Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil. But I have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of he who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and same portion of divinity, I can neither be injured by them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him, For we are made for cooperation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.
— Chapter 2, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.
Philosophers of old were quite something. They had such insight and wisdom as that which gives one goosebumps. And I do get goosebumps when reading these works. But the reading, while it gives me some consolation that intellectually, spiritually and philosophically I'm on a worthwhile track, it fills me with anguish because its awakening, the feeling of being aware and alive, comes with its equal opposite, the realization of death for they go hand in hand. I may not exactly feel the death in me, but I see it all day. I see it in mechanical humans, species of once great potential but lately cast into automata — most of them waiting for deus ex machina. Merely existing, waiting for something to save them or end them. That is why I wonder if we read the books of religion upside down. Or if we have been misled and not told that religion is philosophy for this life, not for the next. Maybe the churches, mosques, temples etc should introduce readings of other religions and even better, teachings on other related philosophies. Maybe then, when we understand that men can be capable of great insight, wisdom, introspection and unselfishness, we can finally realize that those Bibles and Qurans and their likes, were made by men for men and that philosophically, they all share the same goal and that ideas should intrigue and educate us, not divide and alienate us.