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The Meditations

The Meditations

Written by Marcus Aurelius

Narrated by Wanda McCaddon


The Meditations

Written by Marcus Aurelius

Narrated by Wanda McCaddon

ratings:
4/5 (53 ratings)
Length:
4 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 8, 2010
ISBN:
9781400185498
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

"Live each day as if it were your last."



Written in Greek by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, without any intention of publication, Marcus Aurelius's Meditations offers a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. Ranging from doubt and despair to conviction and exaltation, they cover such diverse topics as the nature of moral virtue, human rationality, divine providence, and Marcus's own emotions. But while The Meditations was composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, in developing his beliefs Marcus Aurelius also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a timeless collection of extended meditations and short aphorisms that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers, and readers throughout the centuries.
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 8, 2010
ISBN:
9781400185498
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Marcus Aurelius (121–180 CE) was a soldier and a philosopher considered to be the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome. During his reign, Rome saw more military victories than ever before. Aurelius defeated the Parthian Empire and fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success despite the encroaching Germanic tribes.



Reviews

What people think about The Meditations

4.2
53 ratings / 45 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Very good. A lot of it was over my head, so I wasn't entirely sure of what he was trying to tell me (or himself...) But this is a book I'll read again someday. It is a must for anyone interested in stoicism, or classical philosophy, or becoming the best version of themselves. It is also a great insight into the mind of a very interesting person.
  • (4/5)
    It seems that Marcus Aurelius put a lot of effort into making it easy to get to the heart of ideas quickly. Which makes this a very quotable book.“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.”“Your mind will take the shape of what you frequently hold in thought, for the human spirit is colored by such impressions.”“Not to feel exasperated, or defeated, or despondent because your days aren’t packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human—however imperfectly—and fully embrace the pursuit that you’ve embarked on.”Three Key Takeaway Lessons from Meditations- “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”- People will always do awful things but we are only responsible our own virtue.- We will die, and we ought not waste our lives being distressed. We should focus on doing good for others with the unknowable amount of time we have left to live. To make this a part of our lives we must reflect regularly on the fact that we will die.
  • (4/5)
    A good read as far as references books go, but as with the other translations, sooner or later you begin to wonder what was actually written before the language was "updated" or modernized. Still, it’s fascinating to be reading what a great historical figure was thinking and writing in the second century and then coming to realize that nothing much has changed in human behavior.What made this translation a bit more interesting, however, was the biographical forward in which Mr. Hays describes, in brief, the life and times of Marcus Aurelius. This was fascinating to me UNTIL Mr. Hays went on safari in the in philosophical tall grass. I needed but a primer on "Logos," the prevailing philosophy of the time. And while I don't doubt that Mr. Hays thought that this was precisely what he wrote, that’s not how it read for me. Lastly, it seems to me that the "meditations" could be summed up as follows: "To thine own self be true;" Seek and tell the truth; Do unto others as you would have done unto you; and know that everyone you know is struggling with something you know nothing about. Three and a half stars.
  • (4/5)
    Reading Aurelius is an enlightening experience and as one reads it, it becomes clear as to how erroneous some of our beliefs / actions are.
    A foundation in stoic philosophy is essential to fully grasp the meaning of Marcus's maxims. Without a firm grounding in the stoic principles many of the aphorisms can appear to be morbid, conceited or advocating a life of resignation.
    This book was written hundreds of years ago and is still valid to the most, this is wisdom of ages.
    Do not read this book as a scholar, read it slowly and think about it!
  • (3/5)
    Honestly I was a bit disappointed with this. I think the disappointment might have been more about me and how I just wasn't feeling this type of book at the start of a vacation. There is nothing ground breaking in here, but is a series of proverbs about how to live your life. There were historical examples he used that I enjoyed, but overall the book did not leave a big impression on me.
  • (5/5)
    Marcus Aurelius emphasizes several themes in his notes on life known as the Meditations. Among them are the tenets that underlie the stoic philosophy that he learned from his teachers including a discussion of the importance of your duty both to your own nature and that of the whole universe. It is with these tenets in mind that we see him telling us to accept what is beyond our control (5.8) in his expression of the notion that freedom for man is possible only when he is indifferent to the his fate as decreed by nature. His view expresses this in the sense that the we are all a part of the whole of nature and recognition of that is necessary to achieve the good. The good which is always the moral good.The importance of this is seldom clearer than when Aurelius notes the importance of focusing on the present, the "task at hand" if you will by exercising dispassionate justice in the following way:"Vacating your mind from all its other thoughts. And you will achieve this vacation if you perform each action as if it were the last of your life: freed, that is, from all lack of aim, from all passion-led deviation from the ordinance of reason, from pretence, from love of self, from dissatisfaction with what fate has dealt you." (2.5)It is acting like this, not in any morbid sense, but with a cheerfulness of mind, as described in the quote from Seneca above, that you will achieve the tranquility of being that is the ultimate form of happiness.