Ora Et Labora
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Aurelius, Book 7, Selections

7.3 …Keep in mind that a person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he has set his heart on.

7.16 Our governing faculty never disturbs its own peace; I mean, it never arouses fear in itself, or desire. But if someone else can arouse fear in it or cause it pain, let him do so, for on its own accounts it will not exercise its judgement in such a way as to deliver itself to such feelings. Let the body take care, if it can, that it should suffer no hurt; and let the soul, which can come to know pain and distress, speak out if it suffers any such thing; but that which judges these matters overall will suffer nothing at all, for it is not its way to make such a judgement. In itself the governing faculty wants for nothing, unless it creates the want for itself, and likewise, it is not subject to disturbance or hindrance, unless it disturbs or hinders itself.

7.28 Retire into yourself. The rational governing faculty is of such a nature that it finds it contentment in its own just conduct and the serenity that it gains from it.

7.29 Wipe out impression. No longer allow your passions to pull you around like a puppet. Confine your attention to the present time. Learn to recognize what is happening to yourself or another. Divide and analyse every given object into the material and the causal. Give thought to your last hour. Let the wrong committed by another remain where it first arose.

7.64 …And remember this too, that many disagreeable things are really just the same as pain although we do not perceive them to be, such as drowsiness, or the oppression that we feel in hot weather, or loss of appetite. So when something like this is beginning to distress you, say to yourself, ‘You are giving way to pain.’

7.65 See that you never feel towards misanthropes as such people feel towards the human race.

7.75 Universal nature set out to create a universe; and now it is either the case that all that comes to be does so as a necessary consequence of that, or else even the most important things, to which the governing faculty of the universe directs its own efforts, like outside the rule of reason. Remember this, and you will face many a trouble with a calmer mind.


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