Commonplace Wren

A Collection of Thoughts

Hard Truths

Meditations Chapter 2-11

You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 11/19/2023

Meditations Chapter 4-3

Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human being, like a citizen, like a mortal. And among the things you turn to, these two:

i. That things have no hold on the soul. They stand there unmoving, outside it. Disturbance comes only from within — from our own perceptions.

ii. That everything you see will soon alter and cease to exist. Think of how many changes you’ve already seen.

"The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception."

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 12/15/2023

Meditations Chapter 4-19

People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passed from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 1/2/2024

Meditations Chapter 4-33

Everything fades so quickly, turns into legend, and soon oblivion covers it.

Then what should we work for?

Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech. A resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 1/16/2024

Meditations Chapter 5-17

It is crazy to want what is impossible. And impossible for the wicked not to do so.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 2/8/2024

Meditations Chapter 5-33

Honor and revere the gods, treat human beings as they deserve, be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. Remember, nothing belongs to you but your flesh and blood—and nothing else is under your control.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 2/29/2024

Meditations Chapter 6-16

Then what is to be prized?

An audience clapping? No. No more than the clacking of their tongues. Which is all that public praise amounts to — a clacking of tongues.

So we throw out people’s recognition. What’s left for us to prize?

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 3/7/2024

Meditations Chapter 6-16

I think it's this: to do (and not do) what we were designed for. That’s the goal of all trades, all arts, and what each of them aims at: that the thing they create should do what it was designed to do.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 3/12/2024

Meditations Chapter 6-32

Nothing has meaning to my mind except its own actions. Which are within its own control. And it’s only the immediate ones that matter. Its past and future actions too are meaningless.

~ Marcus Aurelius

Date Recorded: 4/16/2024