• Meditations 02 •
• Marcus Aurelius Antoninus •
Duration: 20 mins
Price : $/€ 15 (audiobook) - $/€ 25 (videobook)
About the Meditations series
"Meditations" (Greek title: Τῶν εἰς Ἑαυτόν) is a series of personal reflections and philosophical musings written by Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher. The book is considered one of the greatest works of Stoic literature and provides insight into the emperor's personal beliefs and values. The reflections were written over a period of several years, primarily while Marcus was on military campaign, and cover a range of topics including death, the nature of existence, and the pursuit of wisdom and virtue.
In the second book of "Meditations", Marcus suggests starting the day by preparing for encounters with difficult people who lack gratitude, are arrogant, deceitful, and envious. These individuals act out of ignorance of what is good and bad. However, the author, having recognized the beauty of good and the ugliness of bad, and understanding that those who do wrong are part of the same human nature, remains unaffected by their actions. The author emphasizes the importance of cooperation and unity among people, as going against one another is contrary to nature.
The text encourages focusing on the present moment and disregarding distractions. It urges a realization of one's mortality and the limited time available to clear the mind of negativity and discontent. It emphasizes that everything in the world is governed by Providence and that the universe is designed to maintain its balance. The author advises cultivating fixed opinions and avoiding excessive reliance on books, expressing gratitude towards the gods.
The importance of self-reflection and self-control is highlighted, suggesting that observing one's own mind is crucial for happiness. It mentions the comparison of offenses committed through desire and anger, asserting that those driven by pleasure are more blameworthy. The text emphasizes the need to align oneself with nature, recognize the interconnectedness of all things, and refrain from being overly concerned with others' opinions.
The transient nature of material things is discussed, and the intellect is encouraged to perceive their worthlessness and impermanence. Death is portrayed as a natural process, and the gods are believed to care for humanity. The author argues that nothing can truly harm a person except their own judgments. The importance of living in accordance with reason, appreciating the present moment, and accepting fate is emphasized. The text concludes by mentioning the insignificance of fame and the transitory nature of life.
The setting of the text is mentioned as Carnuntum.
In the video you can follow the opening text of "Meditations" book 02. Alternatively, those who prefer the audiobook edition can find many places online, like Perseus Library or an English translation by George Long.
About the digital formats
Both the audio recording and the videobook contain the complete, unabridged Ancient Greek text of the 2nd book of the "Meditations" of Marcus Aurelius. After purchase you will be able to download the relevant mp3 audiobook or m4v videobook file (or both) by clicking on the relevant green buttons. Translated caption in English; other languages on request.
You can listen to the first chapter of “the Meditations, book 02”, an audio sample of the present recording. Please, click on the play-button bellow and, if you wish, follow the Ancient Greek text lower on the page, or alternatively watch the video. Thank you!
ΤΩΝ ΕΙΣ ΕΑΥΤΟΝ 02
α΄. Ἕωθεν προλέγειν ἑαυτῷ: «συντεύξομαι περιέργῳ, ἀχαρίστῳ, ὑβριστῇ, δολερῷ, βασκάνῳ ἀκοινωνήτῳ. πάντα ταῦτα συμβέβηκεν ἐκείνοις παρὰ τὴν ἄγνοιαν τῶν ἀγαθῶν καὶ κακῶν. ἐγὼ δὲ τεθεωρηκὼς τὴν φύσιν τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ, ὅτι καλόν, καὶ τοῦ κακοῦ, ὅτι αἰσχρόν, καὶ τὴν αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἁμαρτάνοντος φύσιν, ὅτι μοι συγγενής, οὐχὶ αἵματος ἢ σπέρματος τοῦ αὐτοῦ, ἀλλὰ νοῦ καὶ θείας ἀπομοίρας μέτοχος, οὔτε βλαβῆναι ὑπό τινος αὐτῶν δύναμαι· αἰσχρῷ γάρ με οὐδεὶς περιβαλεῖ· οὔτε ὀργίζεσθαι τῷ συγγενεῖ δύναμαι οὔτε ἀπέχθεσθαι αὐτῷ. γεγόναμεν γὰρ πρὸς συνεργίαν, ὡς πόδες, ὡς χεῖρες, ὡς βλέφαρα, ὡς οἱ στοῖχοι τῶν ἄνω καὶ κάτω ὀδόντων. τὸ οὖν ἀντιπράσσειν ἀλλήλοις παρὰ φύσιν· ἀντιπρακτικὸν δὲ τὸ ἀγανακτεῖν καὶ ἀποστρέφεσθαι.