Aurelius - Meditations 4:19: The Use and Abuse of the Immortality Fantasy

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4:19 - The man in a flutter for after-fame fails to picture to himself that each of those who remember him will himself also very shortly die, then again the man who succeeded him, until the whole remembrance is extinguished as it runs along a line of men who are kindled and then put out. And if you should assume that those who remember are immortal, and that remembrance is therefore immortal, what is that to you? And I do not say that it is nothing to the dead; what is praise to the living, except perhaps for some practical purpose? For now you are putting off unseasonably the gift of Nature, clinging to something else ... [the manuscript is corrupt]
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“One day someone will mention you for the last time, then no one will ever mention you again, [and] no one will remember you.” – answer given by Reddit user “StabStabMan” to the question, “What is a deeply unsettling fact?”
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Pesachim 50b, Nazir 23b, Sotah 22b and 47a, Sanhedrin 105b, Horiyos 10b, Erachin 16b
A person should always be involved in Torah even she’lo lishmah, for from she’lo lishmah he will come to lishmah.
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Rambam – Intro to Chelek
We say to him, “Learn in order to become a rabbi and a judge. People will honor you; they will stand up in your presence; your words will be established and your reputation will grow during your lifetime and after your death, like so-and-so.”
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If you have questions, comments, or feedback, I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me at rabbischneeweiss at gmail.
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Stoicism Resources:
Farquharson translation of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Gummere translation of Letters from a Stoic Master (Seneca)
Long translation of The Discourses of Epictetus
Carter translation of The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
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