Meditations Book Summary - Meditations Book explained in key points
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Meditations summary

Marcus Aurelius

The stoic thinking of a Philosopher-King

4.1 (1182 ratings)
10 mins

Brief summary

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a collection of personal writings that offer insights into the Stoic philosophy, guiding readers towards a more virtuous and content life.
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    Logos is a concept that encompasses and orders the entire universe.

    There were various philosophical schools during antiquity, covering a range of different subjects, from nature to human action. However, a central aspect of these ancient philosophical teachings that cut across various topics was the concept of logos.

    This word, which roughly translates to “reason,” was applied by such famous philosophers as Heraclitus and Aristotle, and was also of central importance to the author, Marcus Aurelius.

    His view was that logos can be seen everywhere; it makes up the earth, trees and even us as humans. However, logos does not just give everything form; it also gives it order.

    For humans, this means that logos determines who is placed where in society, and how that person should be respected. So, it is logos which decrees that slaves should be treated as such and that emperors should be treated much better.

    But why should we agree to such unequal placings?

    Because logos, the immutable essence of life and underlying master plan for all events, encompasses the entire world and, therefore, constitutes the ideal way to order it. In fact, logos is perpetually working to move the universe forward in the best way possible.

    So, even when the author went through difficult periods in his life, he kept faith that they fit into the grand plan of logos, since everything that happens is exactly right and no one should desire change. Therefore, even when the majority of his family had passed away and uprisings challenged his empire, the author held true to his belief that it was all meant to be.

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    What is Meditations about?

    Meditations (170-180 AD) is a journey through the mind of the great Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius. These blinks offer philosophical ruminations on the meaning of death and justice, the nature of the world and why things happen the way they do.

    Meditations Review

    Meditations (Meditations-publishing-date) provides timeless wisdom on Stoic philosophy and self-reflection. Here's what sets it apart:

    • Offers profound insights on virtue, wisdom, and human nature, applicable to modern life.
    • Its thought-provoking aphorisms encourage readers to reflect on their actions and beliefs.
    • The book's enduring relevance makes it a classic, providing guidance for generations.

    Embrace the wisdom of Meditations and embark on a journey towards self-improvement.

    Best quote from Meditations

    My only fear is doing something contrary to human nature – the wrong thing, the wrong way or at the wrong time.

    —Marcus Aurelius
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    Who should read Meditations?

    • Anyone interested in the philosophy of the ancient world
    • People with a fear of death
    • Anybody who has a sneaking suspicion that everything happens for a reason

    About the Author

    Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) rose to power as the emperor of Rome in 161 AD. He has been called one of the greatest Emperors of Rome, a just man and a ruler who deeply valued philosophy.

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    Meditations FAQs 

    What is the main message of Meditations?

    The main message of Meditations is to embrace Stoic philosophy for a virtuous and fulfilled life.

    How long does it take to read Meditations?

    It takes approximately 6 hours to read Meditations, while the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Meditations a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Meditations is a timeless classic, offering valuable insights on Stoic philosophy and self-improvement.

    Who is the author of Meditations?

    The author of Meditations is Marcus Aurelius.

    How many chapters are in Meditations?

    Meditations by Marcus Aurelius has 12 chapters, known as 'books'.

    How many pages are in Meditations?

    Meditations contains approximately 256 pages.

    When was Meditations published?

    Meditations was originally written between 170 and 180 AD.

    What to read after Meditations?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Meditations, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Art of War (new version) by Sun Tzu
    • How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson
    • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
    • The Republic by Plato
    • How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pigliucci
    • Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
    • The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
    • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
    • 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson
    • Letters from a Stoic by Seneca