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Meditations Audiobook

Meditations

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Publisher's Summary

One of the most significant books ever written by a head of State, the Meditations are a collection of philosophical thoughts by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180 ce). Covering issues such as duty, forgiveness, brotherhood, strength in adversity and the best way to approach life and death, the Meditations have inspired thinkers, poets and politicians since their first publication more than 500 years ago. Today, the book stands as one of the great guides and companions - a cornerstone of Western thought.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2010 Naxos AudioBooks

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  •  
    Kyle 01-21-17
    Kyle 01-21-17
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    "great version, missing translator info"

    Great version. Book info is missing translator; it's George Long's translation, I believe. would recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 10-22-16
    David 10-22-16 Member Since 2017

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "Excelent reading of an excellent classic"

    Marcus Aurelius seems often to be regarded as the "father of Stoicism" and his Meditations as a sort of Stoic Bible. Neither of these things is true - Stoicism was founded centuries before his time, in Greece, and the emperor's "meditations" were basically his study notes and personal journals. He was writing only for himself, and never meant for his writings to be published after his death as a guide to others on how to live their lives.

    Nonetheless, the Meditations are worthy of a deep, thoughtful read. Much of what Aurelius "teaches" can be considered common sense guidelines to approaching life, even if you are not a capital-s Stoic.


    "You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."


    This is Stoicism in a nutshell: You cannot control other things and people - you can only control yourself. Aurelius belabors this point at length - that whatever happens is meant to happen, that you have no power to change what has happened or will happen, and that therefore your only choice is how you will react to it. And that reacting with emotion is foolish.

    Much of his philosophy also boils down to telling oneself to rise above insults, injuries, and idiots.


    Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.


    Stoicism often seems close to fatalism - one could conclude that if your life is basically out of your control and that everything and everyone will act according to their natures, there isn't much point in making plans or having hopes and dreams. But that isn't what Stoicism teaches, because the one thing you are in control of - yourself - is still a powerful agent in your life. Maybe you are (according to Stoic principles) fated to live a certain way and only that way, but you can choose to enjoy it or not, be miserable or not, be fulfilled or not.

    Stoicism is powerful and requires a lot more study than just reading a Wikipedia summary or the meditations of one long-dead philosopher-emperor. But it appeals to me a lot, and so I really enjoyed reading Aurelius's words, even when he was expressing things that don't jive with my modern sensibilities. He was a pagan, of course, so he speaks of the gods as arbiters of our fates and the source of all that is good (a paradox I have always found amusing, given what fickle, spiteful jerks the gods are typically in Greco-Roman mythology), but sometimes he also refers to "God" as if he had also assimilated some monotheistic ideas.

    Not everything in Aurelius's Meditations will resonate with everyone, but even if you are not interested in Stoicism per se, this is still a great philosophical and literary classic that is worth reading in its own right, for insights as to why an emperor from two thousand years ago is still so highly regarded.

    The audiobook reading was pitch-perfect. I could listen to this guy speaking Stoic philosophy all day. Obviously Marcus Aurelius did not have a rich British accent, nor did he speak English, but still, it's easy to imagine his voice being like this, his accent being the equivalent, just as the words in translations probably don't use the exact same metaphors and figures of speech he did (and of course, in translation it's still quite deliberately stilted and archaic in cadence and sentence structure and vocabulary, when obviously Aurelius would have sounded more contemporary, if formal, to his own ears and those of his peers) but sound authentic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 06-03-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 06-03-13 Listener Since 2009
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    "Insight from man on top"

    The great leaders insight on morality, ethics, love and war. His belief in worrying about how you view yourself rather than how others view you is a very powerful thought from such a public figure. The Eastern philosophy of mindfulness is exemplified by much of his writing.

    13 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan OREM, UT, United States 02-24-13
    Nathan OREM, UT, United States 02-24-13 Member Since 2017

    I am the stone that the builder refused

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    "Solid stoic classic"
    Would you listen to Meditations again? Why?

    Yes.
    Because even though I have more Epicurean tendencies as opposed to stoic, this book is full of wisdom that could inspire the reader to cultivate his or her character.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The idea of being more thoughtful than passionate when dealing with others.


    Any additional comments?

    While the average listener will not have the same context the great author Marcus Aurelias did when writing about roman Gods the listener will still get a feel for how the great leader processed his world and made decisions.

    Overall a good listen with a good reader.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    @K_Speckmann 05-22-17 Member Since 2015

    Expat Beginner | Loving Husband | Mensch | Helpful Professional ↗️

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    "Time and Time again - Timeless Principles"

    I enjoyed considering the ancient insight. It was interesting to learn how some principle concepts we hear or see as new - actually are not.
    Which is not necessarily bad. If people may have taken them as valuable back then for successful living together, they still can.
    An example: "If it is not right, don't do it. If it is not true, don't say it." So simple of a principle to live by, yet so hard to do, based on how and where you grew up.
    I do recommend considering a read or listen. Timeless content, professionally read to enjoy on a commute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GLENN HOOD 05-22-17
    GLENN HOOD 05-22-17 Member Since 2013
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    "This is a must listen to book"

    When you fully understand how it all works, this is a great conformation, adds to how to fully live in the moment and to enjoy the short time we have on the time line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    jeffrey 05-18-17
    jeffrey 05-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Narration"

    Great all around, first of all. The narration was sincere and smooth. I recommend buying it !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Peters 05-06-17
    Ron Peters 05-06-17

    Ron Peters

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    "Well spoken, good translation"

    Marcus Aurelius is not my favourite Stoic writer; I prefer Seneca. Marcus can be glum and repetitive. I'm aware that he wrote for himself, in personal journals, not for public consumption. Yet we are a public audience of Marcus; an as a public listener I like Seneca better.

    I wish that Audible.com would be more careful of two things in its Classical recordings:

    a) always letting the purchaser know clearly which translation they are buying, and

    b) following the traditional conventions for noting books and section divisions.

    In this reading, for example, none of numbered sections within books are stated, and the narrator often runs one section into the next without pause, making it unnecessarily hard to keep things straight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel M. 04-25-17
    Daniel M. 04-25-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Still pertinent to everyday life! Wise human!"

    I can see myself reading this again and again as I grow as a person. Great moral code, strong value guidelines, and just teaches you how to be a great human.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ahmad Smadi 04-21-17
    Ahmad Smadi 04-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Brilliant text. Great performance."

    Aurelius has wisdom from which our society would benefit greatly.

    Highly impressed with the depth of the content.

    Excellent reading for the audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Paschal
    Cork, Ireland
    1/7/17
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    "A matter of life and death."

    It's amazing to think that Marcus Aurelius was wiser 2000 years ago than most of are today.

    I listened to this while I was waiting for news regarding a life threatening disease.

    It calmed me.

    It helped me realise that whatever happens will be ok.

    It is difficult to keep concentrating on the words all of the time but that does not matter because the important things are repeated in many different ways.

    It is stoicism in the extreme.

    But I like that.

    It certainly helps one to keep ones feet on the ground.

    And all that coming from a Roman Emperor.

    Amazing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • James Riley
    12/2/15
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    "Important text on self-reflection and improvement"
    Would you listen to Meditations again? Why?

    I would. It is one of those books that you don't just listen to once, or listen to in one sitting. Because the structure of the book is the multiple self-reflections of Aurelius, you can dip in and out. Listen to 3 minutes and you will get something to think about for the next 3 hours. If you are 'seasoning' this book, you are doing it wrong. Reflect on his reflections!

    Aurelius constantly stresses the importance of acting in the most stoic way, how to improve yourself and those around you without being dominating nor imposing. The great little gems of knowledge are interspersed with some comments on the science / worldview of the time, which makes it a nice historic account and truly set in its time. Nonetheless, the importance of a stoic attitude to life is still relevant today.

    Without a doubt it is one of the important texts in history about being a good human being.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Gavin
    6/13/16
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    "Always look on the bright side of life"

    A fine book and reflections. It would be wrong to regret listening to the book. Good philosophy, wondering if I can use it on a psych ward of suicidal patients. I'll have to listen again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ken Murphy
    2/27/16
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    "Old world philosophy still relevant..."

    ... to the modern world and the human condition. An excellent reading of the meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Best enjoyed in a quiet room sitting comfortably on a good chair in my opinion in order to get into the appropriate, reflective state of mind.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lucy
    10/1/11
    Overall
    "Peace in a CD"

    The material is excellent and the voice is perfect for this Book - not too dramatic, not too droll, no irritations - absolutely perfect - the combination of these great words and this perfect voice can bring you Peace.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Tiny
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    9/3/15
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    "Prolific, profound, essential messages!"

    If you want to understand how you, life and the universe works. .read this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Asten
    3/7/17
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    "Classic and timeless"

    This is a book with timeless ideas and philosophy on how to deal with the ups and downs of life. Marcus Aurelius writes with a wisdom that is more insightful and real than most of today's self-help life coaches.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR S PITTS
    3/4/17
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    "V good"

    you might want to pause and consider what is being said, every other sentence. as there is soo much wisdom in this book it can quickly pass you by

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • E T-Watson
    10/12/16
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    "Not Easy Listening"

    Not was listening but very worthwhile. The first section of giving credit to his mentors is somewhat off putting. Thereafter it is a book of wise words but all essentially the same message of treat others with respect, life is only fleeting so should be borne with endurance with efforts to be one's best. Having listened I think I should revisit in written form to absorb fully the key messages.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • T. Costick
    U.K.
    2/9/16
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    "A wise companion"
    Would you listen to Meditations again? Why?

    Most certainly! This is a book that never fades. Countless nuggets of good advice on living well and observations on life's troubles and irritations. I listen to this at times when I have the quiet to absorb its words. It's rather like meditating, particularly the currently popular "mindfulness" style (of which I am not a practitioner, finding it not to my taste).


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Meditations?

    Too many to pin it down to just one or even a few. I love the earthiness of the language.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The wry humour of some of the passages with respect to observations on the behaviour of misguided people.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The Stoic perspective on existence and our place in the universe and immeasurable time.


    Any additional comments?

    Duncan Steen's reading is faultless and perfect for the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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