The Rock of Rome
RECOMMENDED FIRST MEDITATIONS
"The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius"
The philosopher does not rely on reputation nor on wealth nor on the power of a magistrate, but on his own strength, that is, on his opinions about the things which are in our power and those which are not. For these are the only things which make men free, which make them escape from hindrance, which raise the head of those who are depressed, which make them look with steady eyes on the rich and on tyrants. And this was the gift given to the philosopher.
Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in he country, seashores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is another mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt chose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send the back from all discontent with the things to which thou returnees.