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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Marcus Aurelius on Mortality

Marcus Aurelius on Mortality and the Key to Living Fully

“The only thing that isn’t worthless: to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.”

“Death is our friend,” Rilke wrote in an exquisite 1923 letter“precisely because it brings us into absolute and passionate presence with all that is here, that is natural, that is love.” And yet one of the defining features of the human condition is that we long for immortality despite inhabiting a universe governed by impermanence.
Eighteen centuries before Rilke, the great Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aureliusaddressed this abiding human paradox of life and death with astonishing lucidity in his Meditations (public library | free ebook) — his indispensable proto-blog, which also gave us the philosophic emperor’s enduring wisdom on how to begin each day for maximum sanity and what his father taught him about honor and humility.

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