2.1. Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body,
the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these
things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good
and evil. But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful,
and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong,
that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that
it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the
divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can
fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate
him, For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like
eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against
one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one
another to be vexed and to turn away.
6.27. How cruel it is not to allow men to strive after the things which
appear to them to be suitable to their nature and profitable! And yet in
a manner thou dost not allow them to do this, when thou art vexed because
they do wrong. For they are certainly moved towards things because they
suppose them to be suitable to their nature and profitable to them.- But
it is not so.- Teach them then, and show them without being
7.26. When a man has done thee any wrong, immediately consider with what
opinion about good or evil he has done wrong. For when thou hast seen this,
thou wilt pity him, and wilt neither wonder nor be angry. For either thou
thyself thinkest the same thing to be good that he does or another thing
of the same kind. It is thy duty then to pardon him. But if thou dost not
think such things to be good or evil, thou wilt more readily be well disposed
to him who is in error.
8.14. Whatever man thou meetest with, immediately say to thyself: What
opinions has this man about good and bad? For if with respect to pleasure
and pain and the causes of each, and with respect to fame and ignominy,
death and life, he has such and such opinions, it will seem nothing wonderful
or strange to me, if he does such and such things; and I shall bear in
mind that he is compelled to do so.
10.37. Accustom thyself as much as possible on the occasion of anything
being done by any person to inquire with thyself, For what object is this
man doing this? But begin with thyself, and examine thyself
7.1. What is badness? It is that which thou hast often seen. And on the occasion
of everything which happens keep this in mind, that it is that which thou
hast often seen. Everywhere up and down thou wilt find the same things,
with which the old histories are filled, those of the middle ages and those
of our own day; with which cities and houses are filled now. There is nothing
new: all things are both familiar and short-lived.
7.22. It is peculiar to man to love even those who do wrong. And this
happens, if when they do wrong it occurs to thee that they are kinsmen,
and that they do wrong through ignorance and unintentionally, and that
soon both of you will die; and above all, that the wrong-doer has done
thee no harm, for he has not made thy ruling faculty worse than it was
4.18. How much trouble he avoids who does not look to see what his neighbour
says or does or thinks, but only to what he does himself, that it
may be just and pure; or as Agathon says, look not round at the depraved
morals of others, but run straight along the line without deviating
9.27. When another blames thee or hates thee, or when men say about thee
anything injurious, approach their poor souls, penetrate within, and see
what kind of men they are. Thou wilt discover that there is no reason to
take any trouble that these men may have this or that opinion about thee.
friends. And the gods too aid them in all ways, by dreams, by signs, towards
the attainment of those things on which they set a value.
9.34. What are these men's leading principles, and about what kind of
things are they busy, and for what kind of reasons do they love and honour?
Imagine that thou seest their poor souls laid bare. When they think that
they do harm by their blame or good by their praise, what an
5.32. Why do unskilled and ignorant souls disturb him who has skill and
knowledge? What soul then has skill and knowledge? That which knows
beginning and end, and knows the reason which pervades all substance
and through all time by fixed periods (revolutions) administers the
10.30. When thou art offended at any man's fault, forthwith turn to thyself
and reflect in what like manner thou dost err thyself; for example, in
thinking that money is a good thing, or pleasure, or a bit of reputation,
and the like. For by attending to this thou wilt quickly forget thy anger,
if this consideration also is added, that the man is compelled: for what
else could he do? or, if thou art able, take away from him the
11.13. Suppose any man shall despise me. Let him look to that himself.
But I will look to this, that I be not discovered doing or saying anything
deserving of contempt. Shall any man hate me? Let him look to it. But I
will be mild and benevolent towards every man, and ready to show even him
his mistake, not reproachfully, nor yet as making a display of my endurance,
but nobly and honestly, like the great Phocion, unless indeed he only assumed
it. For the interior parts ought to be such, and a man ought to be seen
by the gods neither dissatisfied with anything nor complaining. For what
evil is it to thee, if thou art now doing what is agreeable to thy own
nature, and art satisfied with that which at this moment is suitable to
the nature of the universe, since thou art a human being placed at thy
post in order that what is for the common advantage may be done in some
4.4. If our intellectual part is common, the reason also, in respect of
which we are rational beings, is common: if this is so, common also
is the reason which commands us what to do, and what not to do; if
this is so, there is a common law also; if this is so, we are fellow-citizens;
if this is so, we are members of some political community; if this
is so, the world is in a manner a state. For of what other common
political community will any one say that the whole human race are
members? And from thence, from this common political community comes
also our very intellectual faculty and reasoning faculty and our capacity
for law; or whence do they come? For as my earthly part is a portion
given to me from certain earth, and that which is watery from another
element, and that which is hot and fiery from some peculiar source
(for nothing comes out of that which is nothing, as nothing also returns
to non-existence), so also the intellectual part comes from some source.
9.23. As thou thyself art a component part of a social system, so let
every act of thine be a component part of social life. Whatever act of
thine then has no reference either immediately or remotely to a social
end, this tears asunder thy life, and does not allow it to be one, and
it is of the nature of a mutiny, just as when in a popular assembly a man
acting by himself stands apart from the general agreement.
12.26. When thou art troubled about anything, thou hast forgotten this,
that all things happen according to the universal nature; and forgotten
this, that a man's wrongful act is nothing to thee; and further thou hast
forgotten this, that everything which happens, always happened so and will
happen so, and now happens so everywhere; forgotten this too, how close
is the kinship between a man and the whole human race, for it is a community,
not of a little blood or seed, but of intelligence. And thou hast forgotten
this too, that every man's intelligence is a god, and is an efflux of the
deity; and forgotten this, that nothing is a man's own, but that his child
and his body and his very soul came from the deity; forgotten this, that
everything is opinion; and lastly thou hast forgotten that every man lives
the present time only, and loses only this.
9.11. If thou art able, correct by teaching those who do wrong; but if
thou canst not, remember that indulgence is given to thee for this purpose.
And the gods, too, are indulgent to such persons; and for some purposes
they even help them to get health, wealth, reputation; so kind they are.
And it is in thy power also; or say, who hinders thee?
12.16. When a man has presented the appearance of having done wrong, say,
How then do I know if this is a wrongful act? And even if he has done wrong,
how do I know that he has not condemned himself? and so this is like tearing
his own face. Consider that he, who would not have the bad man do wrong,
is like the man who would not have the fig-tree to bear juice in the figs
and infants to cry and the horse to neigh, and whatever else must of necessity
be. For what must a man do who has such a character? If then thou art irritable,
cure this man's disposition.
8.23. Am I doing anything? I do it with reference to the good of mankind.
Does anything happen to me? I receive it and refer it to the gods, and
the source of all things, from which all that happens is
8.43. Different things delight different people. But it is my delight
to keep the ruling faculty sound without turning away either from any man
or from any of the things which happen to men, but looking at and receiving
all with welcome eyes and using everything according to its
11.18. If any have offended against thee, consider first: What is my relation
to men, and that we are made for one another; and in another respect, I
was made to be set over them, as a ram over the flock or a bull over the
herd. But examine the matter from first principles, from this: If all things
are not mere atoms, it is nature which orders all things: if this is so,
the inferior things exist for the sake of the superior, and these for the
sake of one another.