Your Occasional Stoic — Knowledge of Self

Not observing what is in the mind of another a man has seldom been seen to be unhappy; but those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy.

-Meditation 2:8

Others are unknowable, you know this. It should not sadden you. But not knowing yourself? That’s a problem.

Like many of the meditations, its easy to read this as a call to meditation. Meditation, as we conceive it, would likely have been foreign to Aurelius, but a certain type of mindfulness? Of self-knowledge? I think that is what he is getting at here.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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