Whatever this is that I am
It is a little flesh and breath, and the ruling part.
Throw away thy books; no longer distract thyself: it is not allowed; but as if thou wast now dying, despise the flesh; it is blood and bones and network, a contexture of nerves, veins, and arteries.
By Marcus Aurelius in Meditations
Here Marcus Aurelius reflects on the nature of human existence. He describes himself as "a little flesh and breath, and the ruling part."
He advises letting go of distractions, symbolized by books, and focusing on the essence of our being. He suggests that we should not be attached to the physical body, which is composed of blood, bones, nerves, veins, and arteries.
Consider a person who is strongly attached to their possessions, constantly seeking fulfillment through material things.
Aurelius would encourage this person to release their attachment and instead concentrate on the core aspects of their existence, such as their thoughts, values, and actions.
By doing so, they can discover a deeper sense of fulfillment and meaning in life.
This reminds us to prioritize what truly matters and not be consumed by external distractions. It encourages us to reflect on our own nature and find contentment within ourselves, rather than relying solely on external sources for fulfillment.