10 Exciting Quotes from Marcus Aurelius’ Reflections on Myself

Hüseyin AĞGÜN

Hüseyin AĞGÜN

Çukurova Üniversitesi - Ekonometri

Known as the “Stoic Emperor” or the “Philosopher Emperor”, Marcus Aurelius’s ‘Ideas for Myself’ work, which he started to write at a time when it was published in the end of 169 and early 170, contains the thoughts that guide him, as the name suggests. In Ta Eis Euton, which consists of 12 books, Marcus Aurelius’ unique Stoic views, the emperor’s own personal development and the thoughts he acquired as a result of this development are conveyed.

1) Hippocrates, who healed many sick people, died when he fell ill. The Khaldaios tribe foretold the deaths of many, but they too eventually surrendered to their fate. Alexandros, Pompeius and Gaius Caesar, who destroyed so many cities many times and killed more than ten thousand cavalry and infantry on the battlefield, came to the end of their lives one day. Heraclitus, who had given so many speeches that the world would be destroyed by fire, died with blisters and dung. One type of lice killed Democritus, another type of lice killed Socrates. What does all this mean? You got on board, you sailed, you landed, you landed. If it’s really for another life, there are gods there too. If it is for the numbness, the pleasure and the pain will suddenly cease, and you will be freed from the yoke of the body, which you have not failed to serve even though it is inferior. For the first is intelligence and divine power, and the second is earth and rotten blood.

2) Don’t waste the rest of your life with thoughts about others unless it’s in the public interest. Because if you listen to someone else’s business, what he thinks, what he does, what he says, for what purpose, what he thinks about, what he plans, and other things like that, you will move away from being interested in your own specific managerial principle.

3) Do not do things by force, on your own, without research, or by rowing in the opposite direction. Do not meticulously embellish your own thought. Don’t turn to chatter and bullshit. Let the divine power within him lead an aging politician, a Roman leader, a stand-alone man who eagerly awaits the signal to leave life, who needs neither an oath nor a human witness. Don’t be a radiant person with the opportunity given by others, don’t need the tranquility to be obtained with the help of others. In short, a man needs to stand upright on his own, not upright.

4) Don’t approve of those who make arrogant judgments about certain things and those who want you to judge as they do. See everything as it is.

5) Don’t act like you have ten thousand years to live. Destiny hangs over your head. Be as good as possible as long as you live.

6) As Epictetus said, “You are a tiny soul with a corpse on your back.”

7) The best way to get revenge is to not look like the person to be avenged.

8) The art of living is more like the art of a wrestler than that of a dancer. It should be careful with the defense, even in the face of unpredictable attacks, it should not be overthrown.

9) Today I got rid of all my troubles, even got rid of all kinds of trouble. Because they were not outside me, but inside me, in my own thoughts.

10) You are made of three things: body, breath and mind. The first two of these are yours as long as you take care of them, but the third is only under your direction.

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