Notes and thoughts

Worth taking notes and quotes

Created by morgana
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations, Book2

1. Say thus to thyself every morning: to day I may have to do with some intermeddler in other mens affairs, with an ungrateful man; an insolent, or a crafty, or an envious, or an unsociable selfish man. These bad qualities have befallen them through their ignorance of what things are truly good or evil. But I have fully comprehended the nature of good, as * only what is beautiful and honourable; and of evil, that it is always deformed and shameful; and the nature of those persons too † who mistake their aim; that they are my kinsmen, by partaking, not of the same blood or seed, but of the same ‡ intelligent divine part; and that I cannot be <63> hurt by any of them, since none of them can involve me in any thing dishonourable or deformed. I cannot be angry at my kinsmen, or hate them. We were formed by nature for mutual assistance, as the two feet, the hands, the eyelids, the upper and lower rows of teeth. Opposition to each other is contrary to nature: All anger and aversion is an opposition.

(Page 33).

* This, according to the high style of the Stoics, that virtuous affections and actions are the sole good, and the contrary the sole evil.1 † This is the meek sentiment of Socrates, that as all error is involuntary, so no man is willingly unjust or wicked in his actions: Since all desire truth and goodness. ‡ The Stoics spoke of the rational soul, as a part of the divinity, taken from that infinite intelligent aetherial nature, which pervades and surrounds all things.2 § The apostle Paul alludes to this notion in praying that we may be sanctified in soul, spirit, and body: many ancients conceived in men two principles distinct from the body, one the animal soul or life, like that in beasts, the other the rational, like the divinities or angels. In the former which they supposed to be air, they placed all the sensations and passions. See B. III. art. 16.
8 months ago