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“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.”

Marcus Aurelius

I don't understand the use of "all that comes under thy observation in life."

What does "comes under" mean?

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thy is an obsolete form of your.

To come under your observation = to become observed by you.

A rough paraphrase might be "all that crosses your path" or simply "everything that you notice" (and which you are able to continue observing).

Nothing has as much power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly everything in life which crosses your path and can be studied further.

Compare:

The legal matter came under the federal court's jurisdiction.

The phrase "thy observation in life" might be loosely paraphrased as "your (professional) bailiwick".

... the ability to study systematically all that falls under your professional scrutiny (or purview).

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  • I tried to rewrite it like this: "“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate, systematically and truly, what you observe in life.” Is it right?
    – XVI
    Jun 26 '18 at 9:25
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    Your sentence is grammatical but what you observe doesn't quite capture the sense of "comes under your observation". Jun 26 '18 at 9:31
  • So, the word "observation" here means "the recorded information that results from studying a scientific event"? dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/observation
    – XVI
    Jun 26 '18 at 10:01
  • I would paraphrase observation here as purview. Jun 26 '18 at 10:04

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