Aurelius, Marcus - Meditations - Destiny, the ordered universe and time
Type of Spiritual Experience
BackgroundThree related quotes
A description of the experience
Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
Someone who does not know that there is an ordered universe does not know where he is. Someone who does not know the natural purpose of the universe does not know who he is or what the universe is. Someone who fails in any one of these ways could not tell the purpose of his own existence either. So what do you think of the man who fears or counts the applause of an audience who have no idea where they are or who they are?
What a tiny part of the boundless abyss of time has been allotted to each of us – and this is soon vanished in eternity; what a tiny part of the universal substance and the universal soul; how tiny in the whole earth the mere clod on which you creep. Reflecting on all this, think nothing important other than active pursuit where your own nature leads and passive acceptance of what universal nature brings
Some things are hurrying to come into being, others are hurrying to be gone, and part of that which is born is already extinguished. Flows and changes are constantly renewing the world, just as the ceaseless passage of time makes eternity ever young. In this river, then, where there can be no foothold, what should anyone prize of all that races past him? It is as if he were to begin to fancy one of the little sparrows that fly past – but already it is gone from his sight. Indeed this is the nature of our very lives – as transient as the exhalation of vapour from the blood or a breath drawn from the air. No different from a single breath taken in and returned to the air, something which we do every moment, no different is the giving back of your whole power of breathing – acquired at your birth just yesterday or thereabouts – to that world from which you drew it