On ‘Meditations’ Book 3…

Verse of the Day:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
~ Philipians 4:8 ~

Continuing my reading in Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, I came across this…  actually before that I’ve got to say this before I forget… this guy is not a good writer – I can find no rhyme or reason to the division of books.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy what he’s written, but it’s like the guy just wrote down a bunch of thoughts as they came to him without thinking about how they fit together; naturally some of them flow into others, but that’s not a prevailing theme.  Though, apparently after reading up on Meditations itself, this book was just him writing things down for himself during different points in his life – not intended for a wider audience.  I guess I can get that -I just don’t appreciate it, he really should have been more considerate of us though.  Now, onto something from Book 3:

Never esteem of anything as profitable, which shall ever constrain thee either to break thy faith, or to lose thy modesty; to hate any man, to suspect, to curse, to dissemble, to lust after anything, that requireth the secret of walls or veils.

Again, some really good advice from centuries ago.  Being a man that subscribed to Stoic thought he’s bound to have a few well-reasoned thoughts as seen above: and generally speaking I’m all about removing as much emotion from decision-making as possible (I realize I may not be normal), but some of his reasoning just doesn’t fly, people being the emotional creatures they are.  Part of this reminded me of something Robert E. Lee wrote to his son(?) at one point,

You have only always to do what is right. It will become easier by practice, and you enjoy in the midst of your trials the pleasure of an approving conscience.

Throughout history, a lot of wisdom comes down to paying attention to your conscience – the silent voice our Creator gave our souls to remind us the difference between right and wrong.  It’s acknowledged by both Christian and secular alike; maybe we should pay attention to it, foster it – and by doing so make the world a better place.

That rambling aside – have a great Labor Day weekend!


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