Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are and to make new things like them.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) Roman emperor (161-180), Stoic philosopher
Meditations, Book 4, # 36 [tr. Long (1862)]
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Alternate translations:

  • "Incessantly consider, all things that are, have their being by change and alteration. Use thyself therefore often to meditate upon this, that the nature of the universe delights in nothing more, than in altering those things that are, and in making others like unto them." [tr. Casaubon (1634), #29]
  • "Accustom yourself to consider, that whatever is produced, is produced by alteration: that nature loves nothing so much as shifting the scene, and bringing new persons upon the stage." [tr. Collier (1701)]
  • "Accustom yourself to consider that whatever is produced, is produced by alteration; that nature loves nothing so much as changing existing things and producing new ones like them." [tr. Zimmern (1887)]
  • "Contemplate continually all things coming to pass by change, and accustom yourself to think that Universal Nature loves nothing so much as to change what is and to create new things in their likeness." [tr. Farquharson (1944)]
  • "Observe how all things are continually being born of change; teach yourself to see that Nature's highest happiness lies in changing the things that are, and forming new things after their kind." [tr. Staniforth (1964)]
  • "Constant awareness that everything is born from change. The knowledge that ther is nothing nature loves more than to alter what exists and make new things like it." [tr. Hays (2003)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Mar-21
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