XXXIX. If so be that the Gods have deliberated in particular of those

MeditationsMarcus Aurelius

If so be that the Gods have deliberated in particular of those things that should happen unto me, I must stand to their deliberation, as discrete and wise. For that a God should be an imprudent God, is a thing hard even to conceive: and why should they resolve to do me hurt? for what profit either unto them or the universe (which they specially take care for) could arise from it? But if so be that they have not deliberated of me in particular, certainly they have of the whole in general, and those things which in consequence and coherence of this general deliberation happen unto me in particular, I am bound to embrace and accept of. But if so be that they have not deliberated at all (which indeed is very irreligious for any man to believe: for then let us neither sacrifice, nor pray, nor respect our oaths, neither let us any more use any of those things, which we persuaded of the presence and secret conversation of the Gods among us, daily use and practise:) but, I say, if so be that they have not indeed either in general, or particular deliberated of any of those things, that happen unto us in this world; yet God be thanked, that of those things that concern myself, it is lawful for me to deliberate myself, and all my deliberation is but concerning that which may be to me most profitable. Now that unto every one is most profitable, which is according to his own constitution and nature. And my nature is, to be rational in all my actions and as a good, and natural member of a city and commonwealth, towards my fellow members ever to be sociably and kindly disposed and affected. My city and country as I am Antoninus, is Rome; as a man, the whole world. Those things therefore that are expedient and profitable to those cities, are the only things that are good and expedient for me.

Subscribe to The Empty Robot

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox

Spread the word: