Philos Armonikos Level 01
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Posts by Philos Armonikos

    A self-described Stoic apprentice (but with Epicurean sympathies) and audio designer from France saw my chant video in the Stoic/Epicurean/Buddhist group and offered to mix and master the audio for me. This new version is the result!


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    I have been adapting Christian medieval chant and Renaissance polyphony into Epicurean music by changing the church latin into excerpts from Lucretius' DRN.


    My first attempt, an Epicurean devotional chant, (a rework of a Bingen chant) is done. I hope the recording is tolerable, it's just for demonstrating the music.


    I view taking music from Epicureanism's historical opponents as one way to strike blows for Epicurus - and we know that Christianity has taken much from Epicureanism as well (fraternal/monastic communities, epistolary scripture, etc.) I hope no one takes issue with this, as aesthetics is distinct from theology.


    Additionally, the use of such music could be incorporated into the solemn component of a twentieth ritual. To be clear, the purpose of such music would be, as Philodemus says, to help us focus on the best psychosomatic disposition and to best fit ourselves to our own blessedness, while fully recognizing that neither music nor prayer have supernatural power.


    Btw, does anyone know how to translate "illuminating light" or "light that illuminates" into Latin? The title is my best guess, but I have no idea honestly.


    The recording:


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    Sheet music attached:

    Hi Cassius, thanks for sharing your favorite view. I agree that the shiny-plated version can play tricks on the eye. I would say that when viewed up close, the die cutting on it is pretty clear, however the sterling silver is definitely less shiny and more clear in comparison. In the case of either material, someone at a distance is likely going to have to ask about who it is that you're wearing on your neck, so I would bet that both have equal opportunity to be conversation starters, with the shiny-plated perhaps having a slight edge for the simple fact it is more brilliant and specularly reflective, and thus can grab the eye even faster.


    Currently I purchased a 20 unit batch of sterlings silver charms to be made, and I hope that by selling a few, it will give me the capital to order a 100 unit batch of the plated-silver variant (currently it is too cost prohibitive for me to do both at this time). (In either case, the number mentioned reflects the smallest possible batch order from the company I am working with).


    I will be somewhat following Elon Musk's business model with Tesla, whereby the expensive model for 'enthusiasts' facilitates and subsidizes the cheaper model for the 'general populace'.


    So in the spirit of VS 39 and in view of all that I have said, these are the reasons why I need some help from other Epicurean enthusiasts to bring these charms 'to market', so I would be really honored if some others would order some. I am currently confident that it is the most competitively priced and highest fidelity designed cameo necklace of Epicurus for sale anywhere on the internet.


    I do have one competitor, but his cameo doesn't exactly look like Epicurus, the medal is oversized, looks more like an award medal rather than a charm necklace for daily wear, and the whole piece itself is way overpriced for what you are getting (he wants over $200 for equivalent materials to my $70 version):


    https://www.shapeways.com/mark…d-necklaces/?tag=epicurus


    Thanks again so much for everyone's consideration!

    After a number of months of going back and forth with an art design team at a coin minting company, I have finally settled on a design for a votive Epicurus charm necklace based on the original cameo gem at the British Museum. Overall I am very happy with the result, and I hope others are too! I would be honored if some of you would consider wearing it. Peace and safety. 🙏


    https://www.etsy.com/listing/8…otive-charm-necklace-with

    Okay, I've read to the end now, I don't really have any problems with anything you said.


    I can also now 100% stand behind your rebranded title.


    Did you want to address at all my self-declaration as "neo-Epicurean" and if or if not that presents any problems?


    I think we are using that word to mean different things, so it is likely that there isn't a contention. As you define it, it basically means someone who is appropriating EP to support minimalism or asceticism. I am not a minimalist or an ascetic, nor do I advocate those things within EP.

    I haven't finished reading your comment yet, but the first thing I want to admit is that you are correct that my wording is imprecise. It is not meaningful to want to 'revise the conclusions of the [old] physics'. They are what they are.


    Please allow me to restate that more precisely as: 'drop the literal acceptance as true the conclusions of the old physics', and 'seek to develop a new physics that is consistent with both our Canon, informed by the information we know now.'

    I think Cassius and I have basically come to an accord.


    I agree that it is pedagogically useful to understand how Epicurus reasoned out the positions on physics that he did, while at the same time using the Canon ourselves today with the information we have available now to re-evaluate (and occasionally dismiss, when relevant) those conclusions.


    That is all I wanted to accomplish for this conversation in the first place.


    This is leading ultimately to a new discussion which gets at the root of my concerns.


    (Cassius, if the following needs to be moved somewhere else, please do so.)


    To ask a new question, which likely may have been addressed before, but which I would like to understand for myself, what does it mean to call someone a "neo-Epicurean"?


    From etymology, it would appear that the prefix "neo-" just means "new", but of course words develop in different contexts and also it seems the term "New Epicurean" is tolerable, whereas there is a guideline post that specifically rejects "neo-Epicurean" in favor of "Epicurean".


    I would like to propose the division of words that implement the prefix "neo-" into two categories: revivalist (i.e. neo-classical, neo-Romantic, etc.) and revisionist (i.e. neo-Kantian, neo-liberal, neo-conservative, etc.).


    By my division here, I satisfy both and would therefore classify myself as a neo-Epicurean, in the particular sense that I am for seeking a revival of the Epicurean tradition and also a revision of some of the conclusions of the physics.


    We have debated at length as to how I would defend the important conclusions of Epicurus' ethics from a modern scientific standpoint employing Canonical evidence from Darwinian evolution, paleoanthropology and group evolutionary psychology, modern physics, etc., none of which contravene the ultimate metaphysical position of materialism/naturalism, as well as hedonism, which are central to Epicurean philosophy. (I am saying I am using the Canon to ascertain the truth, which makes me at the very least Epicurean.)


    If we are satisfied with this understanding of 'neo-Epicurean', then I would invite the admins to omit the clause on 'not neo-Epicurean but Epicurean' on their guidelines page.

    Hi Don. Thanks for your reply. You are undeniably correct in your appraisal. I agree completely that we must cut the ancients some slack and realize when we have transcended beyond the domain of knowledge which they would have had access to (i.e. modern quantum physics, etc.)


    The only point that I feel the need to emphasize is that there are indeed some people who even now insist on clinging to the results of the ancient atomist hypothesis (infinite universe, the swerve, immutability and indestructibility of atoms, etc.) on faulty deductive grounds (in like manner to Plato's idealisms which are not in contact with reality), which I have been arguing all along that we need to re-evaluate. The Epicurean physics needs to have a modern adjustment, while at the same time not losing any of the most important consequences for the ethics.

    Okay, I am satisfied with that. Thanks for appreciating my concern. I look at the effects of actions as well the intent of actions, and while your intent more or less seems honest to me, by using the original title you may have unknowingly had the effect of casting my responses in a bad light, at least from the perspective of new readers who were not familiar with my intended goals for this discussion.

    Hi Cassius,


    I am currently working through this book. Unfortunately as I understand it, academic historians do not like to engage in broad sweeping historiographic narratives which may be overly simplistic (the biggest example of this usually given is Edward Gibbon's 1776 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). Apparently Stephen Greenblatts's The Swerve is also held in a similar level of contempt. That being said, I intend to eventually go through it and develop my own opinion, though I am certainly out of my area of expertise here as regards to historical textual criticism and historiography.


    My preconceptions on these kinds of popular histories has been shaped by the historians at these links:


    https://historyforatheists.com/the-great-myths/


    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHi…roid_app&utm_source=share


    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHi…roid_app&utm_source=share


    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHi…roid_app&utm_source=share


    You may want to try "The Triumph of Christianity" by Bart Ehrman instead. Bart is a New Testament scholar who has journeyed from evangelical Christian to liberal Christian to agnostic atheist in the span of his career and writes even-handed, relatively unbiased historical accounts based on the available evidence to the best of my knowledge.

    I'd like to share another piece of what I consider to be Epicurean art. It is a secular English Renaissance madrigal by Orlando Gibbons entitled 'The Silver Swan', composed 1612.


    It is a rapturous musical meditation on the brevity of existence, on the cessation of all physical experience at the point of death, and, by metaphor, on the fleetingness of wisdom, as embodied by the image of a dying 'silver' swan.


    The swan may be another important symbolic animal for Epicureans, as both Zeus and Aphrodite (patron god and goddess of the Garden?) are associated with them. In iconography, Aphrodite Urania is often depicted on a swan, and in myth Zeus takes the form of a swan to seduce Leda, the mother of Helen of Troy.


    The anonymous lyrics:

    "The silver Swan, who, living, had no Note,

    when Death approached, unlocked her silent throat.

    Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,

    thus sang her first and last, and sang no more:

    "Farewell, all joys! O Death, come close mine eyes!

    More Geese than Swans now live, more Fools than Wise." "


    There are many great recordings, but my favorite is from The Cambridge Singers:


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    I would like to share a piece of art that I would in a sense consider 'Epicurean', but likely 'humanist' more than anything. I wish that there was more music, art, and poetry that we could claim to be inspired by or at least reflective of our school. (I feel that religion should not be the sole claimant to beautiful paintings, architecture, music, etc.)


    What follows was originally a poem, written in Spanish by Octavio Paz, then set to music by the choral composer Eric Whitacre.


    The lyrics are a meditation on the briefness of life and the fleetingness of human love (Ερως/Eros), and the ecstasy of pleasure when finding it anew, as shown through the lives of two lovers, depicted as strewn out on a grassy meadow, then later on a sandy shore, and lastly underneath the ground, feeding each other fruits and exchanging kisses (Ήδονή/Hedone), like waves and clouds exchange droplets of mist, before their time is over (Θάνατος/Thanatos), when they must sleep forever in silence (Ύπνος/Hypnos).


    The author is rumored to have been inspired upon sight of the figures of two youths (which are now thought to have been gay lovers), interlocked in an eternal embrace, preserved in the destruction of Pompeii, though I cannot remember where I heard this nor can I verify the claim.


    Here is a nice description of the message of the lyrics:

    https://gewchorale.org/directo…itacre-s-a-boy-and-a-girl


    Eric Whitacre's haunting choral setting:

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    The original lyrics in Spanish:


    "[Los Novios]


    Tendidos en la yerba

    una muchacha y un muchacho.

    Comen naranjas, cambian besos

    como las olas cambian sus espumas.


    Tendido en la playa

    una muchacha y un muchacho.

    Comen limones, cambian besos

    como las nubes cambian espumas.


    Tendidos bajo tierra

    una muchacha y un muchacho.

    No dicen nada, no se besan,

    cambian silencio por silencio."


    The English translation:


    "[A Boy and a Girl]


    Stretched out on the grass,

    a boy and a girl.

    Savoring their oranges,

    giving their kisses like waves exchanging foam.


    Stretched out on the beach,

    a boy and a girl.

    Savoring their limes,

    giving their kisses like clouds exchanging foam.


    Stretched out underground,

    a boy and a girl.

    Saying nothing, never kissing,

    giving silence for silence."