Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a profound and pragmatic collection of series of personal writings from AD 161 to 180 which records the Roman emperor’s private notes to himself and ideas on Stoic philosophy, in which readers can utilize the former emperor’s writings as an excellent source of guidance and self-improvement in life. Each section provides introspective and insightful commentary regarding various metaphysical and ethical subjects such as the possibility of an afterlife and being indifferent to the chaotic forces of everyday life. Meditations seeks to understand how to live the best stoic life possible, in which Marcus Aurelius utilizes succinct yet practical dialogues in order to lead him to a greater understanding of what a fulfilling life entails.
Meditations is divided into 12 books that follow various periods of Aurelius’ life, in which he undertakes a simplified and straightforward tone within his writing that reflects his own Stoic perspective on life. Aurelius advocates for finding one’s place in the universe and to recognize that everything came from nature, and so everything will return to its place of origin eventually. Aurelius also mentions the importance of maintaining focus without any distractions while maintaining strong ethical principles and upholding traditional moral values. His Stoic ideas often involve avoiding indulgence in sensory affections, in which it would free a man from the pains and pleasures of the material world. He claims that the only way a man can be harmed by others is to allow his emotional reactions to overpower his logical thinking.Read More