Stoicism In Marcus Aurelius's 'Meditations'

Decent Essays

An Ideal World
(An analysis of the use of stoicism in Marcus Aurelius's, “Meditations”) Stoicism is defined in Greek school of Philosophy as teaching that “virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge, and that the wise live in harmony with divine reason that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.” (Oxford). Virtue is a trait sought after by many in today’s society. It is also a trait that millions upon millions of people choose to ignore. It all depends on what is important or unimportant to that particular person. To have virtue is an honor, and something that one cannot give to another. Those that are wise know that virtue, or justice, is an essential characteristic to have in …show more content…

Naturally, horrible and crude things might happen to certain people. These things should be expected and even anticipated. Nonetheless, the world goes about in its own way, and men must reciprocate this natural idea. Men are more than capable of knowing the difference between an action that is just and one that is unjust.
Individual freedom and control is also given very much emphasis in regards to stoicism in Marcus Aurelius’s, “Meditations”. This idea is self-explanatory; men have control over themselves and have the power to direct their thoughts and views. “You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” (Meditations). As men are able to control their own thoughts, they can start focusing in on things that truly matter. They can focus on more virtuous things. Philosophers have learned to control their minds and see truths that others in the world are hidden from. If these philosophers can find a way to share this information with as many people as possible, then they will have achieved their ultimate goal. These philosophers are usually the ones to be leaders of a nation. They are chosen to lead because of their understanding of how to help everybody live together in harmony and unity. As strong philosophers develop sturdy governments, it is difficult not to see how these fundamental principles are so foundational for success. Marcus Aurelius is spot on in stating that

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