Reference Guide to Meditations

v 1.7 – “…from Rusticus I received the impression that my character required improvement and discipline.”

v 2. 1 – “Begin the morning by saying to yourself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happened to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I, who have seen the nature of good that is beautiful, and of the bad that is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only for the same or seed, but that in participates in the same intelligence and same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I can be angry with any of my kinsman, not hate him”

v 2.5 – “…and you will give yourself relief, if you do every act as if it were your last, laying aside all carelessness, passionate aversion from the commands of reason, hypocrisy, self-love, and discontent with the task that has been given to you”.

v 2.8 – “Failure to observe what is in the mind of another has seldom made a man unhappy; but those who do not the observe movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy.”

v 2.11 – “Since it is possible that you may depart from life this very moment, regulate every act and thought accordingly.”

v 3.4 – “Do not waste the remainder of your life in thoughts about others, when you do not refer your thoughts to some object of common utility. For you lose the opportunity of doing something else when you have such thoughts as these. What is just a person doing? And why? And what is he saying? And what is he thinking of? And what is he contriving? and whatever else of the kind makes you wander away from the observation of our own ruling power.”

v 3.5 – “Be cheerful also, and do not seek external help or the tranquility that others give. A man then must stand erect, not be kept erect by others.”

v 3.12 – “If you apply yourself to the task before you, following right reason seriously, vigorously, calmly, without allowing anything to distract but keeping your divine part pure as you might be bound to give it back immediately; if you hold to this expecting nothing, fearing nothing, but satisfied with your present activities according to nature, and with heroic truth in every word and sound which you utter, you will live happily. And there is no man who able to prevent you from this.”

v 4.2 – “Let no act be done without a purpose, nor otherwise according to the perfect principles of art.”

v 4.3 – “Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, seashores, and mountains; and you too, are wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the common sort of men. For it is in your power whenever you choose, to retire into yourself. For there is no retreat that is quieter or freer from trouble than a man’s own soul, especially when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them, he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and in tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering the mind. Constantly then give to yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”

v 4.3.2 – “For with what are you discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to your mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual hostility, suspicion, hatred, and fighting have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes. Now be quiet at last”.

v 4.3.3 – “But perhaps the desire of a thing called fame torments you. See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the fickleness and lack of judgement of those who pretend to give you praise, and the narrowness of its domain. Now be quiet at last”.

v 4.7 – “Take away your opinion, and then there is taken away the complaint ‘I have been harmed’. Take away the complaint, ‘I have been harmed’, and the harm is taken away”

v 4.8 – “That which does not makes a man worse than he was, also does not make his life worse, nor does it harm either from without or within.”