DEEP THOUGHTS…BY MARCUS AURELIUS HANDY

Recently, I had made up my mind to be a better person, but then I realized I had just taken a B-12 tablet.

Life is more interesting when you have things to do.  That’s why procrastination is such a satisfying habit.

                                           line26

MeditationsHmmm…according to Amazon.com, this version is already off the charts.  Not unavailable, maybe just out of print and you can only get it through non-commercial sellers. But that’s just Amazon. I haven’t checked B&N or Borders or any other commercial retailers.

Reading this has helped to better understand the literary tradition of the Bible. This is, not in a Biblical sense, but in a literary sense, a book of proverbs, epigrams, advice, observations, all proffering an uncomplicated wisdom. It is very like the Bible in that M.A. has a lot of ideas that also show up in the Bible. 

 

 

  • Do right by people. 
  • Don’t be pretentious. 
  • Expect people to be difficult, and put yourself above it. 
  • Follow the example of the wise and shun the fool.

Comparing Meditations to the Bible is a college course in itself, so I will just give you some of my favorite meds…um…meditations:

Book II, #1: Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness — all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil…none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading.

Book III, #7:  Never value the advantages derived from anything involving breach of faith, loss of self-respect, hatred, suspicion, or execration of others, or the desire for something which has to be veiled…

Book III, #9: Treat with respect the power you have to form an opinion.

Book VI, #14: The vulgar confine their admiration chiefly to things of an elementary order,…But the man who values a soul that is rational and universal and social no longer cares for anything else…

You get the idea.  Good stuff.  And it’s portable, roughly the same size as WHY I WRITE, but a bit thicker.  II/1 and III/7 I re-read quite often since my life as a teacher and caregiver-in-training is chaotic at times.

I actually have 2 editions of Meditations.  This one and an old Harvard Classics version that’s an imprint of a 1909 edition.  It’s combined with 3 works by Plato — Apology, Phaedo, and Crito, as well as The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.

Golden Sayings is pretty cool. That one’s organized in chunks with roman numerals, whereas Meditations was by Books. The translation of GS, by Hastings Crossley (ooooh, pompous much?), sounds like a cross between Alexander Pope and John Milton.  It requires significant concentration to keep up with the syntax if you’re not used to it.

If you’re ever feeling intellectually stunted, Meditations is a good way to kick-start your right brain instant messaging your left brain.

  A year ago: Barnes&Noble After-Christmas Mini-Spree

My Shelfari bookshelf

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: