Ah, the wonder of "retreating into the deep recesses of the mind". And is there a better medium to say this than in your own private journal?
This was one of the excerpts I resonated with the most in Meditations.
Men seek retreats for themselves - in the country, by the sea, in the hills - and you yourself are particularly prone to this yearning. But all this is quite unphilosophic, when it is open to you, at any time you want, to retreat into yourself. No retreat offers someone more quiet and relaxation than that into his own mind, especially if he can dip into thoughts there which put him at immediate and complete ease; and by ease I simply mean a well-ordered life. So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. The doctrines you will visit there should be few and fundamental, sufficient at one meeting to wash away all your pain and send you back free of resentment at what you must rejoin.
^ I loved that. Now, the logical way to proceed from here is to dive into Aurelius' few and fundamental doctrines.
But first, a useful lens for reading Meditations is to look for and understand the assumptions underlying Aurelius's thought — because much of his ideas flow logically from these initial assumptions. Many of his assumptions came from Roman-time schools of thought, many of which were more popular in his time (but although dated, certainly does not mean they are necessarily wrong).
Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence.
This brings to mind what Jordan Peterson said on timeframe >> you can apply any kind of timeframe and zoom yourself out of significance. That's not what you're supposed to do. Why? I can't remember. I'll have to look out for when I find this video or hear him say this again.
Therefore, the fear of death is irrational → this + living every moment has a whole lot of implications and could create a whole system of thought alone. It makes sense, stoicism was forged out of a time of suffering in history. Therefore It makes sense that in the face of suffering, stoicism is a great solution.
Aurelius on the irrationality of the fear of death in a nutshell:
He who fears death fears either unconsciousness or another sort of consciousness. Now if you will no longer be conscious you will not be conscious either of anything bad. If you are to take on a different consciousness, you will be a different being and life will not cease.