Marcus Aurelius – Epictetus Most Notable Student

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No MLA style required. No sources required. Opinion based. Extremely short responses is all that is required.

Epictetus emphasized through Stoic philosophy that three disciplines constitute a comprehensive approach to life: Will, Action, and Perception. In various combinations and reformulations they underlie a large number of entries in Marcus Aurelius’ writing, “Meditations.” As you read Meditations, you will see these principles starkly and explicitly laid out as follows:

Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option:

  1. To accept this event with humility (will);
  2. To treat this person as he should be treated (action);
  3. To approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in (perception).

Aurelius wrote this concerning obstructions or distractions:

When you wake up in the morning tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.

This almost sounds like what I would say just before getting ready to go to work for the day.

  1. Do you think people would benefit from this type of outlook or approach to work and people in general? Why or why not?
  2. Many of us are already familiar with Marcus Aurelius from a contemporary movie. Can you tell me who worked directly for Marcus Aurelius as portrayed in this modern day film?
  3. Give your thoughts on the above passage from Marcus Aurelius.

Post your thoughts and comments on all the above questions.

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