Amore e Psiche Lodge no.110 of Venice

THE LETTER OF THE Master of the Lodge




Dearest Brother,
these days I was looking for a stimulating but not too demanding reading, in short, the right one to carry in my suitcase during my mountain holidays.
The choice fell on "Thoughts" by Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor in 161 AD. It is not a long and elaborate treatise, but a set of short reflections on various topics. It therefore seemed ideal to me to continue "working my stone" without weighing down the holidays, also because perhaps the most peaceful period allows stimuli outside the usual routine to settle better, or at least that's what I hope!
Marcus Aurelius addresses many themes, including our now beloved kairòs, putting it under a stoic but somewhat optimistic light: there is an immanent order (logos) in the world, so what happens is "appropriate" by definition, and then it is it is up to us to try to understand it in order to evolve and act in a virtuous way, which also means solidarity with all men, because the divine logos is present in everyone.
His stoicism, however, makes him downsize the importance we give to our stories and reflections, even if I would call it a healthy realism rather than pessimism:
"So the time that each of us lives is short, the corner of the earth where we live it is short, even the longest fame among posterity is short" (1)
"Asia and Europe, corners of the universe; the whole sea, a drop of the universe; Mount Athos, a clod of the universe; all the present time, a moment of eternity; everything is small, changeable and disappears in a flash ". (2)
If everything is so ephemeral, does moral action really make sense? Marcus Aurelius writes: "Living is an art that is more like fighting than dancing, because we must always be ready and steadfast against unexpected blows that come to us. Collect yourself! (3) [...] since you can at any time you want, withdraw into yourself. Because nowhere more peaceful and calm than one's soul can one withdraw; especially if one has such principles within oneself that, only by contemplating them, one acquires perfect serenity. And by serenity I mean nothing but inner order. Therefore, grant yourself this retreat constantly and renew yourself in it, (4) [...] because philosophy alone saves life. " (5)
Maybe if philosophy renews us, can we not be "good"?

See you soon and happy holidays!




W.M. M.B. Master of Lodge


1 Marco Aurelio, “Pensieri”, III, 10, Mondadori, Milano 2016 2 ibid. VI, 36
3 ibid. VII, 28
4 ibid. IV, 3

5 Ibid. XII, 29

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