Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is so good 😍✨ so many things resonate that I was tearing bc I love it so much and can’t express them in words except happy emotions
— Lisa JY Tan (@lisajytan) July 31, 2021
The most dangerous confirmation bias is when you read old texts and they talk about exactly what you think and how you live your life. Picked Meditations by Marcus Aurelius this saturday. I love that our dates are about reading and learning, discussing and debating. I’m grateful for that.
Picked Meditations from his bookshelves because he recommended it last year and I would like a non-technical, casual reading. Woke up really early too, so I took the book downstairs to the pool to read, plugging in to some fast pop music to get my body ready.
I couldn’t understand the way the book is structured initially. But it did not take long before I was happy crying from how much it resonates with me. Again, read
Everything Aurelius wrote about, the way he expresses this thoughts, the way he rationalise events — it is exactly how I live my life. I can understand why this is not a book for publication, because my very personal notes are also for my own consumption — an anchor for myself when things happen. Nonetheless, I’m grateful it’s published.
The biggest part that resonated with me was control. It could be due to my meditating for a few years now, or maybe it’s just me and my personality. I am very focused on what I can control, and for things I cannot, I let it go.
Everyone operates on a different map. My mapping of my territory should not dictate how others’ maps are. I can’t control others, only my feelings and emotions. I can explain, and when I have done all I can, it is what it is.
There’s also the note on vengeance. I needed more than philosophy to rationalise that, I needed economics. Dan Airely’s The Upside of Irrationality helped me on that. And with the added confirmation bias from Aurelius, I am more logos in my actions. And to realise when it is time to go. Don’t let sunk cost affect our logos.
Good progress. I’m grateful.
Being present because the past don’t matter and the future doesn’t exist. I really made me think about the 4th dimension of time. In our 3-dimensional world, we’re lucky to be simply present.
We all only exist in the present. With time, we are forgotten. We don’t matter, and I find comfort in that. Yet in the micro space of existence, we matter and I find meaning in that.
Death and presence. I love it.
Pain on the body is sometimes unavoidable. Pain on the mind is avoidable.
He talked a lot about the mind, which makes sense because the mind is literally the masternode in our system today. The mind makes decision. The mind decides to do things, decides to accept, decides to feel it. We can stop anytime because we are in control. And the logos of this thought lies in the impermanence of our being across time horizons.
I love it. I’m absolutely enamoured by his elegant syllogism in all the 12 books. I’d say Book 11 is my least favourite.
Looking forward to reading it again. Maybe on the plane!
Read for free here at MIT Classics.