Magnum visum

Reflecting on matters of life and death,
purpose and chance, relations with others,
and the many turns of life,
a life mostly wonderful, sometimes hard,
but all too often plainly absurd.
Of all the words I could think of
I just kept coming back to these ones,
a clarity I could not rival nor surpass,
written from the perspective of age,
wisdom and experience, and the highest power
someone at that time could attain on Earth.
Let the words just flow then,
as they were written eighteen centuries ago
by that great soul, wise among the wise,
dear Marcus, admired teacher,
please speak, I am here listening …

Look down from a height
on the countless herds of men,
and their countless rituals,
and their various journeys
through storm and calm,
and the many different beings who are born,
live together, and are gone.
Imagine the life lived by others long ago,
and the life that will be lived
after your departure
and the life that is lived
at this very moment
among alien peoples,
and how many are not even aware of your name,
and how many will soon forget it,
and how many who now praising you
will very soon be deriding you;
and reflect that neither remembrance
nor fame nor anything else whatever
is worth a passing thought.

Marcus Aurelius “Meditations”, book 9, verse 30.


Author: Marcus Antoninus

Philosopher, poet and lover of life.

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