Marcus Aurelius on Death and the Cessation of Being

Tags: , , , , ,

Marcus Aurelius on Death and the Cessation of Being

Marcus Aurelius on Death and the Cessation of Being

Like all great philosophers Marcus Aurelius the noblest of the Emperors of Rome also pondered death.  Here’s a collection of quotes detailing what he had to say on the subject. “You boarded, you set sail, you’ve made the passage.  Time to disembark. If it’s for another life, well, there’s nowhere without gods on that side either.  If to nothingness, then you no longer have to put up with pain and pleasure, or go on dancing attendance on this battered crate, your body—so much inferior to that which serves it. “One is mind and spirit, the other earth and garbage.” Marcus

Continue Reading

Why is Sophistry Bad?

Why is Sophistry Bad?

Thanks to Plato and his dialogues of Socrates the term ‘Sophist,’ is not held in high esteem. To accuse someone of ‘sophistry’ is to imply that they are acting in bad faith and not being entirely honest in their arguments. In contrast, a ‘sophisticated’ person is held to be in high esteem, like James Bond, suave, cool and well educated, a gentleman packed full of worldly experience. Whether it’s fashion, culture, sports and politics a sophisticated man not only knows it all but also knows how to behave in different places and circumstances. He can fit in anywhere and advance

Continue Reading

The Stoic Virtue – Temperance

The Stoic Virtue – Temperance

Temperance is one of the 4 Stoic Virtues and is best summed up as a moderated, balanced and disciplined life. For example whilst it’s undoubtedly good to work for a living, it’s not temperate to work all of the day, every day of the week. To do so means missing out on other things, such as time with friends, family, various entertainments and people who interest you. Likewise, not working at all is also not temperate. A man without an income is also liable to miss out on many things that make life worthwhile. Work has to be balanced with

Continue Reading

Thoughts on Virtue, Part 1 – Sacred Life

Thoughts on Virtue, Part 1 – Sacred Life

If whilst walking in the countryside you encounter a spider’s web that blocks your path, do you go around or do you break it? Does it matter if the spider is present or absent? What do you do? Do you stop and consider that both you and spider are equally precious, the universe has yielded you both in the same big bang. So what do you do, do you walk on by, finding a divergent route, or simply walk through it, breaking the tiny threads? Likewise, if you see an insect struggling for life, trapped on the surface of a

Continue Reading

Cathars or Western Buddhists?

Cathars or Western Buddhists?

In the wake of a thrilling conversation with my good friend and collaborator on this site (Epicurus of Albion) the other day I decided to dive deep into the mystical interpretations of the life of Jesus with the idea that it might make a good article. This is not that article, but along the way, I rediscovered the fascinating world of the now-extinct Cathars and the interesting parallels that their beliefs have with Buddhist teachings/philosophy. I don’t tend to write explicitly about religion on this site for the simple reason that the focus of theology tends to be the correct

Continue Reading

Meaning, not happiness…

Meaning, not happiness…

By all accounts Albert Camus was a very happy man, he lived the high life, enjoyed outrageous parties, having a taste for fun and shared the company of many girlfriends.  He was evidently a very sophisticated man, that enjoyed all of the pleasures that life would afford him. Albert Camus spent his life searching for meaning, and being unable to find any, never gave up. The act of seeking is a virtuous act, whilst action with virtue is a good thing because it leads to the development of a better character, a fact that was not wasted upon Aristotle (a

Continue Reading

The Immanent Lie

The Immanent Lie

  Another short essay by Transylvania’s very own Emil Cioran. Since the last essay I reviewed, I have read many others thereafter. Most, I feel, are so abstracted that you don’t know where the man is getting at and because of that he’s an author open to many interpretations. Many of Cioran’s ‘essays’ are shorter than my shortest article published on this website! Right from the start we are faced with this emotive sucker punch: “To live signifies to believe and to hope – to lie and to lie to oneself” Bear in mind he does not define what this

Continue Reading

Where is the meaning of life? Part 2

Where is the meaning of life? Part 2

  Building up from part 1, this article answers ‘where is the meaning of life’ question.   If this meaning of life still cannot be found out there in the universe of ours where is it? So where in good heavens is the meaning of life? The first answer: it is nowhere! it cannot be found on this planet or out in the wider universe. Yet people may say, ‘but it exists because I can think about the concept and communicate it to others ‘ and that right there! we must point out in that sentence, the words ‘think’ and

Continue Reading

The Legislative State

The Legislative State

In the developed world with western economies such as the USA, Europe and the UK there are a never-ending plethora of new laws being passed by government day in day out. Some like the now infamous European Union approved Article 11 and Article 13 both of which are clearly designed to benefit some people or entities (such as corporations) at the expense of all others. I found a real Gem the other day when reading the Ethical Fragments of Hierocles, (a 2nd century AD stoic philosopher) who said: “I therefore commend Zaleucus, the Locrian legislator who ordained, that he who

Continue Reading

The Internet and Free Speech

The Internet and Free Speech

We live in a polarized age, mainly thanks to the internet. It’s a double-edged sword and like all gifts of the gods, it can cut both ways. It can bring good things and also bad things, just like the original and first gift of the gods, namely fire. Fire can warm you, and be used to cook your food, burn your enemies and be nice to look at, but it can burn your crops too, destroy your household and consume all in its path, badly handled fire is a terrible thing, and so it is with the internet which is

Continue Reading