I am in conversation with a Roman emperor. My friend Shehernaz introduced me to this fellow when she mentioned something somewhere that I couldn’t understand. My search led me to this affable chap who seems to struggle with rights and wrongs, just like I do in my every day life.
During daytime Marcus does important things, just like we all do. Ruling the greatest empire on earth, leading battles where people die, and struggles with problems such as “when you have trouble getting out of bed” to dealing with incompetent or malicious people.
I too face moral dilemmas that are overwhelming in their complexity. In most cases, I don’t have any rule books to refer to. The human condition is such, that the lines of rights and wrongs have no definition at all. Most are not even lines, they are circles or curves or tangents.
How far are we responsible, can we make any difference to the world around us if we tried?
My friend Marcus says
” because you have abandoned your hopes of becoming a great thinker or scientist, don’t give up on attaining freedom, achieving humility, serving others….”
“That you are a part of nature, and no one can prevent you from speaking and acting in harmony with it, always.”
Speaking of his adoptive father Antoninus: ” That he respected tradition without needing to constantly congratulate himself for Safeguarding Our Traditional Values.”
So my friend’s friend Marcus lived 2000 years ago and reading his thoughts on matters that concern me every day, I feel how the river of time never changes. It speaks to us, if we care to listen.
“Existence flows past us like a river: the “what” is in constant flux, the “why” has a thousand variations.”
‘Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about other people – unless it affects the common good. It will keep you from doing anything useful. You’ll be too preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what they’re up to, and all other things that throw you off and keep you from focusing on your own mind.”
“Many lumps of incense on the same altar. One crumbles now, one later, but it makes no difference.”
“In short, know this: Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.”
“What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Marcus Aurelius “Meditations”
Myself about to take-off and myself preaching (inset) in my Bagh print tussar.