18 October 2011

Marcus minus me

Here are some of the pieces from Marcus Aurelius that I'm going to be writing about later in the week. They all deal with one of the things that most carefully focuses our mind and abilities- death. I thought that you might like to take a look at them by themselves before I interject myself into the situation.

Near is thy forgetfulness of all things; and near the forgetfulness of thee by all. (VII)

For with what art thou discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to thy mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual enmity, suspicion, hatred, and fighting, have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes; and be quiet at last (IV)

Consider that before long thou wilt be nobody and nowhere, nor will any of the things exist which thou now seest, nor any of those who are now living. For all things are formed by nature to change and be turned and to perish in order that other things in continuous succession may exist (XII)

But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee.- See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last (IV)

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