Philosophy of Death According to Marcus Aurelius Essay

616 Words 3 Pages
Marcus Aurelius' book Meditations gives a clear and concise view of what death is and how man should cope with it. There are many factors that Marcus must take into account when he is pondering about death. There is death on a physical plane of existence and there is death on a supernatural plane of existence. How man is related to both of these concepts can differ drastically but both are equally important concepts in man's view of death. The way that man approaches death and how he should view it in life are other factors that also play an important role in Marcus' philosophy of death.

On the physical plane, Marcus is straightforward in the way that he speaks of death. He does not try to soften the image of death with flowery
…show more content…
Probably the most fearful aspect of death is his bone hand that takes the life of anyone he chooses. This supernatural creature is a great example of how man views death in our society. Marcus believes in an idea that contrasts completely with the present view of death. Marcus knows that death overcomes anything that lives. All of the greatest leaders, even those who seem like they will never die, will, in the end, lose their lives. To believe otherwise is irrational. Nature dictates that all things that live must die. Marcus believes that if anything occurs naturally in Nature it was meant to be. "It is but Nature's way; and in the ways of Nature there is no evil to be found." (2:17). Death occurs naturally in nature. Death, therefore, is part of Nature's plan and anything that occurs in nature is inherently not evil, but good.

Marcus is somewhat ambiguous in his writings about the supernatural side of death. When he addresses death he brings up many sides to the arguments. ."..Bethink you then how either this complex body of your own must also one day be broken up in dispersion, or else the breath that animates it must be extinguished, or removed and translated elsewhere." (8:25). Marcus mentions reincarnation, as a soul leaving forever and death as just a dispersion of atoms. Marcus' desire to address all sides of the argument over the supernatural details of death show how little emphasis he puts
Open Document