Meditations versus Philosophy versus Religious texts. A good friend asked a question by text. I’m correcting the grammar but the question is the same:

I find that the World would be a better place if people read more of “Meditations” and less of other religious texts. Am I wrong? It is the same message without the story. Am I wrong? Could you objectively listen to this, and tell me if I’m wrong?

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher. He was considered a good man and the last of the rulers later known as the Five Good Emperors. The persecution of Christians increased in Rome during his reign however he was considered a protector of Christians by some.

The meditations in the video above are philosophical views. These views or meditations include many of the things found in world religions like Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism et cetera. Marcus like many others presents a Golden Rule of sorts. It can be said many ways but it boils down to a common sense way of dealing with others. Treat them like you would want to be treated and don’t take things personally.

Philosophies and meditations can be very helpful. For example, 1 Timothy 4:15 uses a word that can be translated several ways including “meditate”. It is also translated Ponder, Practice, Be Diligent, and Take Pains With These Things. Click here for that verse in many versions. Philippians 4:8  says to “think about these things.” Here is a link to 20 other places in the Bible that talk about Meditation. So, as long as you meditate on or practice good things it will be helpful.

One key distinction between reading insightful meditative or philosophical texts and religious texts is that religions encompass more than just good conduct. Religions delve into the essence of our existence and encompass diverse perspectives on the afterlife, as well as appropriate behavior. So, while good conduct is certainly important, religions take us on a deeper journey into the fundamental questions of life. Generally speaking, that is why people prefer their religious texts. Religion seeks to answer more of life’s questions.

I will not get into the various religious views in this post as they are not central to the question. However, I am happy to write follow up thoughts on related questions. Just pop a comment in the comments section below to further the discussion.