Inspiring Sayings and Image Quotes of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations translated by John Jackson

Best Inspiring Sayings and images of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations translated by John Jackson

I collected some good sayings of Marcus Aurelius's meditations translated by John Jackson, which is available for free Download From Here.

And changed some sayings into image quotes for inspirations and remembrance.



Marcus Aurelius best sayings

The man who follows reason in all things is at once a leisurely and active, cheerful and composed.



It is an absurdity not to flee from our own vice, which is possible; yet strive to flee from the vice of others, which is impossible.

Dig within thee. There lies the fount of good; a fount whose waters will forever well up, if thou but forever dig!
Marcus Aurelius best sayings


Love whole-heartedly that which befalls thee and is spun with the web of thy fate. For what more fitting?


The mark of a perfect character is this: to pass every day as though it were the last of life, void of all agitation, torpor, or hypocrisy.

Death is akin to birth in that both are mysteries of nature: in the one there is composition; in the other, decomposition: in both the antecedent and resultant elements are the same. At all events, it is not a thing to be ashamed of, for in it there is nothing save what is consonant with the nature of rational life and nothing that is repugnant to the laws of our being.

Marcus Aurelius best sayings

Make for the shortest path, which is that of Nature; in other words, healthiness in every speech and action. For a man with this purpose in life is freed from all loitering and vexation, all thought of ways and means, and all affectation.

It is a matter of nature and necessity for men of this type to act as they do. And, in general, remember the truth that, in a little while, both thou and he will be no more; and yet, a little while, and not so much as your names will be left.

Let not nausea, vexation, and despair overmaster thee if thou succeed not in conforming each and every action to the canons of Philosophy; but, when one hope has been dashed, return to the fray, and rest content if but the major part of thy deeds are in line with the nature of man. And hasten as a lover to his love. Turn not to Philosophy as though she were some dreaded pedagogue, but as sore eyes turn to the sponge and egg, or the sick man to his plasters and fomentations. For so obedience to Nature will cost thee no further pang, but thou shalt rest therein and be at peace.


Marcus Aurelius best sayings


Take away opinion, and where is the plaint I have been harmed? Take away this plaint, and where is the harm?


Observe it, then, as thou hast begun, and, whatever thou doest, do it with the goodness that is the essential part of our conception of the good man; and in every action hold fast to this principle.

Hast thou reason? I have. Then why not use it? 13 For, with this doing its work, what more wilt thou have?


Marcus Aurelius best sayings


Take away opinion, and where is the plaint I have been harmed? Take away this plaint, and where is the harm?


Observe it, then, as thou hast begun, and, whatever thou doest, do it with the goodness that is the essential part of our conception of the good man; and in every action hold fast to this principle.

Hast thou reason? I have. Then why not use it? 13 For, with this doing its work, what more wilt thou have?

Marcus Aurelius best sayings

If the matter is within thy power, why do it, if it pleases thee not? If it is in another s power, what canst thou blame? Heaven? Or the atoms? Madness! Blame nothing whatsoever. If thou canst, correct the cause. If this proves too hard for thee, correct the thing itself. If this succeeds no better, what profits this motiveless railing: every action ought to have its purpose


! A body may die, but it cannot fall out of the universe.  Here it remains, here it changes, and here it is resolved into its component parts; in other words, into the elements that go to form the universe and thyself. Then these, as well, are transmuted, yet they murmur not.


Everything exists for a purpose. A horse or a vine has its purpose. And what wonder? The Sun-god himself would say: I exist for a purpose, and so would his fellow-divinities in the sky. Say, then, what is thy purpose? Pleasure? Look and see whether the idea will bear a moment's thought!


A man's most real pleasure lies in doing the acts peculiar to man. And among these are good-will to his own kind, contempt of sensational activity, analysis of plausible impressions, and contemplation of universal Nature with all her works.



Marcus Aurelius best sayings

The man who fears death fears either nullity of sensation or change of sensation. But if sensation disappears, so will sensation of evil: and if we acquire a new form of sensation, we shall simply be living beings of a different type, and no cessation of life will intervene.


The mind of the universe is communistic. Accordingly, it has created the worse to serve the better, and united the better in one common bond. See how it has subordinated and coordinated all things, given each and all their deserts, and brought the best into concord with one another

Remember the trials through which thou hast passed, and the hardships thou hast availed to endure. Bethink thee that the tale of thy life is told, and thy ministration done, that full often thou hast looked on beauty, spurned pleasure and pain, cast an unregarding glance at what the world counts glory, and shown mercy to the unmerciful.


Be not carried away by appearances, but give every aid within thy power to all men, in so far as they merit it, even should their loss consist of the things indifferent. But take heed thou look not on such loss as an evil. It is a pernicious habit. Rather, treat them like that old man who, on leaving the house, used always to delight his foster-child by pretending to beg his top though he had no illusions on the point of its being a top!


The universe is either chaos of involution and dispersion or unity of order and providence. If the first the truth, why should I desire to linger in the midst of chance conglomeration and confusion? What matters aught to me, save how I shall, someday, return to earth? Why am I troubled in spirit? The time must come when, willy-nilly, I shall be scattered abroad. But if this is false, and the other true, why then I put my trust in my Ruler, with all reverence, and with all confidence.


Of things one part is hastening into being; another, hastening out of being: and, even of that which is but quasi-existent, part is already non-existent. Flux and change are forever renewing the universe; just as the unbroken course of time makes the infinity of ages ever young.



The hunter after fame considers the activity of others his own good; the hunter after pleasure assigns this place to his own sensations, but the wise to his own deeds.

Marcus Aurelius best sayings


In the chain of events, what follows is always a natural sequel to what preceded. Life is not an irrational arithmetical series with one term independent of the other and no principle save necessary sequence, but a reasoned progression; and precisely as all that is is ordered harmoniously, so all that comes into being is signalized, not by bare succession, but by a marvellous unity of purpose.

There is one universal harmony of all things, and precisely as the universe forms a single body compact of all individual bodies, so destiny is one great cause consisting of the sum of all causes. And a proof that the most unmetaphysical of people feel this point, is that they say: It brought it on him, in other words, such a thing was brought to such a man, was ordered or prescribed him.


To pursue the impossible is madness. And one impossibility is for the wicked to act otherwise than according to his wickedness.

Marcus Aurelius best sayings

Marcus Aurelius best sayings


Do thou then emulate Epicurus in sickness, if sickness be thy lot, and in every other trouble. For it is a principle common to every school of thought that no accident, be it what it may, should be allowed to distract the sufferer from his philosophy, or drive him to chatter nonsense with the uneducated and unscientific; but rather that he should remain intent solely on his action at the time, and the means whereby he is performing that action.


Thy duty is to set thy life in order, action by action, and to rest content if they all, so far as may be, accomplish their proper work. Nor does the man live who can prevent this consummation. But something external may block the path. Nothing can block the path to a just, temperate, and thoughtful character. Still, perchance, some other active faculty will suffer impediment. But by taking this very impediment in good part and passing on contentedly to what is allowed thee, another opportunity for action will straightway arise, an action that will harmonize with this ordered life which is our theme.

Marcus Aurelius best sayings

Wipe away all imagination. Put an end to the wire-pulling of passion. Circumscribe thyself within the present. Learn to understand whatever may chance to thee or another. Analyze every object into the material and formal. Think of thy last hour. If a man has sinned, leave the sin where it arose.

Apply thy thoughts to what thou nearest, and let thy understanding enter into both effect and cause.


Cast no glance on the minds of others, but look straight ahead to that goal whither Nature leads thee, the universal nature by the path of the contingent, thy individual nature by the path of duty. Now every man's duty is to do that which is prescribed by his constitution. But the non-rational is constituted for the good of the rational, precisely as in all else the worse is created to serve them better, and the rational is constituted for the good of the rational. That is to say, the first principle in man s constitution is community


.Thou mayest swell with anger to bursting, yet men will do as they did before!\

Marcus Aurelius best sayings


Call to mind, again and again, the rapidity wherewith all things existent and quasi-existent alike are whirled past us and withdrawn from our sight. For substance is an ever-flowing stream; action consistent only in mutability; causes subject to ten thousand variations; and nothing, or next to nothing, holds its place; while hard at hand stretches that abyss of past and future time wherein all things are swallowed up.

Does my neighbor sin against me? Let him look to that himself. His character and his actions are his own. But I now have that which universal Nature wills me now to have, and am faring as my own nature wills me now to fare.



Marcus Aurelius best sayings

Marcus Aurelius best sayings

Endure the pain, not as one who craves pity or admiration, but let thy sole wish be to act, in motion or at rest, as thy nature as a civic being demands.

Enter into every man s ruling faculty, and allow every man to enter into thine.


It is enough if thy opinion in the present be based on understanding, thy action in the present directed to the common good, and thy disposition in the present one of contentment with all that befalls thee from the cause without thee.

Ten thousand troubles have fallen to thy share, all because thou wouldst not rest content with reason doing the work it was formed to do. But let this be the end !


Marcus Aurelius best sayings


How many who entered the universe with me have already quitted it!


How vile are the people men desire to please ! what vile ends they have in view ! and what vile means they employ to secure them! How speedily shall time hide all things in darkness! How many it has hidden already!

Think it no shame to accept help. Thy work in life is to do thy duty, like a soldier at the storming of a fortress. How then, if being halt and maimed thou canst not, of thyself, scale the battlements while with
another's aid thou mayest?

Let not the future trouble thee: thou wilt encounter it, if need be, with the same sword of reason in thy hand that now serves thee against the present.

Dream not of the absent and its greater pleasures, but review the chiefest blessings of the present, and reflect what eagerness of search their absence would have evoked. At the same time, however, take heed ^st this complacency engender the habit of overestimation, so that, when the time comes, and they take their departure, thou shalt be left lamenting.


Retire into thyself. It is the nature of the ruling faculty to find complete content in justice of action and the tranquillity that follows in its wake.

Marcus Aurelius best sayings




Within ten days they who now look on thee as a species of wild beast or ape will hail thee as a god, if thou return to the philosophy and the worship of reason.


Act not as though the years of thy life were ten thousand. Destiny hangs over thy head. While life is thine become good, ere it be too late.


If the soul continues to exist, how comes it that the air from time eternal has space for them all? As well ask: How does the earth, for age after age, find room for her dead? The truth is, that just as here below our bodies endure for a time and are then transmuted and dissolved, and make room for the other dead, so the souls that have passed into the air subsist awhile, then change, and fuse, and turn to flame, and are caught up once more into the generative power of the universe so that the new-comers find an abiding-place


Stray not thus aimlessly, but in every impulse take account of justice, and in every impression preserve the activity of thy understanding.

Do little and be happy, quoth the sage. But is it not better to do the things that are needful, whatsoever and howsoever the laws of our being, as living creatures and by nature members of one community, prescribe? For this resolve brings with it not merely the happiness of well-doing, but that of little-doing. For the vast majority of our deeds and words are aught but necessary. Eliminate these, and how much toil and trouble will vanish with them!


Hence, on every occasion, let us ask ourselves, Is this one of the needless things? , remembering, at the same time, that it is not enough to eliminate the idle in action, but that we must purge our thoughts as thoroughly: for so only can we prevent the motiveless in deed from following in their train.

How easy it is to put from us and wipe away every alien, every disturbing thought, and straightway find ourselves in the midst of a great calm!

One man may have no cloak; another, not a book in the world; yet both be philosophers. And here is a third that goes half-naked, and still he says: Bread I have none, yet I hold fast to reason !.


We have three relationships: the first, to the bodily vessel that surrounds us; the second, to the divine cause whence proceeds all that is contingent; the third, to our fellow-man.

The everyday words of an earlier generation need a glossary now, and similarly the famous names of old Camillus, Caeso, Volesus, and Leonnatus ring strange to a modern ear. Scipio and Cato will soon follow, and in a little while, Hadrian and Antoninus will share the same fate. So quickly does human glory fade into the legendary; so quickly is it merged in absolute oblivion.

Look into the governing principles of men, even the wisest, and see what manner of things they pursue and avoid!

All that can happen is as natural and trite as the roses in spring or the fruits of autumn. In this category fall disease and death, evil-speaking and double-dealing, in a word, all the joys, and sorrows of the fool.


Nothing befalls any man save what is in his nature to endure.



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