A Reflection for Today: Live Conformably in Piety and Justice


OK, I have not been posting like I would like to.  The fact of the matter is that I have some irons in the fire, and writing has been scarce.  I will get back to it soon.  Hopefully, regularly starting in December.

In the meantime, I’ve “modernized” this passage from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations Book 12.  Simply beautiful and wise:

All those things at which you wish to arrive by a circuitous road, you can have now, if you do not refuse them to yourself. What this means is that if you take no notice of all the past, and trust the future to providence, and direct the present only conformably to piety and justice. Conformably to piety, that you may be content with the condition which is assigned to you, for nature designed it for you and you for it. Conformably to justice, that you may always speak the truth freely and without disguise, and do the things which are agreeable to law and according to the worth of each. And let neither another man’s wickedness hinder you, nor opinion nor voice, nor yet the sensations of the poor flesh which has grown about you; for the passive part will look to this. If then, whatever the time may be when you shall be near to your death, neglecting everything else you shall respect only your ruling faculty and the divinity within you, and if you shall be afraid not because you must some time cease to live, but if you shall fear never to have begun to live according to nature- then you will be a man worthy of the universe which has produced you, and you will cease to be a stranger in your native land, and to wonder at things which happen daily as if they were something unexpected, and to be dependent on this or that.

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