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The Philosopher Emperor

As in any great hobby or pursuit the study of Stoicism can never be fully completed nor can complete competency be reached. This is the hallmark of worthy pursuit... Life long learning and growth.

One of my favorite stoic philosophers was Marcus Aurelius. Here are a few interesting facts about the "Philosopher Emperor"-

Roman Emperor from 161 thru 180 AD.

His Dad died when he was 3

During his reign the kingdom faced bloody wars virtually on all sides to include Germany

A plague swept through Rome and killed 5 million people

A massive flood of the Tiber river inundated most of Rome killing livestock and ruining grain stores leaving the city in total famine.

The currency was devalued multiple times, basically economic depression

Marcus was a reluctant ruler taking the thrown more as a sense of duty than ambition

His book "Meditations" is still revered by philosophy scholars today

During a time local governors were slaughtering Christians he wrote a letter to the Senate proclaiming (paraphrased)- "Christian prayer saved our army ...(referring to a battle) and God is real".

During a period of great challenges Marcus was the right leader at the right time.

The people observed Marcus to be the "same man" when he took the thrown as he was before gaining power.


Facing awful conditions Marcus proved to be a worthy leader "of the people" and not only kept his shit together but at the same time composed a book which has benefited all of humanity for thousands of years hence!


It would serve all of us well to study closely leaders like Marcus as we live in lavish opulent style with no armies invading, suffering a so called "pandemic" killing 175,000 of about 329 million in the USA, food and resources aplenty, no persecution for our chosen religions, freedom to chase our worldly ambitions with reckless abandon or just watch netflix, no slavery, mostly feeding ego instead of facing ego, rarely quieting ourselves enough to be even close to "meditation" and never composing any written body of work to benefit other humans... while letting loose with tweets, tiktoks, and a blaming/excuse making criticism of anything which confronts us.


I know I will never reach the sublime level of stoic poise demonstrated by Marcus... but I can study it, practice it and grow it... and that is enough.



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