Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Commentary on Meditations: B7:56-57

Imagine you were now dead, or had not lived before this moment. Now view the rest of your life as a bonus, and live it as nature directs.

Love only what falls your way and is fated for you. What could suit you more than that?

Death should be before us always.  And why?  Marcus tells us precisely why.  You must realize you are already dead; now wake up and realize that right now and any day in the future is a gift.  If you think on death constantly, you ought to appreciate the life you do have.  Memento mori!  Remember that you must die, now live!  To remind them of the fact that every day is a gift, people used to and still do today, carry a reminder with them always, to help them remember this fact.  Some would hang a picture on the kitchen wall or room.  Others would carry a token.  Regardless how you choose to remember, the practice of remembering your death is a good one.

In the 57th chapter of Book 7, Marcus comes as close as possible to what Nietzsche said: amor fati.  We must love what falls to us and what is fated to us.  All these things are suited (customized) for our benefit.

(see also Citadel p. 46, 221)

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