Aurelius, Marcus - Meditations - Good and evil
Type of Spiritual Experience
BackgroundTwo related quotes
A description of the experience
Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
Say to yourself first thing in the morning; today I shall meet people who are meddling, ungrateful, aggressive, treacherous, malicious, unsocial. All this has afflicted them through their ignorance of true good and evil. But I have seen that the nature of good is what is right, and the nature of evil is what is wrong; and I have reflected that the nature of the offender himself is akin to my own – not a kinship of blood or seed, but a sharing in the same mind, the same fragment of divinity. Therefore I cannot be harmed by any of them, as none will infect me with their wrong. Nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him. We were born for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth. So to work in opposition to one another is against nature; and anger or rejection is opposition
Rational beings collectively have the same relation as the various limbs of an organic unity – they were created for a single cooperative purpose. The notion of this will strike you more forcefully if you keep on saying to yourself; 'I am a limb of the composite body of rational beings'. If, though, by the change of one letter from l to r [melos to meros] , you call yourself simply a part rather than a limb , you do not yet love your fellow men from your heart; doing good does not yet delight you as an end in itself; you are still doing it as a mere duty, not yet as a kindness to yourself.