Meet my new friend, Marc

I would like to introduce you all to my new friend, Marcus. I like to call him Marc, but posterity remembers him as Marcus Aurelius (121-180 CE), emperor of Rome and Stoic philosopher.

A mutual acquaintance introduced us – thankyou Darren!

Anyway, here’s Marc to introduce himself:

A little flesh, a little breath, and a Reason to rule all – that is myself. (Forget your books; no more hankering for them; they were no part of your equipment.) As one already on the threshold of death, think nothing of the first – of its viscid blood, its bones, its web of nerves and veins and arteries. The breath too; what is that? A whiff of wind; and not even the same wind, but every moment puffed out and drawn in anew. But the third, the Reason, the master – on this you must concentrate. Now that your hairs are grey, let it play the part of a slave no more, twitching puppetwise at every pull of self-interest; and cease to fume at destiny by ever grumbling at today or lamenting over tomorrow.

(from Meditations, book 2, paragraph 2)

I’ll be sharing more of Marc’s thoughts with you in the coming weeks – he’s full of pithy and though-provoking ideas.

Photo credit:

Photo of a bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius, from the Wikimedia commons. Taken by Ricardo André Frantz and released into the public domain.

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2 Responses to “Meet my new friend, Marc”

  1. Clare Says:

    Sounds rousing stuff but I may struggle at the 'ceasing to fune at destiny' part. No more grumbling at today or lamenting over tomorrow may be a hard request to follow…

  2. Timothy Mills Says:

    Marc is a delightful blend of stuff that seems obviously true, stuff that seems obviously false, and stuff that I have to think about to know either way. And, as I think you mean, also stuff that would be good in theory but difficult to do in practice. As I once heard in a song, "I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it."As for the "grumbling and lamenting" business … from other stuff Marc has told me so far, his meaning here is probably one I disagree with. But it's possible to read it in a more agreeable (for me) way. Sort of a "don't blame destiny for your problems – do something about them now!" attitude. Goes along with the reason (ie, mind) as master rather than slave thing.

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