Some Stoic Philosophy from Marcus Aurelius just for the hell of it...if you don't like or understand it then feel free to shut the hell up/...after all, I am a 10th grade drop out....


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Via:  randy  •  6 years ago  •  25 comments

Some Stoic Philosophy from Marcus Aurelius just for the hell of it...if you don't like or understand it then feel free to shut the hell up/...after all, I am a 10th grade drop out....


IV. If to understand and to be reasonable be common unto all men, then
is that reason, for which we are termed reasonable, common unto all. If reason is general, then is that reason also, which prescribeth what is to be done and what not, common unto all. If that, then law. If law, then are we fellow-citizens. If so, then are we partners in some one commonweal. If so, then the world is as it were a city. For which other commonweal is it, that all men can be said to be members of? From this common city it is, that understanding, reason, and law is derived unto us, for from whence else? For as that which in me is earthly I have from some common earth; and that which is moist from some other element is imparted; as my breath and life hath its proper fountain; and that likewise which is dry and fiery in me: (for there is nothing which doth not proceed from something; as also there is nothing that can be reduced unto mere nothing) so also is there some common beginning from whence my understanding hath proceeded.

V. As generation is, so also death, a secret of nature's wisdom: a
mixture of elements, resolved into the same elements again, a thing surely which no man ought to be ashamed of: in a series of other fatal events and consequences, which a rational creature is subject unto, not improper or incongruous, nor contrary to the natural and proper constitution of man himself.

VI. Such and such things, from such and such causes, must of necessity
proceed. He that would not have such things to happen, is as he that would have the fig-tree grow without any sap or moisture. In sum, remember this, that within a very little while, both thou and he shall both be dead, and after a little while more, not so much as your names and memories shall be remaining.

VII. Let opinion be taken away, and no man will think himself wronged.
If no man shall think himself wronged, then is there no more any such thing as wrong. That which makes not man himself the worse, cannot make his life the worse, neither can it hurt him either inwardly or outwardly. It was expedient in nature that it should be so, and therefore necessary.

VIII. Whatsoever doth happen in the world, doth happen justly, and so if
thou dost well take heed, thou shalt find it. I say not only in right order by a series of inevitable consequences, but according to justice and as it were by way of equal distribution, according to the true worth of everything. Continue then to take notice of it, as thou hast begun, and whatsoever thou dost, do it not without this proviso, that it be a thing of that nature that a good man (as the word good is properly taken) may do it. This observe carefully in every action.

IX. Conceit no such things, as he that wrongeth thee conceiveth,
or would have thee to conceive, but look into the matter itself, and see what it is in very truth.

X. These two rules, thou must have always in a readiness. First, do
nothing at all, but what reason proceeding from that regal and supreme part, shall for the good and benefit of men, suggest unto thee. And secondly, if any man that is present shall be able to rectify thee or to turn thee from some erroneous persuasion, that thou be always ready to change thy mind, and this change to proceed, not from any respect of any pleasure or credit thereon depending, but always from some probable apparent ground of justice, or of some public good thereby to be furthered; or from some other such inducement.

XI. Hast thou reason? I have. Why then makest thou not use of it? For if
thy reason do her part, what more canst thou require?

XII. As a part hitherto thou hast had a particular subsistence: and now
shalt thou vanish away into the common substance of Him, who first begot thee, or rather thou shalt be resumed again into that original rational substance, out of which all others have issued, and are propagated. Many small pieces of frankincense are set upon the same altar, one drops first and is consumed, another after; and it comes all to one.

XIII. Within ten days, if so happen, thou shalt be esteemed a god of
them, who now if thou shalt return to the dogmata and to the honouring of reason, will esteem of thee no better than of a mere brute, and of an ape.

XIV. Not as though thou hadst thousands of years to live. Death hangs
over thee: whilst yet thou livest, whilst thou mayest, be good.

XV. Now much time and leisure doth he gain, who is not curious to know
what his neighbour hath said, or hath done, or hath attempted, but only what he doth himself, that it may be just and holy? or to express it in Agathos' words, Not to look about upon the evil conditions of others, but to run on straight in the line, without any loose and extravagant agitation.

XVI. He who is greedy of credit and reputation after his death, doth
not consider, that they themselves by whom he is remembered, shall soon after every one of them be dead; and they likewise that succeed those; until at last all memory, which hitherto by the succession of men admiring and soon after dying hath had its course, be quite extinct. But suppose that both they that shall remember thee, and thy memory with them should be immortal, what is that to thee? I will not say to thee after thou art dead; but even to thee living, what is thy praise? But only for a secret and politic consideration, which we call oikonomian or dispensation. For as for that, that it is the gift of nature, whatsoever is commended in thee, what might be objected from thence, let that now that we are upon another consideration be omitted as unseasonable. That which is fair and goodly, whatsoever it be, and in what respect soever it be, that it is fair and goodly, it is so of itself, and terminates in itself, not admitting praise as a part or member: that therefore which is praised, is not thereby made either better or worse. This I understand even of those things, that are commonly called fair and good, as those which are commended either for the matter itself, or for curious workmanship. As for that which is truly good, what can it stand in need of more than either justice or truth; or more than either kindness and modesty? Which of all those, either becomes good or fair, because commended; or dispraised suffers any damage? Doth the emerald become worse in itself, or more vile if it be not commended? Doth gold, or ivory, or purple? Is there anything that doth though never so common, as a knife, a flower, or a tree?

XVII. If so be that the souls remain after death (say they that will not
believe it); how is the air from all eternity able to contain them? How is the earth (say I) ever from that time able to Contain the bodies of them that are buried? For as here the change and resolution of dead bodies into another kind of subsistence (whatsoever it be) makes place for other dead bodies: so the souls after death transferred into the air, after they have conversed there a while, are either by way of transmutation, or transfusion, or conflagration, received again into that original rational substance, from which all others do proceed: and so give way to those souls, who before coupled and associated unto bodies, now begin to subsist single. This, upon a supposition that the souls after death do for a while subsist single, may be answered. And here, (besides the number of bodies, so buried and contained by the earth), we may further consider the number of several beasts, eaten by us men, and by other creatures. For notwithstanding that such a multitude of them is daily consumed, and as it were buried in the bodies of the eaters, yet is the same place and body able to contain them, by reason of their conversion, partly into blood, partly into air and fire. What in these things is the speculation of truth? to divide things into that which is passive and material; and that which is active and formal.

Marcus Aurelius Approx 121 AD

The rich get ten days and then the wealth is passed on to their immediate heir. Anyone else their estate is passed on to the state. Aurelius is famous for his laws that favor that poor, but it would seem the inheritance was skipped by him. And no, in spite of the movie "Gladiator" he was not murdered by his son Commdus after promising the empire to a mythical General Maximus who did not exist (he died of Pneumonia and wrote his entire book of Stoic Meditations while on the trip. (If you have not read his book, you have a GIANT hole missing inside of your soul.)) Read some history for Pete's sake.


jrDiscussion - desc
Sophomore Participates
1  seeder  Randy    6 years ago

Aurelius  wrote his entire book of Stoic Philosophy while on the trip to take military control of the Roman North from the Barbarians and finally bring complete peace to the Empire. He knew he was dying and would not make it back to Rome alive so he started to write down his thoughts and philosophies for mostly himself, yet in hope that someone would read them someday and take them seriously. They have come down through the thousands of years of history as wise words to live by and even today they guide us to apply to the governmental situation we find our self in now. If you have not read his"Meditations" you would be surprised how much they fit today's politics. He was not a man ahead of his times as much as he was a man whose philosophy fit many times in the world's history. He was a very, very wise man. If you have not read his book or grasped his philosophy, you have a GIANT hole missing inside of your soul. Read some history for Pete's sake. It will help you from repeating the mistakes of the past and we are on the verge of repeating them again now...unfortunately.

Then again according to some why should you listen to me as I am just a 10th grade drop out. Laugh

Professor Principal
1.1  Kavika   replied to  Randy @1    6 years ago

Having a much longer and stronger educational  background (I lasted through the 11th grade, of course it was Reform School. Those were the days) I have read Aurelius. 

I'm sure that it's required reading for drop outs.

Sophomore Participates
1.1.1  seeder  Randy  replied to  Kavika @1.1    6 years ago

LOL! I reveled a couple of weeks ago the I was a 10th grade drop out (though I had read "Meditations" on my own some time before) and some one posted something along the long of lines of "Well that explains a lot!" LOL! Anyway after I dropped out the Air Force saw fit to make me a Computer Operator at a SAC ICBM base a few months later, so I guess they had a lot more faith in me. The truth is that one of the reasons I dropped out of my high school was that it was a gang infested inner city school and the teachers would have passed a functional illiterate just to get them out of their class room and on to the next grade up. They didn't teach anything, at least most didn't, though their were a few exceptions. Mr Aten was good and so was Mr Davis and Mrs Meniga.

Sophomore Participates
1.1.2  seeder  Randy  replied to  Randy @1.1.1    6 years ago

BTW Kavika, thanks for standing up so hard for me in that exchange. I owe you a big one.

Professor Principal
1.1.3  Kavika   replied to  Randy @1.1.2    6 years ago

Us drop outs and vet's have to stick together.

Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1.4  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @1.1.3    6 years ago

You two are drop outs?

I never would have figured that out. Goes to show what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Professor Principal
2  JBB    6 years ago

Dorothy: “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?”

Scarecrow: “I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they?”

The Wizard: Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity! Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain! Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts — and with no more brains than you have. But! They have one thing you haven't got! A diploma! Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universita Committeeatum E Pluribus Unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of Th.D.

Scarecrow: "Th.D."?

The Wizard: That's, er, "Doctor of Thinkology".

Sophomore Participates
2.1  seeder  Randy  replied to  JBB @2    6 years ago

You don't have to attend any university to get a Doctorate of Thinkology. After all of these years I would like to think I have one.

Professor Principal
2.1.1  JBB  replied to  Randy @2.1    6 years ago

Scarecrow: [Rapid] The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side. [Normal, amazed] Oh, joy! Rapture! I've got a brain! How can I ever thank you enough?
The Wizard: Well, you can't! [To the Cowardly Lion] As for you, my fine friend — you're a victim of disorganized thinking. You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply because you run away from danger, you have no courage. You're confusing courage with wisdom! Back where I come from though we have men who are called heroes. Once a year, they take their fortitude out of mothballs and parade it down the main street of the city. And they have no more courage than you have. But — They have one thing that you haven't got! A medal! Therefore, for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against Wicked Witches, I award you the Triple Cross. You are now a member of the Legion of Courage!
Cowardly Lion: Oh... Shucks, folks, I'm speechless!
The Wizard: [To the Tin Man] As for you, my galvanized friend - you want a heart! You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
The Tin Man: But I-- I still want one.
The Wizard: Back where I come from, there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds. They are called phila-, er, er, philanth-er, good-deed doers! And their hearts are no bigger than yours. But! - They have one thing you haven't got. A testimonial! Therefore, in consideration of your kindness, I take pleasure at this time in presenting you with a small token of our esteem and affection. Remember, my sentimental friend, a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.

Sophomore Participates
2.1.2  seeder  Randy  replied to  JBB @2.1.1    6 years ago
"Courage"! Ain't it the truth!"

Remember, my sentimental friend, a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.

Professor Participates
2.1.3  1stwarrior  replied to  Randy @2.1.2    6 years ago

Should that not be the other way around??  If you are "loved" by many, their values would accept the straight line based on their value system, not on the value systems that made you who/what you are.  By giving of yourself, through the love in your heart, you are showing that you care more for others than you do for self - that should be how/what your heart is judged upon.

Professor Principal
2.1.4  JBB  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.3    6 years ago

Baum as The Wizard was not speaking of the Tin Man but of the true heart he possessed without knowing it...

Sophomore Participates
3  seeder  Randy    6 years ago

Maybe Baum had one up on Aurelius? At least in some areas?

Greg Jones
Professor Participates
4  Greg Jones    6 years ago

Deleted - Skirting {SP}

An indirect reference targets a category which includes the member. Derogatory statements attacking all within a category (e.g. liberals, conservatives, theists, atheists, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, etc.) are indirect derogatory references.

Sophomore Participates
4.1  seeder  Randy  replied to  Greg Jones @4    6 years ago

You have never read Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus the great Emperors and probably one of the greatest philosophers of mankind? I am sorry for you. I suggest you read his book "Meditations: which is freely available online and I don't mean just read it, but study it, ever word, thought and idea. Think about it, Take it all in. It will change your life.

After you really read it, you will be the wondering; "If I only had a brain!"

Professor Principal
4.2  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @4    6 years ago

“If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of Congress?”, “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”, "There are two theories on arguing with conservatives. Neither works"- Will Rogers, Democrat, Free Thinker. Philosopher'...

Sophomore Participates
5  seeder  Randy    6 years ago

Basically he is saying here in Book Four (at least in this beginning part of it) that shit happens. Or am I wrong? I posted this part of Aurelius because it is the part I least understand? Is he saying that shit happens that we can not control and just must accept. In other parts of Meditations he seems to say that we have more control over the events in our lives.

Professor Principal
5.1  JBB  replied to  Randy @5    6 years ago

"Whatever can go wrong will go wrong" - Murphy...


Sophomore Silent
6  luther28    6 years ago

Is he saying that shit happens that we can not control and just must accept.

What I refer to as random chaos, we all have a plan until it rears its ugly head.

Sophomore Participates
6.1  seeder  Randy  replied to  luther28 @6    6 years ago

I think he is saying that shit happens and that we must be prepared for it, but that he does not say if we should do anything about it. Just  we have to be ready for the unexpected garbage that is going to be thrown our way. It's not like rain is coming so have an umbrella as much as as it is there will be people who will try to obstruct you and they will use crap to do it...or at least I think that's what it means. I have read a lot of his stuff(most of his book), but I have to admit this is some of his stuff that confuses me that most. I am freely admitting that I hope someone who understands

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius bust Istanbul Archaeological Museum - inv. 5129 T.jpg
Bust of Marcus Aurelius in the   Archaeological Museum of Istanbul , Turkey
Emperor of the Roman Empire
Reign 8 March 161 – 17 March 180
Predecessor Antoninus Pius
Successor Commodus
Co-emperors Lucius Verus   (161–169) Commodus   (177–180)
Born 26 April 121
Died 17 March 180   (aged 58)
Vindobona   or   Sirmium
Burial Hadrian's Mausoleum
Issue 14, incl.   Commodus , Marcus Annius Verus, Antoninus and   Lucilla
Full name
Marcus Annius Verus   (name at birth, [1] [2]   or upon the death of his father and adoption by his grandfather, or upon coming of age [3] )
Marcus Annius Catilius Severus   (name at birth, [3]   or for some period of his youth [2] )
Marcus Catilius Severus Annius Verus (name at birth [4] )
Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus   (upon adoption by Antoninus Pius [5] )
Regnal name
Marcus Aelius Aurelius Verus Caesar   (as imperial heir)
Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus   (upon joint ascension, with Lucius Verus, to the throne [4] )
Dynasty Antonine
Mother Domitia Lucilla

Marcus Aurelius

will be able to explain this part of book four to me. Because I just don't get it. I am not a dumb person, But it just doesn't make sense to me?

Sophomore Participates
6.1.1  seeder  Randy  replied to  Randy @6.1    6 years ago

I freely admit that this is one of his most confusing passages and I just plain don't fucking understand it! It has bothered me for years and years and years!


Sophomore Silent
6.1.2  luther28  replied to  Randy @6.1    6 years ago

Not that I consider myself the brightest bulb in the circuit, but I believe he is saying that while we can prepare for the unexpected we cannot worry too much in regards to things out of our control. Our version of go with the flow maybe?


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