Marcus Aurelius, considered by many scholars to have been the greatest Roman emperor, lived between the years 121 - 180. Not only was he an exceptional leader, but he spent an enormous amount of time cultivating his character and integrity.
Three principles he lived by, which we know from recorded events as well as his private journals, forged Marcus' esteemed place in the annuls of history.
Rule #1: Aim for Right Judgment
By this he meant that we can never really know what anything is for. Who is to say that something is "good" or it is "bad"? Perhaps it might seem "bad" yet be the most helpful occurrence one could possibly experience.
Marcus adopted this philosophy with every encounter: "It is as it is." That is what he considered to be "right judgment." When we allow things to be - without any value judgment - then we position ourselves for learning to be clearly revealed.
Rule #2: Desire Only That Which You Control
We have little say over much of what occurs in our lives, yet we have complete control over two things: the meaning we give events and the actions we take in response.
If we focus our desires on empathetic actions and personal growth initiatives, we will not only touch lives but we'll experience a great deal of satisfaction.
And by letting go of a need for things to be a certain way, so much stress melts away as demands diminish.
Rule #3: Strive for the Common Good
As last, but certainly not least, attempt to imbue every thought and action with the good of society in mind.
These three "rules for life" are what helped Marcus Aurelius develop an exceptional character and make quite an impact on Roman civilization. And they are principles we can cultivate in our life through our study and practice of A Course in Miracles.
The course helps us understand that our thoughts determine our experience. And our thoughts are the result of a choice in our mind. As many philosophers have recognized, we give everything all the meaning it has for us based on that same choice in the mind.
Learning how to return awareness to the mind, like Marcus Aurelius we can choose thoughts that will dramatically alter our experiences in the world.
Join me in Thursday's class where we'll discuss the concept of mind awareness and how we can cultivate this skill to experience more peace. I look forward to seeing you then.