Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Marcus Aurelius and speculations on God

I was brushing up on my stoicism today and came across this quote by Marcus Aurelius:

‘Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.’

EXACTLY!!!EXACTLY!!!EXACTLY!!!, Who has seen god?, Does God exist?Is this god the god of just the Jews or only of the Hindus? Would this God automatically send to hell the atheist who has always spoken the truth, helped his fellow-man and led a good life but has never read the Bible? If so, would you want to worship such a God????

Even the wisest of the wise who claim to know the mysteries of creation have not seen God. On the other hand, there are certain values that everyone knows about and these are human values. Yet, more and more people today are only talking about Christain/Islamic/Hindu values and ideals etc. Look at the world today, with Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Christains ready to kill for the greater glory of their religion. Why? Just live a good life and let your character be a testament to the glory of your religion and you.

Marcus Aurelius got this in the 2nd Century. Why can’t we still get it in the 21st?


Keshi said...

**Look at the world today, with Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Christains ready to kill for the greater glory of their religion. Why? Just live a good life and let your character be a testament to the glory of your religion and you.

so true! I cant u'stand why some human beings don't understand what u just said. its so simple...much more simpler than killing one another too!


Rahul said...

Hi Keshi, Thanks for the comment. It's amazing how we can all agree when something like this is put down on paper, and yet under different circumstances so many of us lose our minds and our frameworks.

Reading the news often gets me worked up, even though its futile because conflict over some excuse(if not God) is probably embedded in our genes and is an essential component of the human condition.Its not like the world is any more dangerous now, than it used to be earlier its probably been like this all the time. Just try and hold on to an independent judgement and ur own frameworks no matter what the rest of the world does. Easier said than done though. Anyway that's my conclusion.

Keshi said...



MONA said...

hello Rahul. That is true. we cannot divide humanity on the basis of religion. Religion is all man made.
& yes no one has seen God. That is because God is not a entity. He is the process, The process of going & returning.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, many people have no concept of God or religion. We live in a world full of corruption and greed. Many people use God as a scapegoat to do their evil deeds in this world. If only we can unite the world as a whole, respect each other, love each other as brothers and sisters, then our world would be a much better place to live in. Unfortunately, too many corrupt souls out there who do ungodly things to innocent people. We can only hope and pray for a better and more peaceful world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Rahul said...

Hi Mona, Thanks for the comment. So God is the process or God is the journey rather than the destination? hmmmm, that's really well-put, thanks. Love it.

Anonymous, come on, give me a name to thank at least! We all want the same thing, but why the hell is it so difficult to achieve? Thanks for the comment.


Sirensongs said...

Hi Rahul, thanks for your nice comments. I thought it was more expedient to write on yr blog (than on mine).

1-What makes you think I am just "doing whatever I want to do?" I don't write about the boring stuff. ;-)
2-I won't be too hard on men who sexually harass me and even wish physical violence on me if Indians don't get too upset about a silly, juvenile and mostly just annoying phrase like "thank you come again." The Chinese had to put up with "no tickee no shirtee," the Mexicans had "yo quiero Taco Bell;" it is nothing special against Indians particularly.
3-If I were Indian, I would damn sure run for office of mayor, senator or whatever and make "Thank you come again!" my campaign slogan. I think subversion is the trick here. Make their silliness work for you....:-)

Rahul said...

Hey Sirensongs,

Really sorry to hear about the sexual harrasment bit, I'm sorry I misjudged ur comment, I thought you were referring to something entirely harmless. I kind of keep believing that my countrymen don't really mean bad, guess It isnt always like that.

Anyway, as for Tank u, come again, I have no problem with that at all, in fact i find Apu's character quite lovable, and I think it's all part of the american character, I feel American's are probably the most irreverent people on the planet and wud make fun of anything without meaning any harm at all.

As for the "boring stuff", I was merely venting some envy.;-), keep going.

Kyle said...

Marcus Aurelius was God fearing man knowing the fact that If God did so exist it wouldnt be in the revealing of himself through identity but through the ways of morals and good faith amongst man. I honor this post. Marcus Aurelius has played a huge part, literately, in my growing in faith and moral structure. only under the great moral stoic Jesus. respect others and serve others as if you were serving God himself.

Rahul said...

Thanks Kyle for the kind words. It's not just you and me, there seem to be many who agree with this line of reasoning.......you would not believe the kind of traffic from all over the world that this post is pulling in

Anonymous said...

totally true!

Philipa said...

Oh my goodness!! You are so right. This has been one of my favourite quotes of all time! I read it once, in MA's meditations, and I did a debate the other day on the redundancy of religious; in fact, the title was 'Religion does more bad than good in the modern world', and I just couldn't fin it ANYWHERE!! It just epitomises the heart of the argument. And its amazing that after so long, people have not come to accept it.

Rahul said...

Thanks Philipa, since you mention the topic of the debate, I would suggest you also read a book called 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins. Whether you are atheist or religious, if you think about things you should read this book.

Anonymous said...

To them that ask, where have you seen the Gods, or how do you know for certain there are Gods, that you are so devout in their worship? I answer: Neither have I ever seen my own soul, and yet I respect and honor it.
- Marcus Aurelius

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Anonymous said...

i know humans dont understand it today,because they are so programed and conditioned by religion and society,i love ur higher understanding,the journey of love starts within,marcus aurelious had that in abundance,love to u and i pray for people minds to evolve at a higher peaceful level.

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