Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hopelessness - The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius - Unpublished Selections Explained, Med. XII.07

Meditation XII.07 – Hopelessness - Translated by George Long and rewritten by Russell McNeil

Consider in what condition both your body and your soul should be when you are overtaken by death; and consider the shortness of life, the boundless abyss of time past and future, the feebleness of all matter.1


(1) Nothing could engender a more profound sense of humility than this profoundly moving meditation. Within the boundlessness of time and space we are, in truth, nothing. The implications of this reflection ought to be apparent to anyone who dares to consider its chilling truth. The fragility of life, the feebleness of existence, the senselessness of pride, will inspire hopelessness in those whose values are rooted in the service of the self. This is Marcus’s intention.

Russell McNeil, PhD, is the author of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius: Selections Annotated and Explained by Skylight Paths Publishing. The unpublished selections presented in this Blog are provided as supplemental material to the published selections which are annotated and explained in the book. The published selections are referenced in this Blog by page number and section.

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