his death in 180. A great thinker, Marcus embodied Plato’s ideal of the philosopher king to a considerable extent. He was a strong emperor, engaging in various wars in defense of the Roman empire for his entire reign, but he was also greatly concerned with social justice and welfare, even going so far as to sell his own possessions to alleviate people’s suffering from famine and plague (from which he died).

Marcus left behind a corpus of writing which, despite it’s antiquity, offers us some truly timeless wisdom. Here are six lessons we can learn from his observations on life.

Lesson #1: We Are Responsible for Our Own Experience of Life

“Such as are your habitual thoughts; such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the color of your thoughts.”

Lesson #2: Everything Changes

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”

Lesson #3: Live a Real Life

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

Lesson #4: Be Grateful

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

Lesson #5: Be Detached

“Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go.”

Lesson #6: All Is Well

“Everything is unfolding as it must, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so.”

Go read Pick the Brain to see more about why these six quotes are important and useful. Seems some wisdom knows no boundaries as far as countries or religions.

No comments: