The Essential Marcus Aurelius
Translated & Introduced by Jacob Needleman & John P. Piazza
"The sun seems to pour itself down, and pours itself in every direction, but it is not emptied. For this pouring is an extension, and its rays are so named because of their extension. You can observe this if you watch sunlight shining through some narrow crack in a dark room. It extends itself in a straight line until it encounters some solid body which stops its extension. There the light rests, and it does not move or fall off.
This is how the pouring and diffusion of the mind must be, for it is not a pouring out, but rather an extension of itself; and it should not make a violent or angry impact upon whatever stands in its way; nor should it simply fall away, but rather it should stand firm and illuminate whatever receives it. Whatever does not accept it and help it on its way only deprives itself of the light."
(Book 8, 8.59, p. 66)
"Many of the superfluous things which trouble you are products of your own judgment, and you have the power to strip them away and be free of them. If you do this, immediately you will create a vast expanse for yourself, grasping with your mind the whole Cosmos, contemplating both the endless movement of time and the rapidly changing nature of all that exists. How brief the interval between birth and death; how wide the expanse of time before birth, as infinite as that after death."
(Book 9, 9.32, p. 71)
"You are composed of three parts: body, vital spirit, and mind. The first two belong to you only insofar as you are obliged to take care of them, but only the third, mind, is truly yours. Therefore, if you can separate yourself (your mind, that is) from all that others do or say and all that you yourself would have done or said, all that worries you about the future, all that belongs to the encompassing body which is attached to you without your consent, and all that the external rotation of the heavens causes to whirl around and around, so that the power of mind within you, freed from its fate, can live for itself without pollution or stain, all the while doing what is just, wishing for nothing more than what happens, and speaking the truth. If, I say, you can separate this ruling part from all that is attached to it through the senses, and all that will happen and has already happened, you will make yourself like the sphere of Empedocles: "Completely whole, rejoicing in its solitude." And if you take care to live only what can truly be called life, that is, the present moment, you will be able to spend the time that remains until death undisturbed, with kindness and obedience to the divine spirit within."
(Book Twelve, 12.3, p. 90)
Post a Comment