Nate's "Allegory of the Oasis" Graphic

  • Nate I just had an idea. Just like I think it is attractive for people to set up their own outlines of Epicurean philosophy, I wonder if at some point it might also be interesting and helpful if people wrote their own commentary to each step of your diagram. Perhaps we could generate an alternate version of the diagram with blank boxes and ask people what they would write at each step.

    What do you think of that? And if we did use it that way, I doubt it would require any change in the diagram, unless you've come up with any new ideas.

    It might take some time to get this off the ground and maybe some examples (like with the outlines) but I think this might be a useful twist. What do you think?

  • OK I am thinking too that each major point on the diagram represents a challenge to which there is an Epicurean response for overcoming it.... And filling out a blank box helps to reinforce to each person what that response is.

  • Nate I woke up this morning thinking further. Yes it will be good to have a final product with blank boxes to allow sort of like a "coloring book" effect -- people can write out their own description.

    But I also realize that the graphics lend themselves to breakdown into individual panels, each of which illustrate some aspect of the Epicurean story. And the bubbles can effectively be what the lead character is thinking (or a description of the scene).

    In other words, as you have said, the first panel illustrates the young animal at birth. The important thing here is that all animals pursue pleasure and avoid pain at birth, before they are corrupted by false religion and false philosophy.

    Then each panel along the way, the animal (animalS????) confront a hazard and then deal with it using an Epicurean doctrine. They confront the scary Grim reaper, but defeat him (move past him) by realizing that death is nothing to us/absence of sensation, and so on.

    That's the main thought, but not I realize another thought. Perhaps this is not possible/doable, but maybe the answer to the theme that draws everything together is to carry through the progression that what we have here is a GROUP of young animals, and it is the GROUP that goes through the progression, and that throughout the progression it is the PIG (representing Epicurus) who calls out the answer to each challenge.

    In other words the fear/incorrect view could be placed in the mouth of some other animal, while the hog/Epicurus points out the answer, all the way through. I say hog because perhaps the best image for the Epicurus/hog as the panels progress is not some chubby round pig but a Razorback hog, or other obviously strong and fearless hog, that the young pig grows into over time.

    The drawing of Gullenbursti as pointed out to me by Jason -…-courtesy-of-a-norse-god/

    I think you are probably limited by the program in terms of the Graphics that you can use, but I'm mainly just thinking out loud.

    Already your graphic can be used in this way ; i am thinking in terms of how we can capture individual parts and then post those regularly as separate illustrations, which then can also be added together into the big picture.

  • Nate I am concerned my suggestions are probably too much work, so don't worry about them of course if you don't have time. I just wanted to post these thoughts for future use when we have time. I particularly think it will be good for future use to be able to clip out "scenes" from within the total, and that way regularly post parts that point back to the whole.

  • Nate I forgot until now to post that this "Oasis" graphic came up in discussion last night on Zoom and the person who brought it up mentioned that they got a lot of use out of it and appreciated it!

    We haven't talked about this graphic much lately but we continue to feature it on the front page and I feel sure it continues to be helpful especially to newer people.

    So thanks again for creating it!

  • this "Oasis" graphic came up in discussion last night on Zoom and the person who brought it up mentioned that they got a lot of use out of it and appreciated it!

    That is wonderful! I am very happy to read that others are finding it useful.

  • Hello! Yes I had brought the Allegory of the Oasis up in the previous Wednesday meeting. I have been meditating on it and thinking about ways to use the image as a graphic to explain Epicureanism in brief to friends and family, as well as a tool to use in exploring the topic of Ideas with my children. I always come back to that second step. That notion of our ideas not comporting to the true nature of things and that heart-broken flight into ideas to save something of that worldview. I have made many missteps into the Neo-Platonic systems of my youth when religion crumbled and into political ideology when my sense of justice crumbled. All very hard lessons to learn for me. It's such a powerful process of mind to point out and offer a better solution to.