Meditations: Books Four
Great, hilarious speech by New Zealand MP in support of marriage equality

Meditations: Book Five

The fifth book opens with the emperor's questions and motivators of himself while lying in bed of the morning deciding whether to get up or not.  He has a man's work ahead of him and must set out to do it.  "Was I created to wrap myself in blankets and keep warm?"   Certainly not.  Look at the animals and insects, "each helping in their own way to order the world," don't you have a task as well?

But then there is this deterministic, fatalistic nonsense:

so welcome all that happens to you, even if it seems rather cruel, because its purpose leads to the health of the universe and the prosperity and success of Zeus.  He would not bring this on anyone, if it did not also bring advantage to the Whole."

Ridiculous notions like these infiltrated Christian thought, harming it.

Now, here is an interesting idea:

Your mind will take on the character of your most frequent thoughts: souls are dyed by thoughts.

Later in that same paragraph he emphasizes that the "good of a rational creature is community."  So it would seem that our thoughts should focus on community as such.

As a good Stoic, he believes we have internalized a divine spark.  After advising to revere the "ultimate power in the universe," he writes, "Revere the ultimate power in yourself: this is akin to that other power."  A little more influence of this idea in Christianity would have been helpful.

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