Marcus Aurelius’ spiritual diary, which has come down to us in fragmentary form, is sometimes obscure, often terse, and occasionally repetitious. But it contains enough astute observations on the human condition to ensure its enduring popularity. Recently I jotted down some insights from The Meditations.
«It is human to love even those who falter, and you will do so if you reflect that people are akin, that they do wrong through ignorance and unwillingly, that you will both be dead in a little while, and, above all, that he has done you no injury, for he did not make your directing mind worse than it was before» (VII.22).
I find myself examining this passage on many levels. There is its humility and charity which, while not absent in the pre-Christian West, was nevertheless something of a rarity. Socrates was one of the first Greek thinkers to espouse something like…
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