My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a very dense book, and yet his reflections consist of a mere 122 pages and should be read with enough time to reflect on what is mentioned therein. An additional 92 pages of notes are included, and the notes often hinder the reading more than helping with any new insight.
Most of the notes simply provide cross referencing between the chapters (verses) found in the 12 books (chapters) of Meditations. Marcus Aurelius, however, often repeats himself, especially when discussing the “directing mind,” fame and death; nevertheless, his insights into life are important in any attempt to better understand how to evolve mentally. Below you will find some of the quotes I found to be most intriguing, and if you enjoy these, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the rest of the book.
“Failure to read what is happening in another’s soul is not easily seen as a cause of unhappiness: but those who fail to attend to the motions of their own soul are necessarily unhappy” (Book 2, pg. 12).
“You may leave this life at any moment: have this possibility in your mind in all that you do or say or think” (Book 2, pg. 12).
“To put it shortly: all things of the body stream away like a river, all things of the mind are dreams and delusion; life is warfare, and a visit in a strange land; the only lasting fame is oblivion” (Book 2, pg. 15).
“Your duty is to stand straight–not held straight” (Book 3, pg. 19).
“One who is all in a flutter over his subsequent fame fails to imagine that all those who remember him will very soon be dead–and he too” (Book 4, pg. 26).
“Words in common use long ago are obsolete now” (Book 4, pg. 30).
“The best revenge is not to be like your enemy” (Book 6, pg. 46).
“The directing mind is that which wakes itself, adapts itself, makes itself of whatever nature it wishes, and makes all that happens to it appear in the way it wants” (Book 6, pg. 47).
“What, then, is to be valued? Applause? No. Not therefore the applause of tongues either: the praise of the masses is the mere rattle of tongues. So you have jettisoned trivial glory too. What remains to be valued? To my mind, it is to act or refrain from action according to our own proper constitution, something to which skills and crafts show the way” (Book 6, pg. 49).
“Disgraceful if, in this life where your body does not fail, your soul should fail you first” (Book 6, pg. 51).
“How many who once rose to fame are now consigned to oblivion: and how many who sang their fame are long disappeared” (Book 7, pg. 59).
“Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence” (Book 7, pg. 69).
“When you are reluctant to get up from your sleep, remind yourself that it is your constitution and man’s nature to perform social acts, whereas sleep is something you share with dumb animals” (Book 8, pg. 73).
“Men are born for the sake of each other. So either teach or tolerate” (Book 8, pg. 82).
“What more do you want, man, from a kind act? Is it not enough that you have done something consonant with your own nature–do you now put a price on it?” (Book 9, pg. 93)
“The time you have left is short. Live it as if you were on a mountain. Here or there makes no difference, if wherever you live you take the world as your city. Let men see, let them observe a true man living accordance with nature” (Book 10, pg. 99).
“No star wears a veil” (Book 11, pg. 113).
“If it is not right, don’t do it: if it is not true, don’t say it” (Book 12, pg. 118).
“Completion is determined by that being who caused first your composition and now your dissolution. You have no part in either causation. Go then in peace: the god who lets you go is at peace with you” (Book 12, pg. 122).
CG FEWSTON is an American novelist who is a member of AWP, a member of Americans for the Arts, and a professional member and advocate of the PEN American Center, advocating for the freedom of expression around the world.
CG FEWSTON has travelled across continents and visited such places as Mexico, the island of Guam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Beitou in Taiwan, Bali in Indonesia, and Guilin and Shenzhen and Beijing in China. He also enjoys studying and learning French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
CG FEWSTON earned an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors) from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the chance to work with wonderful and talented novelists like Richard Adams Carey (author of In the Evil Day, October 2015; and, The Philosopher Fish, 2006) and Jessica Anthony (author of Chopsticks, 2012; and, The Convalescent, 2010) as well as New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant (author of The Night Swimmer, 2012; and, The Wettest County in the World, 2009, made famous in the movie Lawless, 2012) and Wiley Cash (author of A Land More Kind Than Home, 2013; and, This Dark Road to Mercy, 2014).
Among many others, CG FEWSTON’S stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Sediments Literary–Arts Journal, Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, GNU Journal (“Hills Like Giant Elephants”), Tendril Literary Magazine, Prachya Review (“The One Who Had It All”), Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate Literary Magazine (“Darwin Mother”), Gravel Literary Journal, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer’s Drawer, Moonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, “The Youth Newspaper.”
You can read more about CG FEWSTON and his writing at
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN won GOLD for Literary Classics’ 2015 best book in the category under ”Special Interest” for “Gender Specific – Female Audience”…
Finalist in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction…
Finalist in the 2015 Mystery & Mayhem Novel Writing Contest…
Praise for A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN:
“Fewston delivers an atmospheric and evocative thriller in which an American government secret agent must navigate fluid allegiances and murky principles in 1970s Tehran… A cerebral, fast-paced thriller.”
“A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a thrilling adventure which takes place in pre-revolutionary Tehran. Author CG FEWSTON provides a unique glimpse into this important historical city and its rich culture during a pivotal time in its storied past. This book is so much more than a love story. Skillfully paired with a suspenseful tale of espionage, A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a riveting study of humanity. Replete with turns & twists and a powerful finish, FEWSTON has intimately woven a tale which creates vivid pictures of the people and places in this extraordinary novel.”
CG FEWSTON‘s new novel,
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN, was published on April 2, 2015 —
10 years to the day of the publication
of his first novella, A FATHER’S SON (April 2, 2005)
“Thus one skilled at giving rise to the extraordinary
is as boundless as Heaven and Earth,
as inexhaustible as the Yellow River and the ocean.
Ending and beginning again,
like the sun and moon. Dying and then being born,
like the four seasons.”
found in Sources of Chinese Tradition, p 5