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

    Would the topics for a live conference be:

    (1) the pleasure of music (2) the pleasure of smooth motion, (3) the pleasure of food, and (4) why pleasure is more important than logic and reason?

    Or would the topics be:

    (1) the universe was not created by a supernatural god but is eternal, (2) the universe is infinite in space so there is no room for a supernatural god, (3) matter cannot be divided forever, and the elemental particles are the source of stability and repeatability, (4) he who says he knows nothing is a trifler and perverse, and (5) Epicurean logic and reasoning are based on evidence from the components of the canon, which is why it is the best kind.

    The laconic answer by Epicurus that excludes all the dilemmas of "either or" by Aristotle is : "I say, BOTH of the above"!

    Αnd from Epicurus letter to Pythocles and why I insist to be carefull with the usage of hellenic words.

    "μάλιστα δὲ σεαυτὸν ἀπόδος εἰς τὴν τῶν ἀρχῶν"

    And most of all give yourself up to the study (την των αρχών) i.e. of the first principles....

    what Epicurus really means with of our "first principles" that "nothing comes from nothing" and the things akin to them?

    He could mean, most of all give yourself up to the study of the axiom/principle of the law of conservation of energy and the theory of the special relativity showed that mass is related to energy and vice versa by E = mc2 i.e. the mass–energy as a whole is conserved.

    << καὶ ἀπειρίας καὶ τῶν συγγενῶν τούτοις θεωρίαν>>

    and of the "infinity" and of the things akin to them...

    The greek word "απειρία" (infinity) does not mean actually only something related with the eternity (time) and without boundaries (space). It means also of something that is without (a) +(experience) [α+πειρία] i.e. something that is not testified by the experience through the senses/feelings/facts/space time.

    And if something that is not testified by the experience it's similar to the nothing. Outside the bing bang and outside the facts of the space time was the nothing.

    Please, do not make so much efforts to understand what Epicurus meant. The 93% of what Epicurus said along with Leucippus, Democritus and Lucretius are proved by the science day by day. The terminology may change but the principles are the same how the Cosmos/Cosmi are creating.

    Please, my friends keep patient on waiting what would be the theory that will testified by the experiments, as I would like to give you a friendly admonition : Please first organize among you personal meetings to be known better to each other and be saved by each other, and leave as a second choice the conferences and the symposia in public. Because if you want to give a credence to my experience of the symposia in Athens, that friends of Thessaloniki and Athens met in person once a year... The results of all the conferences and the symposia in public became a whole mess.

    Pleasure is the goal!

    Thanks :)

    Heraclitus answered to Parmenides with these two words : “μεταβάλλον αναπαύεται» (metavalon anapavetai) i.e. “in rest is changing”, and that means we may perceive the environment/the Universe as to be static but in the same time it evolves i.e. it is changing/moving. :)

    No, please do not mention anything about Parmenides to Elayne, she will be upset and we will confront and some other troubles. Parmenides was the great fiesta of idealists Plato and Socrates. All of their thoughts were inspired from him. Parmenids is against Epicurus, and sometimes some persons confuse Epicurus ideas with him. Parmenides conclusions are against to the manifold way of epicurean canon the swerve and the experiences that are testified by our senses and feelings.

    Since Parmenides said this : All reality is one thing, change is impossible, and existence is timeless, uniform, and necessary. In the way to form an opinion, he explains the world of appearances, in which one's sensory faculties lead to conceptions which are false and deceitful. :P

    Hi friends. Hello Bryan. There is an anecdotal story of what people were thinking about the Ionian natural philosophers, as also they called, by adacemics, pre-socratics.

    As an exaggeration, people said that those philosophers were famous to observe and hearing even the coolness dripping on a leaf, and after their observations they drew some of their own conclusions.

    There is an anecdotal story with Democritus that will make Matt to smile. :)

    One morning, they say, Democritus met a girl that she lived in his neighborhood, so he greeted her, saying:

    - Good morning Girl.

    One night, the same girl, had intercourse with a man.

    And when Democritus met her the next morning, he kindly greeted her saying:

    - Good morning woman. ^^

    - Paian Anax! - I think he may be on to something.

    Hi Don,
    With the "Paian Anax" you remind me a post with a photo that I've posted on FB, last year. :)

    Diogenes Laertius, in the biography of Epicurus, mentions a small fragment of a letter by Epicurus to Leontion who was the wife of Metrodorus. However, and as I read by some translators, in greek language, they make the mistake to translate that Epicurus calls Leontion as "healer and king". No, this is not right. Epicurus here mentions two of the titles that the God Apollon had in Ancient Greece.

    Apóllôn as PAEAN Paián - (Gr. Παιάν, pronounced pay-AHN.) means the physician, healer, savior. Who that cares and helps, and, as such, he is the principal deity of Medicine and Healing for which he is called Paián (Paean, Παιάν). The Kǽndavros (Centaur, Κένταυρος) Kheirôn (Chirôn, Χείρων) taught medicine to Asklipiós (Asclepius, Ἀσκληπιός), who is the son of Apóllôn and the most renowned physician after him. Asklipiós in turn, taught his own sons and daughters medicine, a whole host of healers. Apóllôn is mentioned first in the Hippocratic Oath:

    "I swear by Apollon the physician, and Asclepius (Ἀσκληπιός), and Health (Ὑγεία), and All-heal (Πανάκεια), and all the Gods and Goddesses, that, according to my ability and judgment, I will keep this Oath..."

    Apóllôn as Anax : - (Gr. Ἄναξ, ΑΝΑΞ) it means the king. He is the ambassador of the Olympian Gods of the Solar System and as such, he is on the level of Zeus and thereby worthy the title as Ánax. Apóllôn is also sympárædros (συμπάρεδρος) to Zeus meaning that they hold the throne jointly. The Solar Powers are represented by the two intertwined snakes of the Kîrýkeion (Caduceus or Cêryceion, Κηρύκειον, one of the major symbols of Zeus) which Apollon gives to the other god named as Hermês (Ἑρμῆς).

    However, the symbol of the "caduceus" as it is used by the physicians in the USA is wrong. The link between the caduceus of Hermes (Mercury) and medicine seems to have arisen by the seventh century A.D. when Hermes had come to be linked with alchemy. Alchemists were referred to as the sons of Hermes, as Hermetists or Hermeticists and as "practitioners of the hermetic arts". There are clear occult associations with the caduceus.

    The caduceus was the magic staff of Hermes (Mercury), the god of commerce, eloquence, invention, travel and theft, and so was a symbol of heralds and commerce, not medicine. The words caducity & caducous imply temporality, perishableness, and senility, while the medical profession espouses renewal, vitality, and health.

    The right symbol of Asclepius (in the attached picture) and as it used by greek physicians is with a snake that is entwined on a rod, as well as, the pharmacists that have a snake entwined on a cup.

    Wow, I remember this kind and wise person with the name Bryan, and I missed him so much !

    Good day, my friend Bryan, I'm so glad you came here !


    If Epicurus lived today with the tools of technology and all the goods he had in his era.... since for writing the papers/papyri and all the works that had to be done in his Garden, it was a need to have four slaves, who treated them with respect, as we read in the sources. Thus, if it could be a way to visit us in our era, he would consider us that we are living as profligates.

    If we take an accusation by Plato and the hypocritical idealists, for being always apologized in their foolishnes what means PLEASURE, we will fall in the same trap with that person who thinks that is an Epicurean, as he is a member in a Garden in Greece, and in every meeting and in every comment he makes and on FB, he is repeating countiniously:

    "When we say pleasure we do not mean the pleasures of the profligates".

    And one day I asked him :

    - And what do we mean when we say pleasure ?

    We mean ataraxia and aponia.

    - What is ataraxia and aponia ?

    To not have the pleasures of the profligates!

    - Who are the profligates ?

    Those people that over pass the limits of pleasure and they feel pain.

    - An example? I asked him.

    They are those that Epicurus describes in his LTM, that are eating fish, have sexual intercourse with many women and boys, making parties etc.

    - Really eh? I said, except the sexual intercourse that you do not have with many women as you're being married now (but I do not take an oath for this HA 8o )... you do not eat fish, you do not drive a luxurious car, you do not have an elegant office in your work, you do not have an elegant house, you do not make parties with your family and friends.. nothing eh? You only eat bread, drinking water inside a cave. Sorry, this is hypocricy and if Epicurus lived today, he would say to you and to all of us, that wenare living as profligates ! HA ^^

    In the end I reminded him the PD 3 (that only Cassius made me clear to notice that in the past), and then I told him also :

    - who is that person that he would judge telling me what provokes to me pleasure and what pain ? Only my prudence that is all based on my experiences measured by my senses and my feelings. Besides, we have and our trusted doctors, not the charlatans, that when we feel pain in body and soul, we visit them for offering to us their advice that is based on discoveries and the experiences of the science of Medicine that is the Art of all arts. :thumbup:

    Cassius, literally Epicurus said : Meditate on these things, as I wrote above to you, with yourself and a companion like yourself so then, you will be living like a god among MEN. For a man who lives among immortal blessings is not like unto a mortal being.

    The question is what is the main immortal blessing for Epicurus?

    Here it is : ES 78. The brave (false translation is that Epicurus said noble) he said: The brave soul occupies itself with wisdom and friendship; of these the one is a mortal good, the other immortal.

    Lucretius was an epicurean poet, and wrote a masterpiece, of course. Lucretius gave a name to the whole Nature as Venus and that's all. Greeks called her as Gaia and not Aphrodite actually. Lucretius for Venus and on the issue on love, somewhere else wrote and this :

    "And NOT through divine effect and the arrows of Venus it sometimes happens that a little woman of inferior form is loved. For sometimes a woman herself brings it about through her own actions and compliant ways (morigerique modis) and neatly groomed body that she easily accustoms you to live your life with her. For the rest, familiarity creates love (amor); for that which is beaten by a frequent blow, however lightly, yet after long lapse of time is conquered and gives way. Do you not also see that drops of water falling onto rocks after long lapse of time beat through the rocks ? (DRN 4.1278-1287).

    Good day to all of you, and happy new year.

    If you permit me, I would like to add some of my thoughts in this discussion that became so complicated.

    First of all I agree with all the thoughts and comments as they have been written clearly by Elayne.

    I would like to begin with this : when the embryo in an uterus does not evolve with the right divisions of chromosomes, in many many cases Nature vomits it with a misscariage. So, to hold and see a baby is not an issue to be a pediatrician only, it is an issue to think how much chance is needed to be born and seeing the beauty that is called Cosmos. And this is the awe that is also connecting with the "gratidute". Gratidue to the Nature, gratidute to you grand parents, gratidute to your parents (that are your first gods) IF the social enviroment that they have created for you, along with their pains and pleasures, permits YOU to be and living free and self-sufficient for the natural and your necessary...and then all the others.

    However, IF any image as a knowledge of gods has been envolved for leading people to division and strife... which is the general picture, till now actually... so, then, Nature vomits it with a misscariage that Epicurus called it as "ypolepsis" and not "prolepsis". Prolepsis must always be judged by the senses and feelings, if NOT they become "ypolepsis" and that means empty assuptions, vague opinions, vague speculations and empty beliefs... so then, Nature vomits all of them in the black hole with ideas by Plato and the worse is when it vomits them, here on earth with what we called it as "wars". <X

    Moreover, IF Epicurus would live in our days, he would tell us as a wise grandppa :

    <<Hey people 2.400 years have passed from the era that I lived...so many discoveries you have made, so many painful and pleasant situations and emotions you have lived and felt... and you are still waiting for so long to conclude with a definite answer on the question IF there is any god? LOL:)

    What the heck, where did you see, hear, touch, smell any god except the temples, the icons, and the statues that all were made with the money of the priesthood in colaboration with politicians just for the cunning purpose to keep you as subortinated slaves?

    Did you ever realize that when I said the word "gods" I meant YOU, the epicureans, who are deepening inside their hearts our theories, making them in practice, and while they use inconsistency and AS ONE the Physiology (all sciences), the methodology of the Canon, and the Ethics for making right conclusions for living your unique life in pleasure?

    In this way, I meant that you can live like gods, BUT- and still there is a huge BUT - the fact of the reality, till now, and as I mentioned this in my epistle to Meneoceus, is that you are living among MEN and what men ? Orangutans, chimpanzees, monkeys, and baboons. LOL:)

    When you would be able to live among gods, then we will talk about this again. Maybe there is a definite conclusion for living like gods among gods is an utopia. Utopia means that there is not any place in this planet Earth that you can live like gods among gods. Not still now. Hope so, but the Hope, as that myth says, it was the LAST THING in the Pandoras box.8o

    And finaly Epicurus would say something to Nietsche :

    Dear colleague on philosophy : all of your life you have searched for the Hyperman...but First thing first, for us, is to search on how a man could become and living like a man, and then we will search talking about the hyperman>>. LOL:)


    Hello to all the friends,

    Godfrey thanks a lot for your comments. These images has been made by a graphist in Slovakia through the software Adope Illustrator or CorelDdraw. Frankly I do not know how to use these software programs. Godfrey do you want to send you the files as AI & EPS to examine where it has the "floating" pieces as you mentioned them ?

    Don χαίρειν (greetings),

    I would like to say that for someone to be skeptical and doubtful for a professor inside the Academic field who claimed that he understood Epicurean Philosophy deeply, is not a bad tactic, but the effort to find errors where there are not, it is not creative and beneficial, and for yourself and for the others like yourself.

    The clinging to a deep analysis word by word and even me that I am greek, frankly, I can't understand all the greek texts, but the whole picture is clear, WHEN the concepts of the words as they synthesized and connected are giving you the same whole picture. In a few words, the whole meaning of any text has a dynamic if it can be applied in the reality of life. Because the Hellenes first they lived, and then they wrote whatever they lived.

    Where do you find DeWitt any trace for leading you to the imaginative things and issues? And where DeWitt claims that Logos /abstract logic, as well as the elimination of desires, and pressure of feelings are the issues that Epicurus is speaking for? E.g. please read carefully for making a syncretism, on the basis of the first principles of EP, among Baileys' translation and DeWitts' translation on the letter to Meneoceus. There you'll realize some of the shades on differences that exist between a stoic and an epicurean man. :)

    The original describes Nausiphanes as a πονηρός άνθρωπος (poneros anthropos) which appears to be more "good-for-nothing, worthless, knavish, base, cowardly person." I'm just wondering - PURE conjecture - if DeWitt is reading this as something like πορνηρός* (porneros* not attested but that extra "r" would make it look connected with porne "prostitute" or porneion "brothel") to get at DeWitt's "immoral".

    First of all, and of what I've checked and realized, Norman DeWitt knew excellent the greek language and the complexity of its grammar and syntax. And especially for understanding deeply the Epicurean Philosophy, he was able to read the ancient greek texts from the prototype without wearing the stoic glasses like Bailey's. :P

    So, in this case, and as far as I know, there is not such a noun as "πορνηρός" with that exra "ρ/r" in greek language. The noun that derives from the verb "πορνεύω" is "πορνευτής" or "πορνικός", and not "πορνηρός".

    For the noun "πονηρός", there is the ES XLVI.(46) in which Epicurus uses this word in plural : "Τὰς φαύλας συνηθείας ὥσπερ ἄνδρας πονηροὺς πολὺν χρόνον μέγα βλάψαντες τελείως ἐκδιώκομεν".

    And that means : Let us utterly drive from us our bad habits as if they were evil men who have long done us great harm.

    The word "πονηρός" in greek language has for its synonyms, as the english say : as "sly", "cunning", "deceptive", "dishonest", and the "devious". :)

    Although we are now forced to devote much of our attention to the nature of viruses, and how to prevent or defeat the pain that comes from them, we should also keep in mind the nature of pleasure, the goal for which we endure the possibility viruses and all other kinds of pain.

    Just as we study the details of how viruses operate, and how we can minimize our danger from them, we should remember too that pleasure operates through natural mechanisms, and we should study the details of how pleasure operates to maximize our experience of pleasure. One detail of significance is that some pleasures arise from actions which tend to produce the chemical substance known as dopamine, while other pleasurable actions arise from production of serotonin, endorphin, oxytocine, and similar chemicals. There are important advantages in pursuing those pleasures which are connected mainly with the latter category.

    Epicurus tells us in Principal Doctrine Ten that we have no grounds to complain about actions we consider to be “depraved” to the extent those actions do in result in pleasure. The key question, however, in evaluating results is to examine what in fact they do produce, because pleasures based on dopamine usually produce addiction, and addition usually produces larger long-term painful consequences for both the individual and society. It was not by sheer coincidence that Dr. Freud and others have observed that religion is the narcotic of the masses.

    But rather than focus on generalities, let me tell you about a real person in my own experience who illustrates the point. And this is the same point that Epicurus and Lucretius made when they showed how often false religions, false philosophies, and false educational systems align and unite themselves with false political systems to produce unnecessary and unjustifiable pain.

    My story is a true one, and it was told to me by an acquaintance – a doctor - who related to me his life story. I met this man several years ago in the home of a friend, and he told me that he had been born and grown up in Libya, in the era of 70s-80s. At that time there was a law in Libya that granted him a government allowance (and this was under Muammar Gaddafi, for whom it seems PD7 was almost written for directly) for the purpose of studying medicine at any university in Greece. In most cases, this education was part of an undertaking that requires five years for a diploma and then five more years working inside hospitals to acquire the specialty.

    Even while this man was telling me his story, he was also praising his country's policy for benefiting both him and Libyan society in helping him to become a doctor of medicine for his people. Yes, he told me, but ... it had taken him almost ten years to get the diploma from the University, instead of five, because he liked playing cards and drinking alcohol – and drinking alcohol was forbidden by the religious laws of his country. Nevertheless, as he told me about his “hobbies” he also praised how nice and free had been his years as a student.

    Then, one day after he was almost set to finish his specialty, and to become an ophthalmologist, everything turned upside down in his life when he met a beautiful (but in my view unwise) Greek lady who turned out to be a religious Christian. Thereafter, on the basis of "love and marriage," the two, as a couple, decided to unite their gods to become as one, since, as he also said, the gods of both religions are one and the same, because both have the same patriarch: Abraham.

    And here we must say: GOOD GRIEF !

    The only prerequisite for marriage that was set by the parents of the Greek lady was that my doctor friend, (who was Islamic) must be baptized as Christian, and take Greek nationality for living permanently in Greece. This they did, and over the years they had a family together and produced three very nice children. Everything to this point looked promising, but remember that he was narrating his story from the beginning, and that there was something that his poor and unwise Greek wife had not noticed when she met him.

    My friend went on and told me further than during the time that he was a student of medicine, he had the hobby of playing cards and drinking alcohol --- and this was when he was a student of what? A Student of Medicine. This man’s god was the god of a patriarch, by the name Abraham, who allegedly had the power to unite believers and their interests. But was this Abraham and his god strong enough to limit the fear of death, the fear of life, the fear of pain, the fear of slavery, and the like? Did this patriarch or his god teach him properly, or leave him in total ignorance as to how to calculate pleasure and pain wisely, and to know the limits among pleasure and pain, and how to measure the goal of pleasure against the cost in pain, and how to judge wisely both the quality and quantity of both.

    At any rate, after this couple's children were born, and during a period of five years when my doctor friend kept up his “hobbies,” he was falling deeply into debt with bank credit cards. He had run up, as he said, ten debit cards, each full to their 10,000 euro limit, just for visiting casinos and drinking alcohol. This continued until it grew into a complete disaster. Despite this, with great effort, his Greek wife, who worked in a court as secretary, and through the help of her parents, tried to change her husband’s hobbies, keep her family united, and raise her children. As time passed, however, when the children became teenagers, they remembered how from childhood that they did not have a father to support the necessities of family life. The children started to blame their father, and demanded that their mother expel him from home and divorce him. This went on to its logical conclusion - to the point when, as the doctor was telling me his life story, he related that he now lived alone, and he had closed his medical office due to debt, all of which he blamed on his wife and children.

    When my doctor friend finished his story, I could not hold back my Epicurean judgment, and I said to him:

    Doctor, would it not be better to blame yourself, since you were the one incapable of curing your troubles of soul and mind?

    Would it not be better to blame your stupid patriarch, and his stupid “god,” who made you, your wife, and your children fear death, fear life, and fear everything, as a result of which all you now feel is pain of both body and soul?

    Would it not be better for you to look to Nature more carefully, which is after all what you say that you study, and look for the real causes, and see that the consequences you complain of in reality are the pain that came from your indulging your addiction to visiting casinos and drinking alcohol and leading your family into debt?

    You yourself are a doctor, and you cannot even cure yourself from fear? To me, and for all honest scientists and philosophers, religion is like a narcotic, like the opium that produces dopamine. To give in to this narcotic is like those who drink water without eliminating their thirst.

    But the pleasures that you experience as coming from serotonin, endorphin, and oxytocine etc are those which you derive from treating your patients, from the study of the science of medicine, from raising your children, from your wife who is the mother of your children, and from the many other activities that lead to love, respect, honor, and admiration from your family members, which is all healthy things grow, whether they are part of a healthy body or a healthy society.

    At this point our discussion ended, but not before I told him where he could find information about Epicurus and my Epicurean friends. It has been years since I saw him, but I learned recently that he was back and united with his family again. I do not know whether he took my advice about the doctrines of Epicurus and his philosophy to heart, or if they helped him become united again with his family, but I still hope so!

    Elli Pensa

    March 5th 2020

    The impotence of politicians: their obvious collaboration with irresponsible and immature religions and their clergy ... the endless stream of words from the majority of intellectuals and academics from their schools and universities... all these showing off before the crowds in display of their great thirst for power... the stoicism and miserable acceptance of fate that one sees everywhere in the majority of members of so many organizations... the dedication to idealism and imagination rather than to facts of reality, displayed by all those who follow them ... all this lead to the decadence we see whichever way we look!

    When in this state civilization is confronted with the real pain of a devastating pandemic, everything collapses like a tree that has no roots, no trunk, and no leaves. That is to say, the existing rot explains everything: the cause, the result, and the consequence that leads to the breakdown of our modern societies.

    All these phenomena Epicurus saw in his own time, and called out as boasting or arrogance -- some others call it "hubris" against Nature, which they view as their Nemesis - their enemy. To have an enemy or a Nemesis is not a teleological fact or a necessity - it is not a thing of idealism. Our real Nemesis is our inability to have prudence, that is, to realize and to predict that in life things are not going always going to be "milk and honey."

    Thus, we can no longer measure rightly those who are our friends and those who are not. Prudence is what makes us capable and ready to act to remove that which is painful. It is for that reason that all virtue flows from prudence, which teaches us that no one can live life pleasantly without prudence, honesty, beauty, health, and justice...and of course also without real friends.

    No, thrice no! Politicians and Religionists are not our friends when we are faced with great need. Politicians and Religionists harm us because we are only means to their end - their thirst for power, fame, and money. Politicians and Religionists are concerned only about pleasure for themselves, and for themselves only.

    It is well known then, that the Politicians and Religionists take for themselves the best doctors, the best beds in the best hospitals, the accurate and rapid tests for Covid-19, and the most effective remedies. The Politicians and Religionists weather the storm in high fashion, while we the people die like flies in the streets. Politicians and Religionists are clinging to their ideological chimeras, and as a result they are totally unable to predict the nature of the virus we face and to provide rapid solutions.

    This we see now, at the time of our greatest need, and even when the virus subsides, we must not forget what we have seen. The Politicians and Religionists would do well to remember Epicurean Doctrine 35:

    "It is not possible for one who acts in secret contravention of the terms of the compact not to harm or be harmed to be confident that he will escape detection, even if, at present, he escapes a thousand times. For up to the time of death it cannot be certain that he will indeed escape."