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Selections from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius 
Adaptation © SpiritSite.com (language has been adapted and/or simplified)


"We are all working together toward the same goal – some with knowledge and awareness; others with ignorance, as though they are asleep. 

But we all cooperate, and even those who are asleep, the universe needs."

Meditations: Books Five and Six

In the morning, think to yourself, "I am called to serve the world today. The plants have their work; the birds have theirs; so do the ants, the spiders, and the bees. They have their part in helping the world, and so do I." Seek your form of contribution, and you will find it.

How simple life is for the disciplined mind. A disciplined mind can release every painful thought that enters into it, and to return to a state of perfect calm.

There is a type of person who, when he does something kind, says, "please remember that I’ve done this." Then there is another person who doesn’t say such words, but thinks them. Finally there is a person who – in a sense – is not even conscious of what he has done. Rather, he is like a vine which has silently offered its grapes, and asks nothing more in return.

Don’t give up if you fail to follow your principles – don’t give up, but simply pick yourself up and return to them. Remember that these principles are in line with your true self, and what you fell to was not.

See how sweet are generosity, freedom, kindness, purity – for what is sweeter than goodness itself?

For what purpose am I using my soul? This is a very important question.

As your stray thoughts are, so will your mind be. Dye it with a continual series of good and wholesome thoughts.

Things of the world cannot touch the soul. The soul can only touch itself.

Honor that which is the best in yourself.

You can have a happy life if you think in the right way and act in the right way.

Good fortune is a good attitude of the soul, plus good feelings and good actions.

The order of the Universe is benevolent, for it has no reason to be evil. All things are made and perfected by this order.

If you are serving your highest purpose, it will not matter if you are cold or warm, sleepy or awake, or whether people speak well or poorly of you. For you will be happy to simply do your work.

The best way of avenging yourself is to not become like your attacker.

Make this your goal: to pass from one meeting to another, thinking all the while of God.

Whenever something troubles you, quickly return to your higher thoughts and do not linger in discomfort. We will grow to be master of our state by turning back to peace.

This is what some men do: they refuse to speak good of their neighbors, yet they themselves set great value on being praised.

Even the lion’s jaws, poison, and every harmful thing are by-products of the highest order. Do not hate them, then, but look at them in a different context.

He who sees what exists right now has seen everything – for all things are of one source and one substance.

Reflect on the connection of all things in the Universe, and the relationship of all things to each other. In a way, all things are joined together and serve the greater good.

Love the people whom you have been given. Love them truly.

The power which made a thing is still within it. Such is true for all things in the universe.

If a bad thing happens to you, or if you lose a good thing, you will blame the gods and your brothers. However, if you choose not to judge certain things as good and certain things as bad, there will be no reason for upset or blame.

We are all working together toward the same goal – some with knowledge and awareness; others with ignorance, as though they are asleep. But we all cooperate, and even those who are asleep, the universe needs. Choose where you would take your post, for he who guides the whole will employ you properly.

Kindness to one benefits the whole.

When you wish to be cheerful, think of the virtues of those who are with you: the helpfulness of one, the modesty of another, the generosity of a third. For nothing is so cheerful as seeing virtue in a brother.

It is possible to not judge, to remain peaceful in spirit – for events themselves do not control our reactions.

No one can prevent you from living by the principles of your highest self.

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