Saturday, February 21, 2009

Excuses + a Philosopher

I know I've been gone for a week now, but my workload managed to somehow triple itself in the last few days. I've hardly had a chance to even glance at the news. But I'm back! The only thing is, I might be posting at a slower pace than I've been these last few months, so apologies in advance. Working on balancing out my schedule.

I want to leave you with something, though, before I log off. I'd been hearing about Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher, for a while now. Yesterday, I decided to finally take a look at his most famous work, Meditations. The text is divided into 12 different sections, or "books," so I thought I'd read the first one to get an idea of what it was about.

The last thing I'd expected was to get hooked. After going through the first book, I read the second one. Then the third. Before I knew it I had read all 12 books, and the afternoon I was supposed to be studying for my midterms in was gone. But it was worth it.

I was really drawn to two of his major topics: the unity of the world and his views on human conduct. He seemed to be leaning towards some sort of pantheism, if I understood his work correctly, or at least arguing that we are all part of one single entity. And his ideas on responsibility towards society and one's self were pretty inspiring. He holds high standards for individual human beings. I'd come across similar standards in different scriptures, but seeing it so beautifully laid out by this "mere mortal" was a surprise.

Interested? Check him out for yourselves. Here's the link I read his work at:

The Meditations, translated by George Long

Till the next post!

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