Marcus Aurelius

Roman Emperor & Stoic Philosopher Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.)
Metaphysics / Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius & Stoicism
All is One (Nature, Universe, God) and Interconnected
Humans are Citizens of the Universe

All things are woven together and the common bond is sacred, and scarcely one thing is foreign to another, for they have been arranged together in their places and together make the same ordered Universe. For there is one Universe out of all, one God through all, one substance and one law, one common Reason of all intelligent creatures and one Truth.
Frequently consider the connection of all things in the universe.
We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a citizen of the Universe.
(Marcus Aurelius, Meditations)

Introduction - Marcus Aurelius 'Meditations' Quotes - Summary Stoicism Philosophy - Marcus Aurelius / Stoic Links - Top of Page

Marcus Aurelius - Stoic Philosophy - All things are woven together and the common bond is sacred. ..For there is one Universe out of all, one God through all, one substance and one law, one common Reason of all intelligent creatures and one Truth. Introduction to Marcus Aurelius
Stoic Philosophy

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor was also a true 'philosopher king'. His Meditations express a profound understanding that All is One, Interconnected and governed by absolute laws, as he writes;

For there is one Universe out of all, one God through all, one substance and one law, one common Reason of all intelligent creatures and one Truth.

From these absolute laws humans derive their reason and morality of which we are to live by. The practical ethics of the Stoics emphasises self control, contentment and living simply in harmony with nature.

Everything harmonises with me which is harmonious to thee, O Universe .. Frequently consider the connection of all things in the universe. (Aurelius, Meditations)

While Marcus Aurelius was a profound and beautiful philosopher, he did not understand how all things were interconnected in the Universe. The Stoic's mystical realisation that All is One and Interconnected (which is the foundation of all philosophy and metaphysics) can now be explained from a logical / scientific foundation of Space and its properties as a Wave Medium. The error has been the conception of matter as discrete particles - which obviously does not explain matter's activity / flux nor its interconnection to all other matter in the universe. (See links on the side of this page).

Below you will find some very profound quotes from Marcus Aurelius - we hope you enjoy the beauty and wisdom of his Meditations.

Geoff Haselhurst, Karene Howie

Introduction - Marcus Aurelius 'Meditations' Quotes - Summary Stoicism Philosophy - Marcus Aurelius / Stoic Links - Top of Page

Marcus Aurelius - Stoic Philosophy - All things are woven together and the common bond is sacred. ..For there is one Universe out of all, one God through all, one substance and one law, one common Reason of all intelligent creatures and one Truth. Marcus Aurelius, 'Meditations' Quotations

The Universe is change, life is an opinion. (Marcus Aurelius)

Everything harmonises with me which is harmonious to thee, O Universe. Nothing for me is too early or too late, which is in due time for thee. Everything is fruit to me which thy seasons bring, O Nature: from thee are all things, in thee are all things, to thee all things return.’ (Marcus Aurelius) (Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy)

‘Frequently consider the connection of all things in the universe.’ (Marcus Aurelius) (Russell)

‘We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a citizen of the Universe.’’ (Marcus Aurelius) (Russell)

Constantly think of the Universe as one living creature, embracing one being and one soul; how all is absorbed into the one consciousness of this living creature; how it compasses all things with a single purpose, and how all things work together to cause all that comes to pass, and their wonderful web and texture. (Marcus Aurelius)

Men look for retreats for themselves, the country, the seashore, the hills; and you yourself, too, are peculiarly accustomed to feel the same want. Yet all this is very unlike a philosopher, when you may at any hour you please retreat into yourself. For nowhere does a man retreat into more quiet or more privacy than into his own mind, especially one who has within such things that he has only to look into, and become at once in perfect ease; and by ease I mean nothing else but good behaviour. Continually therefore grant yourself this retreat and repair yourself. But let them be brief and fundamental truths, which will suffice at once by their presence to wash away all sorrow, and to send you back without repugnance to the life to which you return. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p18)

Death is like birth, a mystery of Nature; a coming together out of identical elements and a dissolution into the same. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p19)

24. Democritus has said: ‘Do few things, if you would enjoy tranquility.’ (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p22)

45. What follows is always organically related to what went before; for it is not like a simple enumeration of units separately determined by necessity, but a rational combination; and as Being is arranged in a mutual co-ordination, so the phenomena of Becoming display no bare succession but a wonderful organic interrelation. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p24)

Reason and the method of reasoning are abilities, sufficient to themselves and their own operations. Thus they start from their appropriate principle and proceed to their proposed end; wherefore reasonable acts are called right acts, to indicate the rightness of their path. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p31)

As are your repeated imaginations so will your mind be, for the soul is dyed by its imaginations. Dye it then in a succession of imaginations like these: for instance, where it is possible to live, there also it is possible to live well: but it is possible to live in a palace, ergo it is also possible to live well in a palace. Or once more: a creature is made for that in whose interest it was created: and that for which it was made, to this it tends: and to what it tends, in this is its end: and where its end is, there is the advantage and the good alike of each creature: therefore fellowship is the good of a reasonable creature. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p31)

Is it not strange that ignorance and complaisance are stronger than wisdom. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p31)

23. Repeatedly dwell on the swiftness of the passage and departure of things that are and of things that come to be. For substance is like a river in perpetual flux, its activities are in continuous changes, and its causes in myriad varieties, and there is scarce anything which stands still, even what is near at hand; dwell, too, on the infinite gulf of the past and the future, in which all things vanish away. Then how is he not a fool who in all this is puffed up or distracted or takes it hardly, as if he were in some lasting scene, which has troubled him for so long?

24. Call to mind the whole of Substance of which you have a very small portion, and the whole of time whereof a small hair’s breadth has been determined for you, and of the chain of causation whereof you are how small a link.

6. The noblest kind of retribution is not to become like your enemy. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p35)

Reflect upon the multitude of bodily and mental events taking place in the same brief time, simultaneously in every one of us and so you will not be surprised that many more events, or rather all things that come to pass, exist simultaneously in the one and entire unity, which we call the Universe. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p38)

30. Take heed not to be transformed into a Caesar, not to be dipped in the purple dye; for it does happen. Keep yourself therefore simple, good, pure, grave, unaffected, the friend of justice, religious, kind, affectionate, strong for your proper work. Wrestle to continue to be the man Philosophy wished to make you. Reverence the gods, save men. Life is brief; there is one harvest of earthly existence, a holy disposition and neighbourly acts. In all things like a pupil of Antoninus; his energy on behalf of what was done in accord with reason, his equability everywhere, his serene expression, his sweetness, his disdain of glory, his ambition to grasp affairs. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p39)

38. Meditate often upon the bond of all in the Universe and their mutual relationship. For all things are in a way woven together and all are because of this dear to one another; for these follow in order one upon another because of the stress movement and common spirit and the unification of matter. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p40)

One thing here is of great price, to live out life with truth and righteousness ... (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, P42)

48. Whenever you desire to cheer yourself, think upon the merits of those who are still alive with you; the energy of one, the instance, the modesty of another, the generosity of a third, of another some other gift. For nothing is so cheering as the images of the virtues shining in the character of contemporaries, and meeting so far as possible in a group. Therefore you should keep them read to your hand. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, P42)

50. Endeavour to persuade them, but act even if they themselves are unwilling, when the rule of justice so directs. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, p42)

Introduction - Marcus Aurelius 'Meditations' Quotes - Summary Stoicism Philosophy - Marcus Aurelius / Stoic Links - Top of Page

Summary of Stoicism Philosophy
Introduction to Meditations, by D.A. Rees. 1960

His tutor Fronto, was a leader of the literary movement of the day, and affected a highly precious style studded with archaisms; Marcus felt considerable affection for him personally, but it was not long before he began to react against an education which stressed form rather than content, and whose sole ideal was that of literary excellence. His reaction was towards philosophy, but towards philosophy seen not as a matter of abstract theory but as a way of life, in the Cynic and Stoic tradition of the times, stressing moral self-sufficiency and an ascetic disregard for external goods. (p. ii. Rees. 1960)

What of the philosophical religion of Stoicism, which Marcus himself professed, and of which his Meditations form the most widely known document for the modern world, the Manual of Epictetus occupying the second place? The Stoic school has as its founder Zeno of Citium in Cyprus, who came to Athens as a young man about 315-313 B.C., studied philosophy there under various teachers and in particular under Crates the Cynic and soon after 300 B.C. set up his own school in the Painted Porch or Arcade (Stoa Poikile), from which his followers took their name. But to understand Stoicism we must go back a little earlier, and see what the philosophical tradition was into which Zeno thus entered.
The earliest phase of Greek philosophy was that of the Ionian cosmologists, who, from the time of Thales (c.585 B.C.) onwards, set out to interpret the universe in terms of some primary form of matter, water or air (probably mist) or ‘the infinite’ (indefinite matter). (p.v. Rees. 1960)

Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 500B.C) , celebrated in antiquity as ‘the dark’ by reason of his oracular and cryptic mode of utterance. This indeed exposed him only too easily to misrepresentation, sympathetic and unsympathetic alike, and the Stoics saw in him the progenitor of their doctrines of cosmic reason, and of a universe in which a special significance attached to the element of fire, and which would eventually return to fire and be absorbed in it, through an endless series of periodical conflagrations. This last doctrine, it is now agreed, was not of Heraclitus himself.

The early cosmological phase of Greek philosophy drew gradually to a close (apart from later manifestations, such as the atomism of Democritus in the second half of the fifth century.) Bewildered by the variety of conflicting speculations with which they were confronted, and influenced in some cases by a radical scepticism of the possibility of knowing anything at all of the ultimate nature of the universe, men turned their attention to the human rather than to the cosmic scene, to the questions of ethics and politics, to the most pressing question of all: ‘What is the good life, and how should men know it and live it?’ For there were men like Protagoras, sophists as they were called, who claimed to teach precisely this, and there was Socrates too (469-399) who questioned such pretensions among the sophists, but whose interest like theirs was centered on problems of human conduct:‘What is virtue, and how can it be acquired?’ ‘What is justice?’ ‘What is piety?’ and so on.

But Socrates was not a constructive philosopher- which helps to explain why his followers held such a bewildering variety of views - and what struck men above all in him was his fearless and rugged independence of character, conjoined with the assertion of the place of man’s reason in the proper government of his life. For he seems to have held, in accord with what we may call the sophist tradition, that knowledge of the right course of action would suffice to ensure that a man carried it out, that virtue was knowledge and vice ignorance. For him , as the Stoics later, the ideal of the wise man was all-sufficient.

Among Socrates’ followers, Plato (427-347), the greatest of all, went further than his master and constructed a daring system of metaphysics, a system one of whose mainsprings lay in man’s moral conceptions. The Platonic Idea or Forms, it was held, were the most fully real and fully knowable entities, and at the apex of their hierarchy, at any rate in the Republic, stood the Idea of the Good, in some sense the principle of thought and of action alike. Plato’s ethical system, in this as in much else typically Greek, was grounded in his cosmology, and ideal conduct was not ultimately separable from the knowledge of the philosopher; his knowledge was, indeed, itself the highest good. (p. vi. Rees. 1960)

Like both Plato and Aristotle, Zeno based his teaching about conduct on his theory of the nature of the universe in general, and the nature of man in particular. Again, though interpreting wisdom differently, Zeno, like Plato and Aristotle, and (more closely, perhaps) like Socrates before them, found his complete ideal realised in his picture of the wise man. (p. viii. Rees. 1960)

In the period stretching from Zeno to Marcus, Stoicism was the most important of the Greek philosophical schools. As against the Epicureans, it asserted the claims of virtue as higher than pleasure, and, rejecting the domination of atoms and chance, proclaimed a universe ordered by divine providence; as against the Sceptics it upheld a dogmatic cosmology, and maintained the existence of truths which could be grasped with certainty. (p. viii. Rees. 1960)

Hence both the rationalistic and the universalistic aspects of Stoic ethics, which held that all shared a like in a common nature and so were akin to one another, and hence also its predestinarian stress on recognition of the divine necessity in all things, and glad acceptance of the wise providence present throughout. In such a world the citadel of a man’s soul was all-important, for there and there only had he control ... (p. ix. Rees. 1960)

Stoicism was forced to disregard in its doctrine of freedom those all-pervading social pressures which radically condition our beliefs and attitudes, of which Aristotle had shown more awareness, and upon which thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have laid so much stress. (p. xi. Rees. 1960)

Introduction - Marcus Aurelius 'Meditations' Quotes - Summary Stoicism Philosophy - Marcus Aurelius / Stoic Links - Top of Page

Marcus Aurelius - Stoic Philosophy Links / Marcus Aurelius, Stoic Philosophy, Stoicism

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Cicero - WSM explains Famous Roman Philosopher Cicero, On the Nature of the Gods 'As a philosopher, I have a right to ask for a rational explanation of religious faith.'

Seneca - Famous Roman Stoic Philosopher Seneca on Truth, Wisdom and Virtue. 'Language of Truth should be Simple and Plain'

Philosophy: Greek Philosophers - All is One (Space) and Active-Flux (Wave Motion). Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Atomists (Democritus, Lucretius), Socrates, Plato, Epicurus.

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Tesla, Nikola - Tesla was influenced by Vedic Philosophy that all is one and dynamic. The Wave Structure of Matter confirms Nikola Tesla's Theories on Resonance and Transfer of Energy by Waves in Space. 'One day man will connect his apparatus to the very wheel work of the universe ... and the very forces that motivate the planets in their orbits and cause them to rotate will rotate his own machinery.'

On Love of Wisdom from Truth & Reality

In Eastern philosophy, the main terms used in Hinduism and Buddhism have dynamic connotations. The word Brahman is derived from the Sanskrit root 'brih' (to grow) and thus suggests a reality which is dynamic and alive. (Capra, 1972)
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Greek philosophy begins with the preposterous fancy, that water is the origin of all things. Is it necessary to stop there & become serious? Yes ... because it contains the idea we find in all philosophy: everything is one! (Nietzsche, 1890)
Ancient Greek Philosophy: Stoicism, Quotes, Pictures
All things come out of the one and the one out of all things. ... I see nothing but Becoming. Be not deceived! The very river in which you bathe a second time is no longer the same one you entered before. (Heraclitus, 500 B.C.)
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Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and care so little about wisdom and truth, which you never regard or heed at all? (Socrates, The Apology, 469 - 399 B.C.)
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The philosopher is in love with truth, that is, not with the changing world of sensation, which is the object of opinion, but with the unchanging reality which is the object of knowledge. (Plato, 429-347 B.C.)
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The life of theoretical philosophy is the best & happiest one can lead. Few are capable of it (and only then intermittently). For the rest, the second-best way of life, is moral virtue & practical wisdom. (Aristotle, 384-322 B.C.)
Aristotle: Politics & Philosophy Quotes, Biography, Pictures
Frequently consider the connection of all things in the universe. ... We should not say 'I am an Athenian' or 'I am a Roman' but 'I am a citizen of the Universe. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 121-180 A.D.)
Marcus Aurelius: 'Meditations' Quotes, Biography, Pictures
We are a part of nature as a whole, whose order we follow. ... He who lives under the guidance of reason endeavours to repay his fellows hatred, rage & contempt with love and nobleness. (Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics, 1632-1677)
Benedict de Spinoza: 'Ethics' Philosophy Quotes
Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. I do not conceive of any reality at all as without genuine unity. (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1646 - 1716)
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My purpose therefore is, to try if I can discover what those principles are, which have introduced all that doubtfulness and uncertainty, those absurdities and contradictions into the several sects of philosophy. (George Berkeley, 1710)
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And though the philosopher may live remote from business, the genius of philosophy, if carefully cultivated by several, must gradually diffuse itself throughout the whole society, and bestow a similar correctness on every art and calling. (David Hume, 1737)
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It is the duty of philosophy to destroy the illusions which had their origin in misconceptions, whatever darling hopes and valued expectations may be ruined by its explanations. ... Pure reason is a perfect unity. (Immanuel Kant, 1781)
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There is nothing more necessary than truth, everything else has only secondary value. One does not want to be deceived, under the supposition that it is injurious, dangerous, or fatal to be deceived. (Nietzsche, 1890)
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Since philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it? (Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1592)
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If we take away the subject (Humans), or our senses in general, then not only the nature and relations of objects in space and time, but even space and time themselves disappear ... they cannot exist in themselves, but only in us. (Immanuel Kant, 1781)
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.. the puzzles that constitute normal science exist only because no paradigm that provides a basis for scientific research ever completely resolves all its problems. (Thomas Kuhn, 1962)
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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

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