Here are a few essays from the book.
by Manny Cortez
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor and philosopher. He’s known as one of the founding fathers of stoicism and his book “Meditations” was my first introduction into philosophy. He’s known as the last of the “Five Good Emperors”, as coined by Niccolo Machiavelli. Meditations is simply a collection of notes he wrote to himself. The wise king would write in his journal during times of war and peace; while he was a soldier in battle and while he was king.
I always remember his ideas whenever I get depressed or confused or angry about something. His ideas are timeless and if you can get past the early century style of writing, you’ll find that his wisdom still applies today. When he talks about people and scenarios in his writing; I’m reminded of people around me and I can immediately relate. His writings have helped me view my problems in a different light and it helps to know that even emperors from centuries ago still go through what everyday people like me go through.
Hot Butter Music is very much inspired by Meditations. My essays started out as simple journal entries, random thoughts and ideas that help me make sense of the world. For almost a decade now, I’ve gotten into the habit of jotting down interesting bits of information that I would later write an essay about. I’m finding that the act of writing helps me refine my views on a subject and helps me organize what I know and don’t know. These are ideas I’ve wrestled with over the years and I’m hoping these essays can spark constructive dialogue around subjects that can often be difficult to talk about.
As I get older, I’m finding how important your political and philosophical views are. It influences your every move and what you choose to focus on. Your values and your M.O (modus operandi) evolve as you refine your philosophical views of the world.