Marcus Aurelius Meditations

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Kurt McGann
Period 1 Mythology
Personal Meditations Section 1
Stoicism: “a systematic philosophy, dating from around 300 b.c., that held the principles of logical thought to reflect a cosmic reason instantiated in nature.” ( Marcus Aurelius (the author of “Meditations”) was a stoic as well as an emperor. The book he wrote was a collection of thoughts, things he advised himself to do, a piece reflecting his stoicism, and a personal diary of sorts. The kinds of things put into this book were sometimes crazy, sometimes contradictory, yet sometimes very true and insightful. Marcus wasn’t a professional philosopher, and this comes out in his work, but he had an interesting way of living his life. His writings are very bold and thought stimulating, inspiring even, but sometimes held to be completely wrong by some readers. As a reader of Marcus’s work, I stand somewhere in between; both agreeing and disagreeing with certain aspects of his ideas.

Marcus believed that we should be not as concerned with the things outside of our control, but to make ourselves happy and content with the things that we can control. Marcus believes in “things indifferent” , which is the belief of not being affected by events and happenings around us. In the case that you are affected by something out of your control Marcus says that the event is not to blame, but your perception of it is. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment”. I agree with what Marcus is saying here; that we are not effected by external events unless we allow them to do so. This is a Stoic Ideal, and one I hold to be very true. Change. It can either be for better or for worse. This is one of the ideals of Marcus’s I’m not sure where I stand. Marcus makes a good point about change, that the only way to obtain the benefit of some things is too change them. “We...
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