"Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil. "
- Marcus Aurelius in 'Meditations'
My own ideas on the quote:
Marcus Aurelius presents a very basic fact of life here. Our lives are not predestined to be a good or bad ones, even if there are many kinds situations where we can control very little what happens to us. In the end, our lives are what we make of them.
However, humans themselves decide what is classified as 'good' and what is seen as 'bad'. Nature itself does not make any such moral judgments.
We can always try to make the best of even of the rawest deals that life does throw at us. Of course, one should not forget that we can never have complete control over our own lives. We are also led into doing many things because of pure chance and because of the needs and demands of our current environment.
This can also mean that a person can be a vehicle for good, but also for bad. This can happen due to different circumstances and different environments which chance throws at us in life.
There just is no absolute 'natural' morality. This means that 'good' and 'bad' are things that are always decided by humans themselves. They are always decided according to the current needs of a society.
However, the definite ideas of what things and actions are classed as 'good' and what are classed as 'bad' need always to exist. In fact, such definitions have always existed in all known human societies. Only with the very act of constantly defining what is 'good' and 'bad' can we create the basic rules that help us keep our societies in working order. These rules normally ensure that they also can remain inhabitable places for their members.
(This piece was completely refurbished on 9th of September, 2012)
Marcus Aurelius is in Facebook also in:
"While on campaign between 170 and 180, Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. The title of this work was added posthumously—originally he entitled his work simply: 'To Myself'. He had a logical mind and his notes were representative of Stoic philosophy and spirituality. 'Meditations' is still revered as a literary monument to a government of service and duty."