Important note: this is free. $0. This platform can't turn off Pay What You Want mode if an item is listed as free. I encourage you to set the price to $0. No guilt over that. That's the fair price, because I want you to have this book free.
What this is, and why it exists
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a foundational text for practical Stoicism. Far from being abstract philosophy for its own sake, it's a text rich with tips and ideas useful in sorting out our thinking, to navigate life with less stress.
Translations old enough to be free in public domain unfortunately use dense language, and even the modern paywalled translations are filled with distracting ancient examples that can take work to untangle, leaving the material tough to benefit from when we need it most in times of stress. The irony of this situation is that the more someone wants to reduce their regret, sorrow, anger, and fear, the less mental energy they have to push their way through dense philosophy.
To address this, I've mixed older public domain editions into plain language, and filled in gaps using translator notes and other Stoic concepts, to make a new, modern, completely free version that's easy to browse or get through.
You can download the ebook from this page completely for free. We're using Gumroad to distribute it to ensure you have an easy way to access updates in the future, in case corrections wind up made for later editions.
Note: this ebook/text-only version is free. An audiobook version is bundled with the Self-Command.com productivity material. This content was previously referred to in older YouTube videos as "Plain Meditations."
Testimonials from editions provided for review
"Self-Calm is a clear book that helps give a better perspective on situations ranging from daily hassles to the most difficult times."
-Brian J. Boucher
"Self-Calm lives up to its name. It takes on stoic concepts in clear concise language which I found was a helpful and centering way to start my days. For someone who is familiar with other modern stoic voices like Ryan Holiday but unfamiliar with the original text, this book helped flesh out my knowledge of the topic without feeling bogged down by historical language. Self-Calm helps give perspective to the common trials of life."
"I'm going to keep re-reading it again and again as I did with the version of Meditations I had (Gregory Hays version). This makes the content of Meditations much more accessible because it's written in a much simpler and modern language. Looks good on the Kindle too!"
"Thanks for doing this. A series of negative things has come up (outside of all of the negative things in the world right now) for me recently. Self-Calm has helped me keep an even keel. Very timely. I've wanted to read meditations but I have not allotted time for reading in my day to day life. This lowers the barrier of entry considerably."
"Self-Calm helped me feel more at ease with my place in the world. It helped me re-frame the struggles I face as a disabled, working-class person, to accept reality as it is, see the longer arc of progress, and cooperate with others to improve the collective good. Self-Calm really has helped with my customer service! I still think my job is unjust and I still experience moral stress over it… but it helped me see, for example, that getting snippy with someone taking a tone with me isn’t going to change that, I’d just feel worse."
On the audiobook bundled at Self-Command.com
The free download here is only for the ebook text. There is also an audiobook version, over 7 hours run time, available at Self-Command.com Here's a response from a edition provided for review:
"I'm struck by the great sound quality! The mic and voice are nearly flawless, I love the relaxed vocal speed, sounds so professional."
Learn more about the audiobook and pick it up in the bundle at https://Self-Command.com
Book length: 251 pages
Ebook formats included (all DRM-free): PDF, mobi, epub, txt, azw3
Sample audiobook format: mp3 only (full version also has m4b)
Because this is self-published, to preserve authenticity and author control, it's only available here on Gumroad.
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