Four right opinions

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Is there such a thing as a right opinion?

From history we know this:

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (“The Wise“),
Emperor of the Roman Empire
from 161 A.D. until his death in 180 A.D.,
was the last of the Five Good Emperors

He’s a little bit country and a whole lot of rock and roll.

Aurelius is considered one of the more important
Stoic philosophers.

Don’t give up reading just yet.

Stoicism is a school of Greek philosophy,
founded by Zeno in the early 3rd century BCE.

The Stoics taught that destructive emotions
resulted from errors in judgment.

As we say in Texas:
“If your mind is right, you will do right.”

In other words, the way to know if someone
is in their “right mind
is to see if that person acts in an upstanding way.

Aurelius used this philosophy to rule Rome.

Even though his two decades as Emperor
were marked by continual wars
with German tribes, by Parthians, and from internal revolt,
he catalogued his thoughts
in a book entitled Meditations.

The laudable thing is that
he wrote it while on a war campaign
between 170 and 180 A.D.

It is revered as a literary monument
to the philosophy of service and duty
to country and to the people.

Here is the essence of what Aurelius proclaims as being in your “right mind”:

“When another blames you or hates you,
or when men say about you anything injurious,
approach their poor souls,
penetrate within,
and see what kind of men they are.

You will discover that there is no reason
to take any trouble that these men may have
this or that opinion about you.

However you must be well disposed towards them,
for by nature they are friends.

And the gods too aid them in all ways,
by dreams, by signs, towards the attainment of those things
on which they set a value.

The periodic movements of the cosmos are the same,
up and down from age to age . . .

If there is a god, Marcus Aurelius 001
all is well;
but,
if Chance rules,
do not you also be governed by it.

Soon will the earth cover us all.”

.     ~ Marcus Aurelius
.     Meditations – BOOK NINE, verses 27-28

Aurelius would have been such a great President of Texas
that we would not have ever joined the Union.

What are the root causes of 
the problems of the people of EARTH?
Find the answer to this in why people act out.

Until you find that answer, Aurelius gives us three right opinions on how to live that can be drawn from the passage:

  1. Don’t be cowed by your critics.
  2. Be respectful of all those around you because they are also G_d’s Children.
  3. If you don’t believe in G_d, that’s okay, but just don’t be ruled by Chance because the little things in life ARE meaningful.

A t the end of his book he says this:

“Mortal, you have been a citizen in this great city,
what matter to you whether for five years or fifty,
for what is in accord with the law is equal for all.”

This is true for America today.
From this we can extrapolate a fourth right opinion:

The U.S., Constitution proclaims that our Creator
has endowed us with Rights
and for that reason alone
we should be a grateful people.

Copyright © 1960-2016 Lawrence J. J. Leonard  All rights reserved

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