Essay about Marcus Aurelius Meditations

1199 Words Nov 5th, 2011 5 Pages
Kurt McGann
11/12/11
Period 1 Mythology
Hart
Personal Meditations Section 1 Stoicism: “a systematic philosophy, dating from around 300 b.c., that held the principles of logical thought to reflect a cosmic reason instantiated in nature.” (dictionary.com). Marcus Aurelius (the author of “Meditations”) was a stoic as well as an emperor. The book he wrote was a collection of thoughts, things he advised himself to do, a piece reflecting his stoicism, and a personal diary of sorts. The kinds of things put into this book were sometimes crazy, sometimes contradictory, yet sometimes very true and insightful. Marcus wasn’t a professional philosopher, and this comes out in his work, but he had an interesting way of living his life. His writings
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Could you have a hot bath unless the firewood underwent some change? Could you be nourished if the food suffered no change? Is it possible for any useful thing to be achieved without change? Do you not see, then, that change in yourself is of the same order, and no less necessary to nature?”
Many things we reap benefits from only come from the change of that item, as marcus explains. As well as getting benefits from change, we can also get cons. If we change things, such as law reforms, many will be mad, and just as many will be happy. So when it comes to change, it can leave bad effects just as well as it can leave good effects.
Although Marcus has good intent, I can’t head all of his advice. Marcus believed along with other things, that self-improvement was important over many a things. I agree that self-improvement is well, self-improvement; and by the nature of the phrase itself is a good thing. Marcus holds this true at a more extreme level, putting it before things that lead to your own happiness. If today was your last day to live (assuming you are certain it is your last day to live) and you had a responsibility to better yourself given to you before your death, Marcus would say to go through with that responsibility, even if it resulted in your own discomfort. Marcus sees the improvement of one’s self would be more important than your own happiness, saying that dying a better person is better than dying content. I completely

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