About Marcus Aurelius
I’ve been “Digital” since its inception (1). My horoscopes found new life as a digitally distributed production by 1993. But I like books, real books, and there’s one text, a few, that I continue to use. See that tattered Marcus Aurelius Cover, for example.
In that text, I’ve got pages with dates, starting in 2006, or so. While not my earliest reference copy, that is just the most frequent, now. So I’ve used that book, that actual book, for more than a decade now.
Digging around in older travel gear, pulled out my original textbook, and I’m pretty sure its life stretches back to a cold-water bed-sit in Old East Austin. When it was a dangerous hood.
- These days, I tend to use more than one text. The free source, the public domain copy? It’s good, but at times, archaic in language.
There’s that tattered book itself, through, it works as a talisman and a touchstone, reflecting back on previous entries. I tend to date when I last used a particular passage. Easier for me, as I have no recall. Specific passages speak at certain moments. Copy and post, with attribution. Sometimes with discussion. Sometimes, the words of the Emperor are enough.
As I understand the text’s history, Emperor Marcus Aurelius styled himself as Stoic. The stoic’s catch-phrase?
“Life sucks and then you die,
so suck it up, buttercup.”
Both the pagans (or the post-modern iteration neo-pagans) embrace Marcus, as well as early, and modern, Christians. My first buddy who quoted Marcus Aurelius was, at the time, a devote Chrstian. He was an accomplished martial arts teacher, and a Buddha-like appearance, last I saw him. My buddy explained that the general populace gets uncomfortable with quoting a bible, but Marcus Aurelius, or Shakespeare, either one is fine.
Delving deeper, the Stoics share some early Christain values. Marcus Aurelius captures much in his meditations, and I find them useful reminders.
Some Marcus Aurelius meditations are remarkably zen-like.
- “And that’s how you make a bundt cake!”