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Meditations PDF Summary – Marcus Aurelius

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Meditations PDFMicroSummary: Marcus Aurelius was a great Roman emperor. But he was also a great philosopher. In his book Meditations, based on concepts of Greek Stoicism, he reflects on his role in the universe, about death, about the order of things, and about concepts like good and evil. Come to know a little about the mind of one of the most famous philosophers in the world! Learn to accept the bad situations of life, to find meaning in things and to have more empathize with others!

Meditations PDF Summary by Marcus Aurelius

All Things Are Planned, And The Universe Has a Weel-Defined Order

There were several philosophical schools during antiquity, covering many different subjects, from nature to human reactions. However, a central aspect of these ancient philosophical teachings that goes through many topics is the concept of Logos.

This word, translated as “reason,” was applied by famous philosophers like Heraclitus and Aristotle, and was also of central importance to the author Marcus Aurelius.

His view was that the Logos could be seen anywhere; it composes the earth, the trees, and human beings. However, Logos not only gives shape to everything; it also gives an order.

For humans, this means that the Logos determines the position of people in society, and how these people should be respected. So it is the Logos who decrees that slaves should be treated as such and that emperors should be treated differently.

Logos, the immutable essence of life and the fundamental plane for all events, encompasses the whole world. And, therefore, it is the ideal way of ordering it. In fact, Logos is working perpetually to move the universe in the best possible direction.

So even when the author went through difficult times in his life, he kept his faith that he was part of a great Logos plan, since everything that happens is right and no one should want change. So even when most of his relatives passed away, and rebellions defied his empire, Aurelius stood firm in his belief that it was all planned.

Every Human Being Has a Purpose In The Universe

Despite being the emperor of Rome, Marcus was concerned to understand who he was and his purpose in the world. He was struggling to fulfill his political role as this post conflicted with the philosophical life he wanted to have.

And he also understood that his destiny was not to be a full-time philosopher and that he had to fulfill his purpose in the world.

He had a philosophical exercise in trying to define who he was. But he placed no particular emphasis on his position; he attributed equal value to his citizenship and profession. He was an ordinary guy, trying to do what was right in his life until the day he died.

The leader of one of the earth’s most powerful empires insisted on having a generic human identity, to maintain the harmony between his role as a citizen of the world and between his position of emperor.

Marcus saw the human being as a social creature who needs to participate in a community and the universe if he wants to fulfill his designated role. To try to fight with fate or to separate from people is to deny their humanity. The denial of rational nature to him was a sin against the gods and his self.

Death Is a Necessary Function of Nature

In the past, death was a constant fact of life – infant mortality rates were very high, and average life expectancy was very low. And like many unpleasant things in life, death was seen by Marcus as a practical concern: it is part of human nature. Without death, human beings could not contribute by returning their essential elements to the substance of the universe, and the Logos could not renew itself.

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