Elli Moderator
  • from Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Member since Nov 24th 2017
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Posts by Elli

    Have a nice day, as you all sleep well that "comfortable sleep of the righteousness" as a greek idiom says...for dreaming Nietzsche that lived in the past century and who neither have any children, nor Onfray of our days who is reaching his 60 years old, without being married yet... Sorry, there is no proof yet that there are many genuine epicureans that are applying in practice the Epicurean Philosophy. And if there are some or many of them either here or there, in the basis of the analogy of the Canon I realized that they do not marry epicurean women to bear new babies to leave and their genes and creating to them such an environment for studying and applying Epicuru's philosophy... In Nature both the genes and the environment cooperate to give us many results. And that is because the first law of Nature is that : the species that is not multiplying itself is doomed to die.

    And I ask : What a value have a few books or some articles for epicurean philosophy only? Nothing at all. The platonists and stoics multiplying themselves through the centuries for this they still conquer carrying their stupid genes with their stupid ideas which made them to measure all the things through pain for producing more pain around, and just for creating and the environment/societies with such traditions that are based on superstitions etc etc. We see that with our own eyes, and we feel it with our own emotions. This is the main fact of the facts. If we want to examine properly the phenomena and the causes that caused them.

    And again with the analogy of the Canon: There are three Gardens in Greece... "what a great hope" some may say. Wrong! This is not a great hope as any hope is not a fact! Because the most of the Epicureans inside the greek gardens did not marry at all, and some other that have been married... their wives do not like the Epicurean Philosophy at all, but the worse of all is that their children do not visit the gardens at all. This goes to me too. Because as I am talking and applying with my children the Epicurean Philosophy... but this is not enough too. Since, as they say, they have no free time to visit any of the Gardens. Where and with whom could they apply the epicurean philosophy only with me? Wrong ! With their friends. But who are their friends, and in what kind of environment do they live... when their friends are still struggling to find a job or they are going to other countries in EU for finding a job?

    Please read again more carefully this excerpt from the Will by Epicurus. He did not leave only some money or estate or some papyri with his works to the rest. No, he left trusted friends as guardians to their little children, and to the rest that maybe have some children too. Because Epicurus knew that of what Protagoras has said: "man is the measure of all things".

    From Epicuru's Will : "Amynomachus and Timocrates shall be the guardians of Epicurus, the son of Metrodorus, and of the son of Polyaenus, as long as they study philosophy under, and live with Hermarchus. In the same way also, they shall be the guardians of the daughter of Metrodorus, and when she is of marriageable age, they shall give her to whomsoever Hermarchus shall select of his companions in philosophy, provided she is well behaved and obedient to Hermarchus. And Amynomachus and Timocrates shall, out of my income, give them such a sum for their support as shall appear sufficient year by year, after due consultation with Hermarchus".

    Conclusion : Epicureans are like those sweet Pandas that do not like multiplying themselves. As for my compatriots, the modern greeks, are Mules. So, here comes Dimitris Liantinis to say just a few words to Epicurus how the modern Greeks became such great Mules :

    “What kind of blindness prevents us as a nation to recognize just how low we have fallen in the eyes of the international community, how foreigners see us? Like the esurientes graeculi [Greek beggars] of Juvenal and Cicero. Describing and explaining how it came to be so is not all that hard. Throughout the country, which is to say, throughout our educational system and our traditions, we see ourselves as lions, where those outside of our country would see us as mice. We believe we are the great-grandsons of Aristotle and Alexander (or of Epicurus, as some few they will add). But the foreigners see us as mummies discovered in some nondescript Mastaba. Why? There are many reasons. But they all point to a common source. A simple equation with two sides and an equality sign. Here it is: In terms of the prevalent culture and philosophical outlook of life, modern Greeks equals Jewish-Greeks. Applying this equation to the problem, we derive two results. The first is that we are living a national polarization. The second, a corollary of the first, that we live without an ethnic identity. We modern Greeks are an illegitimate and bastardized lot. Not horses nor donkeys. We are mules. And mules do not produce offspring”.

    On The Outskirts Of Antioch - Poem by Constantine P. Cavafy

    We in Antioch were astonished when we heard

    what Julian was up to now.

    Apollo had made things clear to him at Daphni:

    he didn't want to give an oracle (as though we cared!),

    he didn't intend to speak prophetically, unless

    his temple at Daphni was purified first.

    The nearby dead, he declared, got on his nerves.

    There are many tombs at Daphni.

    One of those buried there

    was the triumphant and holy martyr Vavylas,

    wonder and glory of our church.

    It was him the false god hinted at, him he feared.

    As long as he felt him near he didn't dare

    pronounce his oracle: not a murmur.

    (The false gods are terrified of our martyrs.)

    Unholy Julian got worked up,

    lost his temper and shouted: "Raise him, carry him out,

    take him away immediately, this Vavylas.

    You there, do you hear? He gets on Apollo's nerves.

    Grab him, raise him at once,

    dig him out, take him away, throw him out,

    take him wherever you want. This isn't a joke.

    Apollo said the temple has to be purified."

    We took it, the holy relic, and carried it elsewhere.

    We took it, we carried it away in love and in honor.

    And hasn't the temple done brilliantly since!

    In no time at all a colossal fire

    broke out, a terrible fire,

    and both the temple and Apollo burned to nothing.8o

    Ashes the idol: dirt to be swept away.

    Julian exploded, and he spread it around—

    what else could he do?—that we, the Christians,

    had set the fire. Let him say so.

    It hasn't been proved. Let him say so.

    The essential thing is—he exploded.

    If you think that the world of our days has another attitude for greek philosophy and greek treasures... you do not know, my friend, what is going on, and what keeps well inside EU. No, I do not bye anymore whatever comes from that as they call it United Europe that is a world which is falling apart/collapses like a tree with its trunk, its branches, and its roots in front of our eyes. Because EU's values system is based on the monetary banking system! And of course the bread for the hungry people is the fantastic world of ideas by Plato that is liked so much by the priesthood, who earn more than 12.000.000 euros /per year as an income of Notre Dame... and there are people in EU that still are unemployed and have no their natural and necessary ...in EU of our days. But who has such open eyes for seeing the virus that is inside our countries ?? Do you understand that people are manipulating in an extreme scientific way for losing our social coherence just for the purpose to separate us and for leading us to wars ??

    Dear Italian friend Michelle, there would be the same causes in the phenomena, when History will be repeated like a bad-tasted joke !<X

    At the Acropoli's temple of Athena when its marbles had been destroyed and the rest have been stolen for the purpose to be exhibited in the London's museum.... no one cared in EU or elsewhere.

    The statue of Nike of Samothraki that has been stolen for the purpose to be exhibited in the museum of Louvre in Paris... no one cared in EU or elsewhere.

    The statue of Aphrodite of Melos when it has been stolen for the purpose to exhibit in the museum of Louvre in Paris...no one cared in EU or elsewhere.

    And nobody care for these treasures that belong to Hellas till now... Frankly, I do not care of what belongs to France !

    "For instance, when Epicurus asked whether it is possible to know and not know something at the same time..."

    This sounds as an Epicurean argument. If this same argument goes for Nature (and not for a father) that is presented here in Earth with many of our known laws, but as we investigate the phenomena here on Earth based on the analogy of the Canon we can make assumptions for the unseen i.e. like Nature to be as a mother that is covered with a veil.

    And how we can make assumptions? With the manifold way by Epicurus. This of what our friends in the Garden of Thessaloniki are saying that the science of today is called as "fuzzy logic". But the right term has to be called as "the manifold way" by Epicurus that it is possible to know and to not know something in the same time. This is for the purpose to not be agitated by Myths with ghosts and supernatural beings as gods that produce fear of the unknown as well as from the charlatanism, superstition and prejudices. Thus, and as Epicurus said, the only thing that has to be excluded from our investigations are Myths, and the absolutes.

    From an excerpt to Epicuru's epistle to Pythocles we see how Epicurus knows and does not know something in the same time. And that means also that he is waiting that time that his assumptions will be proved and not contradicted in the future by the experiences of men, and the science that investigates the same phenomena.

    If Epicurus lived in our era he would be very happy to see with his own eyes those videos with moon landings.

    From Pythocles : "The wanings of the moon and its subsequent waxings might be due to the revolution of its own body, or equally well to successive conformations of the atmosphere, or again to the interposition of other bodies; they may be accounted for in all the ways in which phenomena on earth invite us to such explanations of these phases; provided only one does not become enamoured of the method of the single cause and groundlessly put the others out of court, without having considered what it is possible for a man to observe and what is not, and desiring therefore to observe what is impossible. Next the moon may have her light from herself or from the sun. For on earth too we see many things shining with their own, and many with reflected light. Nor is any celestial phenomenon against these explanations, if one always remembers the method of manifold way and investigates hypotheses and explanations consistent with them, and does not look to inconsistent notions and emphasize them without cause and so fall back in different ways on different occasions on the method of the single cause. The impression of a face in the moon may be due to the variation of its parts or to interposition or to any one of many causes which might be observed, all in harmony with phenomena. For in the case of all celestial phenomena this process of investigation must never be abandoned – for if one is in opposition to clear-seen facts, he can never have his part in true peace of mind".


    Here is the Paean of the Epicureans, as said by Metrodorus :

    This Saying is attributed to Metrodorus. An Epicurean leaves as little as possible to chance, to fortune, as is also discussed in Principal Doctrine 16. One does so neither by dreading, nor by worshipping fortune (as do the many), but by "anticipating" it. In a finely wrought methaphor, the author depicts such an anticipation as a barricade of sorts, the wise person having blocked every possible path of egress, keeping chance outside of his/her life. Continuing with the militant metaphor, such a person is determined not to surrender to chance under any circumstances.

    An Epicurean, however, knows that before "that which is necessary" (i.e. death), we all "live in an unfortified city", as Metrodorus himself wrote in epicurean saying 31. One ought not to harbor delusions of immortality, thinking that all those fortifications against fortune will also serve in preventing death itself. Thus, when what is necessary as a law of nature comes along, one ought to remain in good cheer and high spirits. "Boldly spitting upon life" and those who cling on to in with some vain hopes of immortality (he is succumbing to this or that superstition), a true Epicurean departs from life singing a joyful paean to life, shouting out for all to hear that, yes, this life has been lived well.

    Death is not only an issue of Christians et.al, it is an issue of Greeks too. However, the Greeks in the basis of their culture, art, and philosophy they faced and this issue with dignity and bravery, and in accordance with the natural phenomena. Always, in greek tragedies and myths, there is a redemption and a victory for the human against to what provokes to him pain, fear, and confusion. And of course this is evidenced by Epicurean philosophy too.

    Here is an excerpt from the book "Gemma" by Dimitris Liantinis that is explained those myths in the bible, and on how the natural became unnatural.

    "The fourth chapter of Genesis is the story of Death. It is the tragedy of Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus. It is the fratricide of Cain and Abel. It is the fratricide of Polyneikes and Eteokles. Man was warned that if he tasted the fruit of knowledge, he would know death : “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”– Genesis 2, 17 . And the threat, that was erstwhile issued by god to the splendidly naked creatures, soon materialized. They ate on Friday and died on Saturday. Since the subject of the third chapter of Genesis was knowledge, by necessity the subject of the fourth would be death. The two brothers, agricultural farmers, offer the first produce of their toils to mother nature as a grateful sacrifice. Abel presents a white lamb while Cain brings some fruits of the soil. Nature turns an attentive ear and listens to Abel's song but silently disregards Cain's plight. Abel's flock grows larger while Cain's fields grow parched. The hapless brother grows jealous of the prosperous one. “Let's go out to the field”, he tells him. While there, he lifts a large rock and brings it down forcefully on his brother's head. The head cracks in two. Blood and brains spill to the ground. The body collapses like a tree and falls flat in a single movement. Abel's eyesight is quickly fading. He turns to address his brother for the last time: - “Why did you slay me brother? I will never see the birds and the sun again. Never again will a maiden pour water over my hands at the spring. My child and my sheep will never know my caring touch again. Never again! You hear me? Nevermore!”

    The writer of Genesis then says that lightning struck Cain's forehead and forever marked him as a murderer. But it was not lightning. It was that Nevermore! It was the last words uttered by Abel that became a wrinkle of death and marked his brother's brow. It is the same wrinkle we all carry on our brow from Cain's time and forever after. It is the knowledge of death. Among all things that live, animals, birds, plants, reptiles, stars, the knowledge of death is unique to humans. It is the heavy ransom with which we bought our intelligent consciousness. Our cognitive understanding.

    Millions of humans had perished before Abel but did not know that they were dying. Just like the fish, birds, plants, reptiles, stars, die without such knowledge. They did not know that they were dying because they lived in the paradise of ignorance of the animal. Death arrived on this world with Cain. And the knowledge of death is a most costly comprehension. The billowing cloud brings rain to the thirsty plains and snow to the mountaintops. The cloud of Cain summoned and unleashed the lightning of terror in human existence. Its unworldly radiance that engulfed the land of our story became a vast cloak of blood. I mean that this Nevermore! It was the last words uttered by a dying Abel, was to become for humans the locus of the most savage terror concerning their dialectical relationship with death. The physical knowledge that by dying, man is lost forever, never to live again, sowed in his existence a horrible fear.

    Forever! and Nevermore! Two phrases whose volume displacement has an absolute value. Their predetermined destiny is to be used by man solely for the definitive fact of death. Man could not bear this horrible fear in the face of death. He could not find the presence of mind to conquer it. To admit it and acknowledge it. To submit gracefully and with dignity to this relentless rightful force of nature. He wavered. And he wavered exactly at this crucial moment. So, the trophy was seized by death. Man started to flee and death took up the chase. And the poor sod is still running to escape. Distraught, blind and light-footed. He seeks, having lost his way, a safe place to hide. The only safety he finds is in caves and earthly habitations. These are muddy holes and rocky ravines, avalanches and landslides that bring him tumbling down to the unkempt basements of his sentiments and feverish imagination. These are lands hidden away in the darkness of existence, thousands of miles deep and far from the blazing troposphere of our logic. So that we can no longer hear Abel's lightning. The deafening sound of that Nevermore!

    To conceal and escape from the horrible terror of death, man invented the gods and religions. And life after death. This first and foremost. Belief in the afterlife is the suspension system, the backbone of all religions. Find me a single religion whose founder did not construct its edifice upon the foundation stone of belief in the afterlife and I will gladly demonstrate how this religion doesn't have a single follower, not even its own founder. I am not talking about Buddha here because nirvana is abandonment, not virtuous pride.

    Through gods and religions, all the dirty laundry of human history came into being and found their way into the light. Clergies, synagogues and catechism. Opium for the masses, dementia and fanaticism. Congealing theological hatred, odium theologicum. And alongside the unsightly shape and rotting flesh of all related offices. Like a malignant carcinoma and a parasite. The alleged holy visions, demonic possessions and exorcisms. And at its highest echelons you'll find the institutes of ignorance and the brilliant academies of darkness. The theological colleges and the holy Synod. It was through gods and religions that all the dirty laundry of human history found their way into the light.

    From Aeschylus and “ἐλευθεροῦτε θεῶν τε πατρῷων ἓδη”[*] to the crosses of the Crusaders, to Hitler's Swastika and the recent Jihads against the American “infidels” during the Gulf Wars. In this mutation of human nature, the mark of Cain is much worse than the mark of Onan. Because here the derailing of the natural to the unnatural has to do with a perversion of the mind, of the spirit, and of core values. It is the counterfeiting of the entire history of civilization. Both are evils, but the venom of the viper is much more dangerous than the sting of a bee! For when all is said and done, Onan's brand set man off on a hunt for endurance and pleasure. But with Cain's mark man became the prey of fear and his own cowardice. With Onan, man casts himself off the rock while singing. With Cain, he sinks wailing in the mire". (Dimitris Liantinis “Gemma”)

    [*] Paean as sung by the Greeks in the battle of Salamina (Aeschylus Persians 402-5).

    Oh sons of the greeks,

    Free your fatherland,

    free your children, your wives, the temples of your fathers’ gods,

    and the tombs of your ancestors,

    Now the struggle is for all the things.

    The essence of Aeschylus’s Paean lies in protecting family, and cult and in keeping the country, the land of the fathers, free by taking up arms in defense, and not in a war of ambition. The classical battle cry makes the defense of Greek territory a legitimate ground for “just war”, which has been key to the understanding of patriotism to the present day. The just defenders of hearth and home, of the ancestral soil that had produced and raised them, deserved victory. Such a motivation in its modern version aided in the territorial reconfiguration of Greece. Because the Greek military action was a reaction to defend Greek territory, Aeschylus’s lines also conveyed that war could have been avoided, if only the enemy had chosen to do so. Thus, the celebrated passage held the seeds to develop a public discourse on patriotic revenge, but also one on war and peace.

    “Aeschylus describes the paean as a “holy cry uttered in a loud voice, a shout offered in sacrifice, emboldening to friends, and dissolving fear of the foe”. When an army marched into the battle of a navy left the harbor to wage war at sea, the men sang the paean. It was a combination of prayer, cheer, and rebel yell …Aeschylus is blunt about the paean’s terrifying effect on the Persian audience aboard ship.

    Elli also what about the point of whether any gods in Greek religion died, or chose to die?

    Do I take it to be obvious that the Greek gods experienced pain of some degree, in that they were always fighting among themselves and being mad at each other?

    Again, I am wondering about the context that was familiar to Epicurus when he started thinking about this subject.

    Let's examine the Doctrine 20 which starts like this: "The (human's) flesh perceives the limits of pleasure as unlimited, and unlimited time is required to supply it...". Why does that happen? Why does the flesh perceive that there are no limits in time? Maybe because the flesh/brain/feelings/senses of the human when is born it is like the animals that have not yet the consciousness that pleasure has limits. And when the human is getting older through the experiences is realizing the issue of death, and with the hedonic calculus realizes/conceives also that has limits. But with experiences it is beneficial for the human to achieve the prudence - that teaches us - on how to become able to put our personal limits for enjoying the pleasure in life.

    Do gods perceive as part of Nature that may have a "flesh" that perceives that has unlimited time to enjoy pleasure? Maybe yes, maybe they are like the animals and the humans' babies that are protected or created by Nature such as to not feel pain and enjoy the net pleasure. But however, as Epicurus points out and even the gods obey to the laws of Nature that is capable to create and them, as well as the unlimited worlds both like and unlike with ours. But why Epicurus placed the gods in intermundia (metacosmia i.e. between the worlds) ? Because he thought that yet there is infinite time for them to feel pleasure, there is also a finite space that is maybe like the void that is a "place", and as Epicurus said also for the void is an "untouched" place that makes the gods to have total inability to interact with the laws of Nature and with all worlds that created by Nature.

    And continues : "...But the (human's) mind, having attained a reasoned understanding of the ultimate good of the flesh and its limits..." here is what I said above for "the consciousness of the humans" that the flesh to feel pleasure has limits and that comes from the time that human perception is his full consciousness of what is death, what is life and on how he should live well!

    And now, on consciousness, please remember your experience, as I remember my experience that was an easter: when I was about 5 years old that I saw my grandfather with a slaughter man to have a hanging sheep on a tree and as the slaughter was trying to put out the sheep’s flesh, I realized that that sheep I knew, it was not alive anymore, and at the same time I realized that in that situation it was, no one could it bring it back. I felt pain and I cried so much. Then, my grandfather fooled me to bring another sheep in the farm saying that it was that sheep. And then they fooled me inside school with the god, the soul and resurrection. They fooled me with Plato's philosophy, until the day I lost my father and my brother and I realized that those issues I learned are total foolishness for making me to live like a stupid slave. And as came to my life Epicurus and his philosophy, I shout out loud : YES, this is the right way at last !

    And for this Epicurus continues in this PD 20 "and having dissipated the fears concerning the time to come"..."the time to come" is a fear with a pain in anticipation on something that did not yet come for us, because when the human realizes the next people death, in the same time is realizing the fact of thyself death. For this Epicurus says death is nothing for all of us. Here Epicurus rejects this selfishness that is provoked by later Christianity. So Epicurus unites us with next others that all we are mortals. In the plurality the pain and the fear of death is eliminated also. For this when he speaks for friendship, he called it as immortal good. In plurality, he also says that in death we have no sensations and that means also there is no consciousness at all.

    And he continues on the issue of this consciousness: "when the fear is dissipated in the same time it supplies us with the complete life, and we have no further need of infinite time:" Because the flesh does not care anymore for the infinite amount of time (lust for immortality), but the most pleasant time (i.e. the desire for pleasure here and now (present) with the remembrance of (past) pleasures and an expectation of (future) pleasures. This is the voyage of Epicurus in time and space that are both limited, but this is also the way to enjoy pleasure in life.

    and continues :"but neither does the mind shun pleasure, nor, when circumstances begin to bring about the departure from life, does it approach its end as though it fell short in any way of the best life".

    So, without the carving/lust of immortality i.e. the infinite time and infinite space human’s flesh enjoys and feel the pleasure, past, present and expectation of future, and when is time to leave from the game of life, the human sings a triumph song how WELL he lived.

    So to live like god among men it is the same to live well and die well. And that means that the craving of immortality is vain, an empty belief that provokes pain and fear with the result of what ? To have depression, to not be grateful and pleased of what a great gift life is,, and the worst of all is to not think that there was also the probability : to not be born at all, which - with an image is - like the darkness of the abyss.

    Conclusion : What really stupid persons exist around us, and as I say sometimes, those are the people that take from us the oxygen to breathe free in a clear air.

    For them are the following Epicurean sayings : :P

    68. Nothing is sufficient for him to whom what is sufficient seems too little.

    69. The ungrateful greed of the soul makes the creature everlastingly desire varieties of in its lifestyle.

    Good to hear that, but I do not accept that. Since that is one of the main causes that turned upside down the whole of our philosophy. As they connected the epicureans with good food and fine wine. To drink and eat and be merry. Moreover, we can do a hypothesis: If the molecules of the pleasure could be found in the stomach or in the small intestine then all the people that have tables with dishes full of food with cacao and omega 3, like the famous Trymalchion dinners, by Petronius would be very pleased and happy.

    However, Εpicurus in the last paragraph of his letter to Pythocles in which he describes the methodology of the Canon, he speaks for senses and the "heart" -"love" i.e. feelings, and not for the stomach and the small intestine. If the heart that is a part of a whole body, which through the brain enriches with hormones the whole body can't feel the passion (eros) for the true philosophy, there will be agitation and to the stomach and to the small intestine that would be full, but in the same time will be empty of feelings i.e. depression, since the stomach is just a sack and the small intestine is just a tube of a stupid bad-ass... and sorry for such a language.

    There are many molecules in the body and not just those of the small intestine. There is also the environment, there is a whole philosophy that units with consistency the Physics, the Canon and Ethics. And of course, there is the friendship that is developed in an environment. Based on friendship we feel those feelings of security for the food that fills the stomach and the existence of a shelter in any condition. Friendship with its security leads the persons to the bravery, to the liberty, to the autonomy, and to the self-sufficiency for making such contracts with such laws to not hurt each other ... Eating chocolate and smoking cannabis is not the solution. The solution comes from our philosophy that is a whole and leads to the goal of pleasure.

    Trust women, since they know many things about GREAT PAINS (labor pains), and GREAT PLEASURES (breast feeding and the hugging of our babies), and as Elayne knows the important role of the Oxytocin in general :

    Oxytocin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is involved in childbirth and breast-feeding. It is also associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building.

    It is sometimes referred to as the "love hormone," because levels of oxytocin increase during hugging and orgasm. It may also have benefits as a treatment for a number of conditions, including depression, anxiety, and intestinal problems.

    Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain. Females usually have higher levels than males. :saint:

    Here are some key points about oxytocin. More detail is in this article : https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275795.php

    Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus and released during sex, childbirth, and lactation to aid reproductive functions.

    It has physical and psychological effects, including influencing social behavior and emotion.

    Oxytocin is prescribed as a drug for obstetric and gynecological reasons and can help in childbirth.

    Research shows that it may benefit people with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

    Elayne Coulter to Cassius Amicus, well, in the sense that without the danger signal of pain we would die from tissue damage at a young age-- as people do who are born without the ability to feel pain-- that is how pain allows life, which is necessary for pleasure. But I do not think it is similar to matter and void. Then you would require pain in your cup of pleasure, just as void is required between the constantly moving atoms.

    Although pain as a warning is necessary, the events which cause us pain are often not necessary, and we should attempt to avoid pain when the pleasure of an action is not greater. Agreeing to pains for greater pleasure is not because the pain brings balance or is necessary, but because it happens to be a result of a particular action. The pain of the death of loved ones is a necessary risk associated with the greater pleasure of deep love. But we will also love many people whom we will not grieve-- they instead will grieve us. So our pain would not have been needed for those loves.

    I had another thought this morning upon waking-- if we took the approach of her last paragraph, we would be following the currently prescribed stages of grief, which is an acceptance of pain in an almost resigned manner.

    My usual approach is more defiant-- I refuse to submit to pain and insist upon acting for the goal of pleasure. I don't refuse to feel pain of grief-- I just refuse to let it win.

    I can't go into some of the specific occasions here... but an example is that when I was told my son would never improve from his schizophrenia enough to leave a group home, I grieved that he had an incurable illness but I refused to submit to doom. I kept searching until I found a place that agreed to try harder, and I took him there. Because I didn't give up, although he is not cured, he has a real life in the community. He has freedom, and friends. I see this as us having defied pain and insisted on pleasure, in spite of not being able to eliminate the pain.

    I have done a similar thing when grieving deaths-- I have thought about how I hope my friends and family will not cave in to grief when I die and will live on seeking pleasure, including happy memories of me.

    It has a more invigorating result.

    Elli Pensa to Elayne Coulter : My friend Elayne, you are a genuine Epicurean !!! <3

    Cassius Amicus

    " in the sense that without the danger signal of pain we would die from tissue damage at a young age-- as people do who are born without the ability to feel pain-- that is how pain allows life, which is necessary for pleasure. But I do not think it is similar to matter and void. Then you would require pain in your cup of pleasure, just as void is required between the constantly moving atoms. "

    This is a very interesting discussion I am going to have to think about. I totally agree about fighting pain every step of the way. On the other hand, I can see the possibility that we both fight it every step of the way and yet be glad that the *mechanism* is there.

    I think in general we have to be alert that there can be multiple levels in what Epicurus was teaching. There is the (1) practical advice for normal intelligent people of good will, and there is (2) dialectical logical responses for the stubborn eggheads who refuse to understand that logical puzzles are not the most important thing in life. Epicurus had to deal with both types of people.

    It seems possible to me that what we are discussing might be flipping back and forth between the two perspectives. Clearly (to me) it is right to fight pain every step of the way. But in the heat of battle with egghead Platonists, it might be appropriate to focus at least for that moment on the aspect from which pain is an intrinsic and inseparable aspect of human life.

    Of course dealing with egghead Platonists is pretty close to pain / undesirable in itself!


    Elli Pensa to Cassius : please read carefully what Elayne wrote : "My usual approach is more defiant-- I refuse to submit to pain and insist upon acting for the goal of pleasure. I don't refuse to feel pain of grief-- I just refuse to let it win".

    In the above thoughts by our friend Elayne I found similarities of what Nietzsche has said :

    "I have given a name to my pain and call it “dog.” It is just as faithful, just as obtrusive and shameless, just as entertaining, just as clever as any other dog–and I can scold it and vent my bad mood on it, as others do with their dogs, servants, and wives". –Nietzsche, The Gay Science.

    Nietzsche's book "The Gay Science" is written after a period of illness, so, Nietzsche makes embodiedness a central tenet of his philosophy, and pain a necessary component of that embodiedness. His relationship to pain, namely treating his pain as if it were a dog to be trained and disciplined, turns pain from a thing that he submits to into a thing that has been submitted to him.


    However, Elayne as a genuine Epicurean lady that she is, first thing first that she points out is : <<the goal of pleasure>>. Elayne does not point out a kind of gratitude, she does not move among the opposites, she does not point out anything of these things, but she points out the power of pleasure that is the right guide by Nature for her to train and disciplined any pain internal or external, so with this procedure any pain has been submitted to her like an obedient doggie ! At this point, all the genuine Epicureans shout out loud: Hooray ! This is the great moment of the evidence of the POWER that epicurean SWERVE has !!!!


    I have the impression on the issue of Gods that exists a hidden serious argument by Epicurus that gods have not that humans' craving/lust for immortality, because they have total ignorance that are mortals. So, gods have not the consciousness/knowledge of what is death. They are as living in the situation like the animals or humans' babies that born with the pleasure as set by Nature. Gods, animals and humans' babies are in that clear and obvious situation, that is described with that Myth - as a general picture - which says : before Prometheus offered the fire to the humans that is a metaphor of the consciousness/knowledge what is death, and it is the same with that myth of the lost paradise with Eve, Adam and the apple. In the former greek myth redemption became to the humans when the god Prometheus himself was punished by other gods, because he gave that consciousness/knowledge what is death to the humans. It is like to hear gods saying to Prometheus : why Prometheus lead the humans to have fears and pains what is death, and not living like us ? So, be punished now ! What a great myth indeed. :thumbup:

    But here is the huge and tremendous opposite that exists in the latter myth with Eve, Adam and the apple when it says that the humans themselves had punished by the god. So in the latter myth there is a tragedy but in parallel, there is not redemption at all. Because in the latter Myth it is a punishment to be mortal, and not a real fact that comes by Nature, and for this you can't enjoy also the pleasure that set by Nature too. :P

    Thusly, in the latter Myth there is no redemption at all to the humans. From what really ? From the craving/lust of immortality. And what comes after as an invention ? A son of god that he was resurrected from death, and gave you the same meaning that you can be resurrected from your death too. That is to say a vain and empty hope. Thus, the craving/lust for immortality has no end. And this is the main core inside the monotheistic religions. If there won't be this main core inside them, there is no any serious fact to have their existence at all :P

    So, here comes Epicurus to point out what is greek and non greek, and how it was made to be non greek by the foolishness that came by Plato et.al. Epicurus great proposals in his letter to Meneoceus are going like this : Hey, guys "DEATH IS NOTHING TO US", and as continues he also said : "So that the man speaks but idly who says that he fears death (as a future pain) not because it will be painful when it comes, but because it is painful in anticipation. For that which gives no trouble in when it comes is but an empty pain in anticipation".

    "And therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not because it adds to it an infinite span of time, but because it takes away the craving for immortality.

    For we do not seek to enjoy not the longest period of time, but the most pleasant time". This is the purpose for Epicurus : to take away that stupid craving for immortality that produces to us PAIN. Epicurus shows to us and always is focusing to the LIMITS of Nature and our nature.

    For focusing on something that it did not yet come is an empty pain in anticipation. For this Epicurus suggests for being focused to the pleasures, past, present and an expectation of the future. Prudence and the procedure in the basis of our sober reasoning is the same tool that is used by us through our experiences, as we've been taught for reaching and a kind of a conclusion : on how to avoid any pain and pursue pleasure, and sometimes when we confront a pain it is for the achievement of a greater pleasure. The focusing that we might feel a pain in the future, is an empty pain in anticipation in the time being. But there is also this realization that has to be measured too as a real fact : that all we are mortals, and this is going along with the following ES by Metrodorus, but we have been taught by Epicurus that the craving/lust for immortality produces pain and fears. So with the study of Nature and epicurean philosophy you acquired that great art to live like gods among men. So, simple ! ;)

    The ES by Metrodorus are :

    30. Some men throughout their lives spend their time gathering together the means of life, for they do not see that the draught swallowed by all of us at birth is a draught of death.

    31. Against all else it is possible to provide security, but as against death all of us mortals alike dwell in an unfortified city.

    Wow, here I read a greek word that is used by medical science called as " anhedonia" and means without "hedone" i.e. "pleasure". So, is here an argument that inside our body do not exist those molecular genes which are able to produce "hedone" i.e. pleasure ? Where are those molecular genes ? Do they exist in the neurons that make also the synapses of the brain ? Do they have to do with the hormones that the brain drains into our body for its good function too ?

    Our epicurean friend Elayne who is a doctor will be very helpful on this issue.

    Concerning me , in the first case I blame as the main guilty all the religions, all the superstitions and all those taboos with sins that from our childhood, until the age of 5 years, and then inside school, IMO are making us such persons like robots, with such kind of tangling synapses in brain to not be operated properly, with a result to be damaged, and not producing many of these hormones such as :

    The major hormones that create happy feelings are (many of the ones below also act as neurotransmitters):

    • ACETYLCHOLINE: Alertness, memory, sexual performance, appetite control, release of growth hormone.

    • DOPAMINE: Feelings of bliss and pleasure, euphoric, appetite control, controlled motor movements, feel focused.

    • ENDORPHINS: Mood elevating, enhancing, euphoric. The more present, the happier you are! Natural pain killers.

    • ENKEPHALINS: Restrict transmission of pain, reduce craving, reduce depression.

    • GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid): Found throughout central nervous system, anti-stress, anti-anxiety, anti-panic, anti-pain; Feel calm, maintain control, focus.

    • MELATONIN: “Rest and recuperation” and “anti-aging” hormone. Regulates body clock.

    • NOREPINEPHRINE: Excitatory, feel happy, alert, motivated. Anti-depressant, appetite control, energy, sexual arousal.

    • OXYTOCIN: Stimulated by Dopamine. Promotes sexual arousal, feelings of emotional attachment, desire to cuddle.

    • PHENYLETHYLMINE (PEA): Feelings of bliss, involved in feelings of infatuation (high levels found in chocolate).

    • SEROTONIN: Promotes and improves sleep, improves self esteem, relieves depression, diminishes craving, prevents agitated depression and worrying.

    The study of Nature that is through the Epicurean Philosophy may help if the persons understand that there are molecular genes inside us that are allies for the purpose of our survival. If someone connects the survival with the driving force of Pleasure, that someone is the right way for doing the huge SWERVE - Parenglisi imo.

    "These are the kinds of results we would get from our statistical survey of the population of Greece as regards the disappearance of the Hellenic element and the influence of the Jewish culture. Superficially, on the documents and in name only are we Greeks. But underneath, in our very essence and our animate matter, we are Jews. And we should not be deceived by the simplistic arguments promoted by various priests and preachers that, supposedly, Christianity is one thing, Judaism another. Or that Orthodoxy is one thing, Roman-Catholicism another. Such claims are but fraudulent sophistries and overstretched naiveté. All those that insist upon such foolishness, are like those who claim that whores are different from hookers. But they both work in brothels. That a long distance runner is different from a discus thrower. But they are both athletes. That there are differences between a lymphoma, leukaemia and laryngeal cancer. But they are all cancers of some sort. Malignant blemishes that ended the lives of Cavafy and Freud. We modern Greeks resemble our ancient ancestors only in form. But the mass, this m the physicists talk about, is utterly Jewish. And the space, the spatium or this s the physicists talk about, within which the de-Hellenisation of the Greeks took place, is Christian Byzantium. And the time, the tempus or the t the physicists talk about, within whose duration the process of Jew-ification of the Greeks took place, stretches from the time of Emperor Theodosius until this very day.

    Theodosius destroyed temples, ravaged ancient statues, closed down stadiums, theatres, Greek schools. All the sources that were the lifestream of the Hellenic way of life. This is why he is remembered as “the Great”. Which is the way his predecessor, Constantine, is also remembered. The Caesar who murdered his own wife and son. And they were first called “Great” by those who also called “Great” the Emperors Athanasius, Basil and all their ilk. Destroyers, forgers, vandals of the Hellenic idea. But there is another voice, persistently whispering from the shadows, that all the brutalities the Christians inflicted upon the Greeks mean nothing in the end for those that did not become Jewish-Greeks but remained Hellenic-Greeks. It rises from a distant place and is only heard by a few:

    Just because we tore their statues down,

    and cast them from their temples,

    does not mean that the gods are dead.

    This is Cavafy, dear reader, not some miser. Not some invented god. And the poem is called Ionian. It is not called Cherubicon. The dissolution and extinguishing of the classical Greek by Jewish-minded Christians lasted from the time of Theodosius until the time of Empress Eudoxia. Up to 843AD, with the official restitution of the icons. This holiday in the Orthodox calendar is celebrated annually since then, at the beginning of Spring! It is a grandiose celebration attended by state officials and foreign dignitaries. Viewed from a positive perspective, it symbolizes the triumph of Christianity. But viewed from its negative perspective, it represents the utter destruction of everything Greek. It is the tombstone of the Hellenic idea. The last stand of the moderate “Greek” against the Asian monstrosity was through Leo III, the Isaurian. He got up one morning and realized that half the population of the empire had taken up the cloth and were having a splendid time. Then, like Jesus at the temple, he began what came to be known as the Iconomachy. That story reached its sad conclusion with the light defeated and darkness triumphant. With the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the appearance of the modern Greek identity. So Greeks only by name and superficially. And Jews to the bone, the blood, the heart, the intestines and the bile. Herein lies the key, the reason and the cause of the national schizophrenia".

    An excerpt from the book "Gemma", by Dimitris Liantinis and as translated from greek into english, by Yannis Tsapras.

    The eminent heads of Italy were discussing around the welcoming table of Medici for the purpose to reconcile Plato and Jesus. They were dreaming of a religion that unites Christian morality and Greek Philokalia. For all this world, after Alexandrian era, Epicurus was a scandal, such a scandal was for being someone reasonable and to believe in the things that catches with his hands and the right judgments of his conclusions. Epicurus contemporaries were buried him already under calumny, slander and filthy perversions. His extensive work was neglected, lost and we owe in luck the few precious pieces that survived. Hidden for centuries like a spark in ashes were helpful as tinder when the crew of time arrived. The research and understanding have renovated his luminous figure, his genuine Greek figure, and inspired by his luminous physiognomy we restore the antiquity as it was in reality. (Excerpt from the book by the Professor of Philosophy Charalambos Theodoridis entitled "Epicurus - The True Face of the Ancient World")

    And as Cassius Amicus wrote somewhere too : Just don't get confused and think that this description implies some different type of pleasure than what you already understand the word to mean. The word "pleasure" includes every possible type of mental and physical sensation you find pleasurable, from sex to fine art to fine music to whatever. There are no "good" and "bad" pleasures - pleasure is a faculty which tells you what is pleasing - nothing more, nothing less - and it's up to you to weigh and judge the consequences and decide which pleasures to pursue.

    All this is why Cicero summarized the Epicurean position as "a life of tranquility crammed full of pleasures" in his Defense of Publius Sestius 10.23 ("“…Nothing is preferable to a life of tranquility crammed full of pleasures.”)

    However, if you check in at the philosophy department of most any college or philosophy group on the internet, and say "Ataraxia, a state of mental tranquility free from disturbance, is the ultimate pleasure and maintaining it is how Epicureanism is applied" you will get an A+

    You just have to decide whether your goal is pleasing the philosophy professors, or having a realistic understanding of what Epicurus said about how to live.


    It's not just the technical use of the word ataraxia that I want to warn about but the combination with the following sentence that implies that all that is necessary to get to this ultimate state is to *subtract* something:

    "Ataraxia, a state of mental tranquility free from disturbance, is the ultimate pleasure and maintaining it is how Epicureanism is applied. This means eliminating superstitious views that cause fear or disturbance and accepting your own mortality."

    Again, yes it is absolutely true that we must eliminate superstition (PD1) and eliminate fear of death (PD2). Those are the two biggest false opinions we confront so that is why they are highlighted.

    But there is a THIRD false opinion - and that is that there is some goal in life higher or better or to be preferred over pleasure. God and Death aren't the only demons to swat, you also have to swat the demons that there are absolute guides to life such as virtue or "being a good person" or "following god" that everyone must follow. That's where PD3 and PD4 come in, but they are written in a technical way that makes them well-suited for debating Plato, but poorly suited for new students of the philosophy.

    Every animal at birth, including humans before they are corrupted by "virtue" or "religion", knows that nature calls them to pursue the various mental and physical pleasures of life. That is a premise of the entire conversation, so you don't get to the best life just looking for demons to swat and subtracting them from life. if you sit in your garden and close off your life with no contact with any ordinary pleasures of mind and body, you have NOT reached the best life. You get to the best life by finding and pursuing those pleasures that matter to you, even if that means accepting some pain as the price. You fill your life with pleasures, make sure you've eliminated the two biggest pains (fear of god and fear of death) and then you are well on your way. Depending on your other circumstances unique to you, your life is both peaceful (free of the worst fears/pains) and crammed full of pleasures.

    Rivelle welcome here ! First of all we have to point out that the greek words "ataraxia" and "aponia", as used by Epicurus are for the description of pleasure, when we have to give explanations to those that do not understand what the word PLEASURE means, and as Epicurus says that is our intrinsic good, and our alpha and omega. And second ataraxia and aponia i.e. a life crammed full of pleasures can't be achieved without the right study of Nature and when we use without consistency the Physics the Canon and the Ethics that are one as the whole.

    "In very few words, the Epicurean philosophy is coherent. Let's dare, in an inadequate way, to treat it as a coherent system, where, from any point you can go to another. Example: We know how easy it is from the friendship, that lies in the area of ethics, to go to the repulsion, that lies in the area of Physics, and the passage from Canon, that with the relation of causes and potential effects results in some stable strategy behavior, that leads to the common benefit.

    Epicurus did not distinguish Canon from Physics (we still remain in the matter of coherence). It is self-evident, because Canon is structured on the atomic theory, that is, on Physics. If you dismiss the atomic theory, Canon is left suspended and collapses. So, by changing Physics, you should also change the methodology of judgment that is the Canon. You change it too. Then, when you want to find the principles of friendship, where will you look for them? Where Plato was looking for.

    Epicurean philosophy protects itself with consistency. This is its self-defense. If someone tries to change one piece with another piece from elsewhere, it will end up in nothing. If not something worse than nothing". (An excerpt of a work entitled "Epicurean View" by George Kaplanis founding member of the Garden in Thessaloniki)