The Meditations are a series of private reflections written in Greek by a Roman emperor immersed in the administration of an empire beset by wars on its frontiers and natural disasters in its interior. It is the work of a great man seeking philosophical and spiritual solace in the midst of human chaos and uncertainty. This beautiful piece of ancient literature has been the companion of many leaders over the centuries who turned to inner reflection in times of unrest. Its Stoic philosophy has been much admired and emulated.
Drawing from the work of many Stoic philosophers, especially of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius reveals that it is futile to attempt to avoid the inevitable suffering at the core of human existence, and that we have a duty to focus on the things we as individuals can control. According to Aurelius, inner peace and contentment can only be achieved by eschewing worldly things and instead focusing on the underlying order and laws of nature. Only by accepting the world as it is can we cope with the inevitable loss, pain, and death that stalk each of us.
This production uses the translation of George Long.