Meditations and Present Moment?
Why should you spend the four hours needed to read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and not watch this week’s football game? Well, if you follow the principles emphasized in this classic then you’ll value moments of self-evaluation and the present moment over all else; especially a present with Aurelius in it.
What started as a journal
Look to the examples of others…
Aurelius loved to copy the actions of others, or as was in his case, the actions of influential family members. Each person seemed to be the epitome of that particular characteristic. A perfect demonstration of “how to be a good man, how to respect others, how to live life fully…” It was through these people that he learned how to build the proper life. Starting with his grandfather Verus to his adoptive Father. Each person had an impact on certain aspects and Aurelius believed that each could be emulated for their good.
Live each day as if it were your last
But, even still emulation doesn’t capture Aurelius’s intent for the words he recorded every day. Instead, that was left up to the iconic phrase, “Live each day as if it were your last”. Nowadays, that phrase is about as cliche as the ‘grass is always greener’ (which he also references and refutes). Yet, when argued from his perspective demonstrates the value unlike any other. This is the backbone of this book and of his ideas, the present is what matters most.
Being in the Present Moment
One of the strongest reasons for remaining in the moment is learning how to respond to others. Aurelius believed that each person had their own purpose, and it was this good that directed their actions. For each example of adversity, we are challenged to maintain our purpose and to pursue our definition of good. Else, we are to fall down the path of needless fear or wasted effort. Being present throughout each difficult moment allows us to maintain on the path towards good and to stray away from bad or evil.
Making the ‘Now’ what matters
Our present moment lives to be a testament to our values, purpose, and intent. Aurelius wanted to stress the fact that this moment matters more than all else. Now matters 100 fold more than what tomorrow holds or what happened yesterday. The most substantial truth here was creating an impervious motivation to live your life ‘correctly’.
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