Elli Moderator
  • from Thessaloniki, Greece
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Posts by Elli

    I imagine Cato the elder that would say in Latin : "ceterum censeo Imperium Romanum Orientale postea Byzantinum esse delendam".

    Because from the Byzantine era has started and there was the final battle for the destruction of the genuine Greek-Roman Cosmotheasis (worldview) and as a way of life.


    And as Dimitris Liantinis Dimitris says to his book “Gemma”: "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. 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".

    Ionic, by C.P. Cavafy


    That we’ve broken their statues,

    that we’ve driven them out of their temples,

    doesn’t mean at all that the gods are dead.

    O land of Ionia, they’re still in love with you,

    their souls still keep your memory.

    When an August dawn wakes over you,

    your atmosphere is potent with their life,

    and sometimes a young ethereal figure,

    indistinct, in rapid flight,

    wings across your hills.


    The Trojan horse, the deception and the great duplicity of Cavafic irony is: Julian, Emperor of Rome.

    For Cavafy, Julian is the one brought up a christian. He is the covert fourth Hierarch. As a child in church he was a reader. As a youth he was a deacon at mass. He was raised in the cloisters, courtyards and cells of priests, monks, ministers and bishops. For years and years his mind was purged by the endless cycle of chanting, praying and leaning over liturgical books. Julian is a theurgic scientist. He is the emperor subservient to the Holy Synod and is responsible for organizing state governance according to the ecclesiastical system of the christians. A shame for his lauded victories in Germany as a young man which were reminiscent of that illustrious Caesar, Germanicus. Who was the ruler of mighty Rome three hundred years before. Julian denounced the Greek Epicurus and Pyrrho the skeptic. And praised the anatolian influences of Pythagoras with his communes, mysticism, belief in reincarnation and his theurgies. The primary deities in his “new religion” were not Zeus and Dionysus but Mithra and the great mother Cybele. For all intents and purposes the man was hazy and confusing. For Cavafy, Julian is the covert fourth Hierarch. The three hierarchs supposedly imbued the church with the hellenic spirit. Julian attempted to imbue hellenism with the spirit of the church. The debilitating effect is the same. An absurd conjunction so the deception may continue.


    It is upon this deception that Cavafy sets up his great engine. A siege engine of such exquisite craftmanship that far surpassed the capabilities of Demetrius the Besieger for whom the poem King Demetrius was written. A powerful poem like its subject: Death. The design of the engine is such that on the face of it he seems to be ridiculing Julian and the Greeks, while in essence he is waging war against the christians. Cavafy uses the character of Julian to suggest and symbolize the contradictions and bastardization of the modern Greek. Someone who boasts and brags about their hellenism, but who in essence is christian and jewish. For Cavafy understood it deeply that hellenism and christianity are like fire and water.


    The entire body of work of Cavafy, as a philosophical treatise, crystallizes into three questions. First, the matter of Theodicy and of Death. In other words, the matter of the tragic fate that awaits every human being in the world. Second, the analysis of both worldviews, the Hellenic and the Jewish. A quick reading, for example, of the poem Of the Jews (50 A.D.) will teach you more about the differences between the two perspectives than you would learn by studying a routine academic treatise 400 pages long. Third and last, his interpretation of the decline and fall of modern civilization, perceived through the kaleidoscope of the decline of the alexandrian and roman years. Cavafy is not a christian. He does not believe in heavenly kingdoms or the kingdoms of ruffians. In the Horses of Achilles, a brilliant and monumental poem about man's woe in front of the eternal calamity of death, he says that the body of Patroclus returned “to the great Nothingness”. Which is where you, I, and everyone else will return. And let us not forget that he persistently regarded the “Hellenic” idea as the noblest pursuit and attribute ever achieved by mankind upon the planet. (Dimitris Liantinis, from his book "Gemma")

    Sorry Matt, but you did not read carefully whatever I wrote above. Who told you that Ganymedes was not real ? And who told you that Homer wrote just fairy tales ? The Trojan war as described by Homer was real. Every greek myth can be interpreted very clearly in accordance with reality and Nature. Ganymedes maybe was a handsome young boy that died young and had been sung by the poetical tradition. And that's all.


    Morever, these were the gods of Epicurus as described by Dimitris Liantinis, and as I can understand them!


    What defines the difference between Greeks and Christians? A difference that from a certain point and beyond is being opposed, opposition, rift, a fight fire with water.

    This which is defines the difference is something else and clear, as the olive leaf. But for this reason exactly is ultimate and extreme.

    The difference between the two is that the Greeks built a world based on observation and understanding, while the Christians built a world based on the assumption and imagination.

    The observation of the Greeks is of such of a quality that always is to be ensure in practical from what is happening in Nature, and always demonstrated in tangible from the experiment in the laboratory.


    BECAUSE…


    The Religion of the Greeks

    Ιf we count the strong position that the gods and the religions gave birth in primarily level from the fear of human towards life, and in advanced and to a second level of this matter from the fear of human towards death, then we will find that the religion of the Greeks is an exception as occurred that differently constitutes a unique mission.

    The religion of the Greeks did not come from their fear, but it came from their sorrow to overcome the pain caused by rational vision for Nature and life, and death.

    In other words, the religion of the Greeks created by their honest and brave attitude to overcome their pessimism and melancholy.


    But between the fear of life and death, and the need of the Greeks to capitulate with their pain from what gave birth to their knowledge that the world is heavy, there is a little difference which gives the maximum effect.

    The religion of the Greeks, i.e. is not the case and offspring of the imagination, like all other religions, but it is the aesthetic representation of the phenomena of Nature.

    Thus, the gods of the Greeks are not neither secret and invisible presences. They are not ghosts of the mind, and wind’s constructions, hypothetical words and invents of reasons, and beings of a waking sleep.

    Instead, the gods of the Greeks are the images made up from the natural phenomena with slender intelligence and dexterity. They made by fluttering of a rational imagination, the whole, the simple, the non trembling, and the prosperous.


    And above all this: the gods of Greeks they attested by sensory, touching them with the hands, facing them with the eyes, there are factual and materialistic.

    Apollo suddenly, is the sun and the music regularity of the Nature.

    Artemis is the Moon. Both of those two sisters symbolize the light of the day and night and were born on the island of Delos, word which means the same the clarity and the light.

    Neptune is the sea.

    Hephaestus is the fire and the metals.

    Athena is the intelligence of the human, for this she is the protector of the ingenious Odysseus.

    Aeolus is the sixteen airs to the seas.

    Demeter is the joy of the fruits, the wheat, the rhubarb, the apple trees and vines, as the verse of Artsivald Maklis says.

    And Jupiter is the thunder and the rain, which is falling like sperm to fertilize bravely the thirsty land. That's why the Greeks near other things, they create him as the lover of the more magnificent mortal women. Lida, Europe, Ious, Leto, Alcmene, Semele, and Olympiad of Philip.

    Thus, the story goes and with the thirty thousand gods of the Greeks. Everyone is also a real, functional, indestructible, the beneficial and harmful true and a beautiful natural phenomenon.

    In other words, the religion of the Greeks is an aesthetic status of Nature’s elements, and in this way it is a variant of the Greek’s art.

    The Geometric evidence of this proposal is given by the fact that the religion of the Greeks is all in their art.

    And to respond to Matt. Hi Matt !


    Wherever is a hypothesis with an immortal and blissful being there is also and the hypothesis that that being is able to feel the continuous pleasures, so then why that immortal being could not chose and the "peaderasty" ? And when the greeks spoke about peaderasty (paedi+eros) they did not mean sex with the little children i.e. under the age of sexual consent that is called as "peadophilia", but their admiration of the beautiful bodies and forms both of young men and women. The period of time of youth was from 18 years until 29 years old. The myth of Zeus that had the pleasure to admire the young beautiful Ganymedes is natural as natural is the sensation to realize that one of the moons of Zeus/Jupiter is called Ganymedes.


    Homer, Iliad, Book XX, lines 233-235 wrote : Ganymedes as the loveliest born of the race of mortals, and therefore the gods caught him away to themselves, to be Zeus' wine-pourer, for the sake of his beauty, so he might be among the immortals. —


    In greek language we use the greek word "παιδί" [paedi] and "παίδαρος" [paedaros] that means "big boy/guy". When we see a young man with handsome and attractive features, we say "αυτός είναι παίδαρος" means he is gorgeous, he is a very good looking big boy/guy".


    According to the sources we have the natural and humanitarian Epicurus when he is addressing to his friends both the young boys/guys and mature guys i.e. men and women.


    "He (Epicurus) basely flattered Mithras, the viceroy of Lysimachus, bestowing on him in his letters Apollo's titles of “Healer” and “Lord". They further charged that he extolled Idomeneus, Herodotus, and Timocrates, who had published his esoteric doctrines, and flattered them for that very reason. Also that in his letters he wrote to Leontion: “0 Lord Apollo, my dear little Leontion, with what tumultuous applause we were inspired as we read your letter.” Then again to Themista, the wife of Leonteus: “I am quite ready, if you do not come to see me, to roll around three times on my own axis and be propelled to any place that you, including Themista, agree upon”; and to the beautiful Pythocles he wrote: “I will sit quiet and await with desire your god-like coming” and, as Theodorus says in the fourth book of his work, Against Epicurus, in another letter to Themista he thinks he preaches to her.


    It is added that he corresponded with many courtesans, and especially with Leontion, of whom Metrodorus also was enamored. It is observed too that in his treatise On the Ethical End he writes in these terms : “I know not how to conceive the good, apart from the pleasures of taste, of sex, of sound, and the pleasures of beautiful form.”


    In the basis of Greek-Roman culture this is the conclusion : Eros is everywhere and in everything around. Eros feels the mother to her little child. Eros feels the friend for his/her friend. Eros feel the lovers. Eros feel the parents for their children. Eros is the positive and the natural of life. Eros is synonym with Zeus and eros is described to the pantheistic GreekRoman gods. Epicureans chose EROS that gives birth and life in this planet Gaia, and the mother of EROS, as Lucretius summons her to his epic work DRN, is Aphrodite/Venus. :love:

    LD wrote : <<So where does that leave the Epicureans? Hopefully far, far away from the traditional Greco-Roman deities. The deities are far from what is described in PD.1 as they interfere constantly in human affairs and are exceptionally emotional, often troubled by minor offenses committed by mortals.

    Should modern Epicureans be partnering with neo-pagan reconstruction religious groups? Or promoting the aesthetic ideals of Greco-Roman religion?

    In my opinion, I say emphatically NO>>.

    -----------------------------------------------


    In my opinion, if I would be so thirsty for a glass of water, I'll say emphatically YES to the more clean, and emphatically NO to the more muddy.

    And that is because it is not wise while someone tries to clean a mess inside his home, when a neighbor enters to that home without offering a helpful hand for cleaning that mess, but in opposite that neighbor is placing more mess. It is of what someone is doing when speaks about Epicurean Greek gods. Since the vision of gods in Epicureans’ minds is engraved clean and obvious either when are awake or they are asleep. Because their desire is to practice the art to live like god among men. And the desire to live like god among men, can't be if someone follows the tradition of monotheistic false religions of our era. This is the obvious definitely and irrevocably.


    Since with the usage of the Canon every issue is measured in accordance with the experiences and the circumstances in the reality we live. And the now-days we live, the circumstances are leading better to follow the Greek-Roman polytheistic gods, since they were acting more humanitarian and more natural !


    Because if Epicurus lived in our era what would say emphatically on the issue of Greek-Roman gods? What he would choose among polytheistic tradition of Greek-Roman Gods and the monotheistic Christianism/Judaism/Islamism God of our era? Well, he would say emphatically YES to the former! Since the vision of the former have turned upside down not only by the opposite philosophical schools in Epicuru’s era, but by the monotheistic religions of our era. Because Epicurus insists: if the vision of gods that is engraved to the peoples’ mind is without fears is clear, and pleasurable. If the vision of gods that is engraved to the peoples’ mind produced fears is unclear and painful. If the vision of gods is heavy loaded with the burden of responsibilities on how the celestial phenomena are occurred, is unclear. If it is not, so then it is clear. What is then producing more fear and pain as a religion ? The polytheistic Greek Roman religion or the monotheistic religion?


    Frankly being greek and living in our days, my vision of the image of Zeus does not produce to me any fear or any pain. I like the image of Zeus as the natural phenomenon of the thunder and the rain, which is falling like sperm to fertilize bravely the thirsty land. That's why I know that Greeks near other things, they create him as the lover of the more magnificent mortal women Lida, Europe, Ious, Leto, Alcmene, Semele, Olympiad of Philip. I prefer a god acting as human being than a god acting like an ascetic unnatural being.


    So, if Epicurus lived in our era he would say (paraphrasing this paragraph from his epistle to Meneoceus which shows that he is not absolute and aphoristic on the issue on Myths for greek gods) : For, indeed, it were better to follow the myths about the polytheistic Greek-Roman gods as were more humanitarian and more naturalistic than to become a slave to the painful deeds and the necessity that provoked by the monotheistic false religions and false unnatural gods : for the former suggest a hope to lead you in the pleasure to love your city and be friendly with your fellow citizens by worship them, whereas the latter involves pains and sacrifices and fears that are imposed by authorities with such powers which know no placation.


    And that also means : for the former there is a hope to lead the people to the constitution of real Democracy and pleasure, but the latter it is evidenced that lead to the sufferings of oligarchy and tyranny.


    Epicurus’ Description of the Wise Man : The wise man will not become a tyrant. What the wise man will become ? A citizen that loves his city, respecting the laws when they are beneficial and pleasurable, to such an extent to live as autonomous for changing the laws if are harmful. Because the epicurean man is friendly firstly to his fellow citizens participating to the common affairs that are also the feasts of his city with the worship of the polytheistic gods. Since how you will be friendly with the strangers if you are not friendly with the familiar ones firstly? So, the Epicureans are opposite to the ideology of "globalism" that lead the people to live without identity. And the identity is rooted and in the DNA as the first principles (anticipations) that are came by Epicuru's greek ancestors.


    Pericle's words in his epitaph : "Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighboring states; it is rather a pattern for others. Its administration favors the many instead of the few. This is why it is called Democracy. Our laws afford equal justice to all in their private differences. Advancement in public life depends on reputation for capability, not social standing. Class does not interfere with merit, nor does poverty bar the way. If a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition.

    "The freedom that we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life. There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbor for doing what he likes. Yet freedom in our private lives does not make us lawless as citizens. We respect and obey our legislators and our laws, particularly those that protect the injured, whether these laws are actually on the statute books, or belong to that code which, although unwritten, yet cannot be broken without acknowledged disgrace.... Because «τὸ εὔδαιμον τὸ ἐλεύθερον, τὸ δ' ἐλεύθερον τὸ εὔψυχον κρίναντες». i.e. we are judging that bliss means freedom; and freedom means bravery. …and they are surely to be esteemed the bravest spirits who, having the clearest sense both of the pains and pleasures of life, do not on that account shrink from danger...And "our city also provides means for the mind to refresh itself from labor. We celebrate [athletic] games and worship [to the gods] all the year round, and the elegance of our homes and businesses forms a daily source of pleasure. Our city draws the produce of the world into our harbor, so that to Athenians the fruits of other countries are as familiar a luxury as those of their own".



    So, Epicurus, when he established his school/Garden in Athens, he had in his mind the above words by Pericles that survived by Thucydides. This was Epicuru's identity that came by his ancestors, these were his anticipations, since inside these words by Pericles someone could realize that the participation to the feasts of the city produced also to the epicureans pleasurable feelings indeed. That identity is proved also in their arts as well as with the building of the Parthenon that is the same proof of the pleasure they enjoyed. This is the big picture inside the Parthenon : it had neither mummies of monarchs and kings, nor relics of ascetic saints and innards of ascetic Popes, i.e. it had had not the worship of death, but the worship of life itself. It had had not the worship of the unnatural, but the worship of natural. That was the reason that inside the Parthenon was a huge statue of Athena that was virgin and remained virgin as she did not give birth to any child. In opposite Mary of christians gave birth to four children and they keep her as virgin. This is unnatural and ridicule, this is madness Epicurus would say, if he lived in our era, as he would say emphatically YES to the natural, and the humanitarian that was inside to the polytheistic Greek-Roman Gods !

    Those Rotary and Lions Clubs are known to me through the persons that join them. And I know those persons, since I have speak with them, when I was to my home island in Greece. Those persons believe that there is a supreme being as the architect/creator of the Nature. So they called themselves as "Tectons", from the greek "Architecton". And their community is called Grand Lodge in greek is "Megali Stoa". From what I learned from them, as they told me, they have a lot of similar views with the stoics, stoa, and the stoicism. It is well known that stoicism has no similarities with Epicurean Philosophy, there are a lot of different views among them i.e. they have a totally different Cosmotheasis (worldview).


    <<The essential qualifications for admission into and continuing membership of any regular Grand Lodge are:

    1. Belief in a Supreme Being, as a minimum prerequisite, a starting point for establishing a moral way of life.
    2. Membership is open to men over 21 years of age, of any race or religion, who can fulfil the first qualification and who are of good repute.>>

    Florius Lupus, a big Hello from Hellas/Greece, and a warm welcome from me too. I hope our discussions will be very beneficial for leading us to the epicurean friendship, and the purpose of pleasure.

    For the sake of happiness or for the sake of pleasure we choose and even a pain? We choose pain to acquire a greater pleasure. The cup of life has to be full to rim with pleasures. I confused what is the goal ? I say both, but I have to be more precise what is the goal that is a FEELING as the fundamental basis of happiness. Because if someone had a chance to be in an international conference of philosophy, with all those theoreticians, he also would hear the following phrases by a professor of philosophy.


    - Professor : Everyone has a different opinion about "the happiness", so you have to examine the definition of the word “happiness” in the basis of Aristotelian philosophy, because if we ask any upstart he would say to us that is happy, but he won't ...


    - And an Epicurean responded to him : But with my work I used the data on the happiness by psychologists, and in accordance with the observation of Nature and the human nature that all are agreed with the view of Epicurus.


    - Professor : This is not philosophy, this is psychology!


    - And the Epicurean responded : there is philosophy i.e. the epicurean that is confirmed by the science and the whole Nature, and it is not just words/theories.... and the conversation with that professor stopped here.


    Because that Epicurean did not make CLEAR to the professor what is the GOAL. The tangible real goal and as set to us by Nature.

    Of what I undertood by the greek epicureans the instincts as faculties that are programmed in us by Nature, and as our specie is evolved to survive are : the feelings of pain and pleasure along with the senses. From the day we are born the anticipations or preconceptions are connected with the concepts of the words on things, and more complex concepts - always based on materialistic reality e.g justice, as well as they all are measured by the senses and the feelings in accordance with the experience of the reality. And in the duration we are learning our words of our language, the mind is making an image of every thing we have learned. So, we keep in our minds as a memory the concepts of all the words of the things, and issues, to be in our mind as pre-conceptions. All these are accordance with the reality and our experiences (always measured by the senses and feelings), and in the duration we are speaking the mind picks all these up. The problem that comes out is when the preconceptions are based on true or false. The preconceptions will be false if they contradicted by the phenomena of the reality, and they had not be measured by the senses and the feelings. And they will be true if are proved by the phenomena of the reality measured by the senses and the feelings.


    IMO on the issue of preconceptions goes the talent too e.g. if someone can play a piano or be able to learn many languages. This goes to the neurones (cells) of the mind, that are genetically formed in such a way (synapses) by heritage of the genes. But even the man that has any talent has to practice his talent to be more talented. Epicurus had had the talent to observe the Nature carefully, but also had had all the written works from his ancestors as philosophers. In the duration of his life and with the help of his friends, he managed to clean them up from confusion, Myths and all these things that were, and still are against the reality of the phenomena, and our goal of pleasure. His way of thinking is called "manifold way" that is based on probabilities of the phenomena searching out the causes that caused them. His "swerve" of the atoms is based on his observation that in Nature there is not only a cause with a result, as Democritus and others claimed, but in Nature there are many causes and many results, since the three factors that are created all the things are and the need, and chance and the swerve (as our free will). For the Canon and the analogy we can read many things in the book by Philodemus "on signs".

    Hello to all the epicurean friends,


    Thanks to a friend of my son that knows very good greek-english, this article by George Kaplanis, it will be ready to post it for next week. Another article by Dimitris Altas entitled : "The Epicurean Impact on Enlightenment", it will be ready too for this week. The other that follows in the list it will be the article by George Kaplanis entitled : "The Migration issue from the perspective of Epicurean philosophy". If there is another article that kept to your attention and you would like to be translated, please inform me. As well as if you have an article by your own, and you would like to be translated from english into greek, please inform too.


    Thanks.



    A Man’s Neighbor And His Dog


    I have a story to tell you about a man’s neighbor and his dog, but first I would like to share with you some thoughts on Epicurean Doctrine 40: “As many as possess the power to procure complete security from their neighbors, these also live most pleasantly with one another, since they have the most certain pledge of guarantee, and after they have enjoyed the fullest intimacy, they do not lament the previous departure of a dead friend, as though he were to be pitied”.


    The last ten of Epicurus’ 40 Doctrines end on a very important topic: “justice.” Many people ask, however, why this doctrine ends with a death of a friend? Why should we not lament a friend as though he were to be pitied? What did Epicurus mean?


    In answering, I would like to connect this doctrine with a statement by Dimitris Liantinis, and perhaps this will help us understand what Epicurus had in mind when he established his Garden as a smaller society within a larger one:


    Liantinis said: “Being Hellene (i.e. Human), means that as long as you live, you celebrate with your neighbors the sun and what makes us human. And that you struggle with your companions to tame the land and the sea. And when you are dead, to have your friends gather round to share their memories of you, drinking fine old wine, and singing of you.”


    The phrase by Epicurus “to live most pleasantly with one another, and enjoyed the fullest intimacy with one another” Liantinis gives in the form “a mutual celebration in life.” Where Epicurus writes of “the power to procure complete security from your neighbors” Liantinis sees “a mutual struggle with your companions to tame the land and the sea.” Epicurus proposes to us that in order to feel secure from the dangerous events of Nature (the land and the sea) you must first feel secure from your neighbors. As a consequence of these relationships, the conclusion for both Epicurus and Liantinis is: Do not pity a friend when he dies, but celebrate his memory drinking fine old wine and singing of him. A whole life is measured by the experiences in that life, and friendship by a relationship of mutual benefit, and such persons have indeed experienced the goal of pleasurable living.


    The experiences in our lives, especially friendship, are the strongest evidence by which we measure our feelings of pleasure and pain. Thus we can understand why people who live apart from one another feel loneliness and depression, and we can understand the deep effects that arise from the kinds of societies we build.


    Many years ago a doctor friend of mind related to me a story based on personal experience:


    “My friend Elli, he said to me, some years ago I moved into a new neighborhood. The house was nice and comfortable. The natural surroundings were wonderful and lovely. I was sure that my eyes would enjoy the trees changing leaves with colors in accord with the seasons. My ears would enjoy the musical sounds of the small stream next to my home. What else could I ask beyond living in such a neighborhood? But these things he mentioned are not the most interesting aspects. It is shortsighted of us to see only the natural surroundings of a house without caring to examine the people who live nearby. The pleasures of eyes and ears and the perfect images that I had in my mind were quickly replaced with new images that came my way, and feelings of pleasure were quickly replaced with feelings of pain.


    What happened to cause me to say that?


    Within two months I had observed that in my new neighborhood all the people closed their doors, stayed inside to watch television, and lived like sheep in a corral. They trusted no one and nothing. No one spoke with one another. And what did I find to explain their lack of caring?


    I soon learned that in my neighborhood there was a particular man – in fact my next door neighbor. Soon after I had moved into my new house, I had asked him for his telephone number, but he never in return for mine. Imagine, my friend told me, this neighbor had a wife and four children, and I, a doctor, had offered my phone number in case they had a medical emergency. “No,” he refused – he did not want to be obliged to me or have good relations with his neighbors.


    What could explain this? I soon observed and learned.


    My Neighbor was the first man that I saw with my own eyes torture his own dog. My Neighbor made her sit outside in the sun and snow, without shelter all year long! My Neighbor fed his dog only with occasional pieces of bread! When I chose to give this poor creature a little food, and My Neighbor saw me to do that, he told me that his dog was fine without the food I brought for her. And when I saw all these things, I told him politely that he was torturing this poor creature and must stop, and that he should at least build for her a small dog house to be protected from the weather conditions. I also asked him if it would be all right for me to give to his dog a little food. His reply? My Neighbor stopped speaking with me at all!


    The situation with the poor dog continued and continued, and one day I said to him that if the situation did not change someone would call the police, as Greek law is very strict against maltreatment of animals, with fines up to 10,000 Euros. And what did My Neighbor do?!


    My Neighbor took his dog somewhere else, and I have never seen the dog since!


    What I have seen, however, is that My Neighbor last year celebrated “a religious event of Easter,” and he did not hesitate to slaughter a little sheep in the middle of the street in our neighborhood -- making the blood to flow like a river!


    My neighbor is also the man who has a chicken farm in the middle of our neighborhood. One night he started shooting with his gun like a madman to kill a fox that was eating his chickens! Another neighbor who feared the shooting called the police, and the policemen took his gun, but they did not arrest him. Probably he begged for mercy from them with excuses that he had a family with four children, so he was more fortunate than his dog, who could not speak to beg for mercy.


    My Neighbor is a man who resisted arrest for himself, but did not mind that he chained his female dog so that every male dog that passed by could mate with her. From the first day I moved into that house the dog was barking all the time screaming for help. For the two years I was there I saw that female dog with two litters of puppies – and what happened to them? My Neighbor left them without food, and all they died with their little bellies swollen from hunger!


    At the end of his story my friend asked me – Elli, the church tells me to love My Neighbor as myself. Was that man really My Neighbor? Should I be required to love him and treat him as myself?


    With that I return to Epicurus’ 40th Doctrine. What kind of a man tortures his dog and withholds from her all pleasures of even a dog’s life? What kind of man refuses to celebrate with others the joys of life, the sun, and those things that make us human?


    Who would struggle along with that man to tame the land and the sea? And when that man dies, who would celebrate his memory drinking fine old wine and singing of him? Or in reverse, whose life would that man celebrate?


    As Epicurus said, justice is not the same for all people and all nations. Justice is not a matter of absolutes – just is a matter that arises between real people and real circumstances, all of them different. Epicurus said this plainly in his Doctrine 32: "For all living things which have not been able to make compacts not to harm one another or be harmed, nothing ever is either just or unjust; and likewise too for all tribes of men which have been unable or unwilling to make compacts not to harm or be harmed".


    To my friend, and to everyone who reads this little story, I would say the same thing:


    The only way we can hope to experience the promises of the 40th Doctrine – that of living life most pleasantly in the fullness of joy with our friends -- is to follow the 39th Doctrine and realize that it is not because someone comes near to us for a moment in time that they become My Neighbor, and deserving of our love and friendship.


    Epicurus wisely chose as his last doctrine of the most important for us to remember if we are to live happily – and he tells us to be very careful about the circumstances in which we choose to live, and whom we choose to be Our Neighbors:


    "He who desires to live tranquilly without having anything to fear from other men ought to make them his friends. Those whom he cannot make friends he should at least avoid rendering enemies, and if that is not in his power, he should avoid all dealings with them as much as possible, and keep away from them as far as it is in his interest to do so."

    Christos my friend, with respect and with frankness of speech :)

    In this video I have noticed some remarkable things to comment to you: In your speeches either from you or the honorable doctor mr. Chrousos, I did not hear to mention something about our goal (i.e. our alpha and omega) that is pleasure; and as Nature has set for us. In the end, you did say that the goal of life of the Epicureans is to live in bliss (=eudaemonia) with Virtue and Justice. However, if we do not connect Bliss, Virtue and Justice with the pleasure (see Doctrine 5) are becoming abstract words without meaning; and the worse is that maybe lead the minds to that disgusting philosophy of the stoicism. Since, and the stoics speak about bliss or happiness, Virtue and Justice...

    Moreover, Mr. Chrousos repeats in the video that the goal of Philosophy and in extension the goal of the Epicurean is to find the truth. Yes, what is the methodology that we shall be based on for finding the truth ? Is the methodology of the Canon ?

    Finally, the honorable psychiatrist Mr. Panayiotis Georgakas speaks in the end about some katastematic "values"...does Mr. Georgakas mean the katastematic pleasures ?


    Anyway, I understand that your time was not enough to develop more of your thoughts concerning the Epicurean Philosophy. However the goal, and the methodology are the most important things to mention for our philosophy, just to offer in any public, what and where is the obvious ! Isn't it ?


    Thanks in advance for your attention

    My best regards with epicurean friendship ?

    Elli


    Doctrine 5. It is not possible to live pleasantly without living prudently and honorably and justly, [nor again to live a life of prudence, honor, and Justice] without living pleasantly. And the man who does not possess the pleasant life, is not living prudently and honorably and justly, [and the man who does not possess the virtuous life], cannot possibly live pleasantly.

    From Epicurus’ Description of the Wise Man, by Diogenis Laertius.


    In my opinion the procedure would go like this :


    The epicureans will teach things that are clear, rather than doubtful musings ==>The epicureans will show a regard for their reputation to such an extent as to avoid being despised ==> So, the epicureans will not hesitate to go to the courts===> But IF the epicureans want to go the courts, first thing first is to observe carefully the phenomena : IF the laws are still beneficial and if the justice is serving the pleasure of all the people of the community. If not, then the procedure will start again from the beginning : "The epicureans will teach things that are clear, rather than doubtful musings. And this means "the enlightment" i.e. to create such kind of people around, just to be able of making a new social contract with such agreements and laws to not harm each other. :)

    VI. (6) "In order to obtain security from other people, there was (always) the natural good of sovereignty and kingship, through which (someone) once could have accomplished this". This translation comes from the ancient greek to newgreek by Archontia Liontaki, member of the Garden in Athens.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    As we know Bailey et.al erased some words in the above Saying.


    However, in Epicurus’ Description of the Wise Man, by Diogenis Laertius, we observe :


    31. The wise man will appease an absolute ruler when occasion requires. (translation also by Cyril Bailey)

    I find the above as unaccurate translation ! What means "will appease" and what means "when occasion requires" and what means "absolute ruler"?


    I've read from the ancient greek text, by DL : "Ο σοφός και μόναρχον εν καιρώ θεραπεύσειν".

    New greek translation : Ο σοφός σε μια ευκαιρία θα υπηρετήσει ακόμη και βασιλέα/μονάρχη .

    In english my translation is : the wise man in an occasion, will serve even a king/monarch !

    --------------------------------------------

    The greek words used are :

    "θεραπεύω" that in ancient greek means "I serve" someone or an art or a science, and NOT "I appease".

    "καιρός" (occasion) literally in greek means "the right time ; and alas, if you let it go or let it pass through your attention".

    "μονάρχης" in greek means the monarch or the king and NOT an "absolute ruler".

    More free translation for the above 31 is : "The wise man will observe the phenomena and if there is the right time he will realize it right away, even to serve a king or monarch. in my opinion that motto "Lathe Viosas" is a cunning and came after, just to be spreaded around, so deviously.":P