Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Favourite Writings - Marcus Aurelius - Meditations

Remind yourself constantly of all the physicians, now dead, who used to knit their brows over their ailing patients; all the astrologers who so solemnly predicted their clients' doom; the philosophers who expiated so endlessly on death or immortality; the great commanders who slew their thousands; the despots who wielded powers of life and death with such terrible arrogance as if themselves were gods who could never die; the whole cities which have perished completely, Helice, Pompeii, Herculaneum and others without number.

After that recall, one by one each of your own acquaintances, how one buried another, only to be laid low himself, and be buried in turn by a third, and all in so brief a space of time. Observe, in short, how transient and trivial is all mortal life; yesterday a drop of semen, tomorrow a handful of spice or ashes. Spend therefore these fleeting moments on earth as Nature would have you spend them, and then go to your rest with a good grace,as an olive falls in its season, with a blessing for the earth that bore it and a thanksgiving for the tree that gave it life.

Marcus Aurelius - Meditations

This reminds me much of The Rubiyat of Omar Khyyam and somewhat of The Tale of the Heike