"Epicurean Issues" By Our Friend Michele Pinto

  • Note: I am shamelessly pasting this from Facebook where Elli has posted it.
    "Epicurean Issues", by our friend Michele Pinto.

    Every summer, in Senigallia of Italy, some descendants of Lucretius hold festivals dedicated to the memory of Epicurus (hey, that philosopher that lived in Greece, whom even his mother does not know him now, here in Greece… as that idiom says), and among other things that are mentioned for his philosophy, they also create songs.
    You can listen this beautiful song, and here: https://senigallia.one/.../922/original/23f0cb9f29a5e41f.mp3
    The melody and lyrics are by the band "Arbitri Elegantiae" and is inspired by the philosophy of Epicurus. The song was presented for the first time at the Epicurean Festival in Senigallia last July. Today, the artists present it to us, as it has been recorded in the studio, and has these powerful lyrics, as follows:

    Se tra quei desideria
    Ιf among those desires
    che ti assalgono a tutte le ore
    that are attacking you all the hours

    c’è un inutile oggetto
    there is a useless thing

    perché un cookie ha profilato il tuo cuore,
    (that happens) because a cookie has become the shape of your heart,

    se in un supermercato
    if in a supermarket

    passi i giorni di festa a fare
    you pass the days like holidays

    un percorso guidato
    a tourist guide

    che ti dice cosa devi comprare,
    that tells you what to buy,

    pensa sempre che
    always think that

    ciò che ti serve
    what you need

    è molto poco e
    it’s very little and

    lo puoi avere
    you can have it

    senza fatica!

    Se ritieni importante
    If you think important
    comandare su tanta gente
    to rule over many people

    e per essere il primo
    and to be the first
    tratti tutti come fossero niente,
    you treat everyone like they’re nothing,
    se davanti a uno schermo
    if in front of a screen

    passi i tuoi pomeriggi in pena
    you spend your afternoons in pain
    a contar le faccine
    counting smileys (emoticons)
    messe da chi ti conosce appena,
    pressed by those who barely know you (*)
    pensa sempre che
    always think that

    ciò che ti serve
    what you need

    è molto poco e
    it is very little and

    lo puoi avere
    you can have it

    senza fatica!

    (*) my note: when you’ll die... do you think that those who barely know you at facebook would be the same ones who’ll cry for you? Yeah, right “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride”, since when you’ll die, this little face 🙁 (emoticon) they will press for you, and then they will continue their lives, as if no one has died. So, what are you doing? You dedicate your precious time to those who don't really care about you, and on how they join with you. How else, they keep them and you, in the isolation and solitude of home, with the intention to rule you, them, and all of us?

  • This brings up questions about the very structure of current civilization -- and since I am in the United States then this is my viewpoint based on American society.

    Back in time, people were much more dependent on their families and their extended families. And that also meant that they had to "comply" with all the wishes that their parents asked of them, such as a son taking up the kind of work that his father thought was right for him, as well as only marrying according to the wishes of the parents.

    Now we are much more independent and make choices individually in a much more self-sufficient manner, because we can generally survive without the help of our family of origin.

    But because of this self-sufficiency, many people move to different parts of the country several times to change jobs. This means that new friends have to be made each time there is a move. And one's friends often move away as well. So friends are now somewhat "disposable" and maybe we don't get as close to people.

    The other aspect is that everyone is busy working, and one's romantic partner takes precedence -- there is very little time left over to do much recreation, and spouses and partners have to prioritize time for romance rather than take time for making or maintaining friendships.

    Thus in a busy world where there is not enough time, Facebook etc (and even this forum perhaps) takes on a role of connecting to others quickly and easily.

    But I think we (here on the forum) do have ways to have deeper engagement, for established members can join Zoom discussions, and even though it isn't "in-person" there can be a quality of connection coming out of regular Zoom participation. So then this is something to consider: how attending regular Zoom can support friendships and community.

    And also: we need to set up some Zoom meetings for new members to meet one another, maybe once a month.

  • And also: we need to set up some Zoom meetings for new members to meet one another, maybe once a month.

    This is a pretty good idea. The 20th calls and the Lucretius/DeWitt calls are seemingly imposing for a newcomer, and the latter is quite frankly not the best place for someone so new.

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”

  • I just posted this on Facebook as a reply to Elli's post:

    Thank you Elli for posting that! And thank you Michele Pinto and friends for producing such high quality work! And I want to echo Elli's comments at the end and relate it to the music:: yes we "can" be happy spending all our time on facebook clicking emoticons, just like we "can" be happy eating bread and water and cheese and living in a cave -- IF that is the most pleasant life open to us. For some of due to our personal circumstances yes that is the best, and a life such as that is well worth living. But for those who have better health, more resources, younger bodies, more vibrant minds, and who have the capacity to do more: Would we wish that Michelangelo had done nothing other than live in a cave? How about the many other artists and creators (including the ones who wrote and produced this song!)? Would we have wished that they had decided to be happy with nothing more than a cave and a nearby stream? Epicurus taught that we regularly choose pain when it leads to greater pleasure, and most of all, Epicurus taught that we should throw off the chains of religion and of false philosophies and realize that we have but one life to live. And that's the spirit that is displayed in this artwork from a prior Michele Pinto production. I hope we will see much more of the spirit of this graphic featuring Michele himself!