“Watch the stars in their courses and imagine yourself running alongside them. Think constantly on the changes of the elements into each other, for such thoughts wash away the dust of earthly life.”
It’s almost impossible to stare up at the stars and not feel something. As cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson has explained, the cosmos fills us with complicated emotions. On the one hand, we feel an infinitesimal smallness in comparison to the vast universe; on the other hand, an extreme connectedness to this larger whole.
Books written by Ryan Holiday include:
- Ego Is the Enemy
- The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
- The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
Marcus Aurelius was Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161 until Verus’ death in 169. Marcus Aurelius was the last of the so-called Five Good Emperors. He was a practitioner of Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as Meditations, is a significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy, and is considered by many commentators to be one of the greatest works of philosophy.
Aurelius wrote Meditations in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180. Meditations is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity, a state of psychological stability and composure, in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.