In this blog post, I will focus on Chapters VII to the Conclusion of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, [see previous post for Chapters I-VI]. Here are some highlights from the conclusion of The Meditations:

  • What is badness? It is that which thou hast often seen. And on the occasion of everything which happens keep this in mind, that it is that which thou hast often seen.
  • It is thy duty to show good humour and not a proud air; to understand that every man is worth just so much as the things are worth about which he busies himself.
  • How many after being celebrated by fame have been given up to oblivion (Where are they Now?!); and how many who have celebrated the fame of others have long been dead.
  • Let not the future things disturb thee, for thou wilt come to them having with thee the same reason which now thou usest for present things.
  • Whatever any one does or says, I must be emerald and keep my color.
  • Direct thy attention to what is said. Let thy understanding enter into the things that are doing and the things which do them.
  • Adorn thyself with simplicity and modesty and indifference towards the things which lie between virtue and vice.
  • Love that only which happens to thee and is spun with the thread of thy destiny. For what is more suitable?
  • Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
  • Repentance is a king of self-reproof for having neglected something useful; but that which is good must be something useful, and the perfect good man should look after it.
  • Constantly, on the occasion of every impression on the soul, apply the principles of Physic, of Ethic, and of Dialectic.
  • Everything exists for some end, a horse, a vine. Why dost thou wonder? Even the sun will say, “I am for some purpose”. For what purpose then art thou?
  • Attend to the matter which is before thee, whether it is an opinion or an act or a word.
  • Am I doing anything? I do it with reference to the good of mankind.
  • Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go.
  • Both man and God and the universe produce fruit; at the proper seasons each produces it.
  • If thou art able, correct by teaching those who do wrong; but if thou canst not, remember that the indulgence is given to thee for this purpose.
  • All things are the same, familiar in experience, and ephemeral in time, and worthless in the matter. Everything now is just as it was in the time of those whom we have buried.
  • Short is the little which remains to thee of life. Live as on a mountain.
  • No longer talk at all about the kind of man that a good man ought to be, but be such.

Work Cited

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. (1909). The Harvard Classics. New York: P. F. Collier & Son.