Matthaios Level 01
  • Member since Apr 9th 2018
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Posts by Matthaios

    Happy Twentieth all!

    My mother painted me a portrait of Epicurus for my birthday (I’d share but file is too big, so it is my profile image now). The background color is blue, but I may ask to change to a shade of green to represent more of a garden vibe, any thoughts on the color, if there is a color that may be more representative of Epicurus?


    I recall the Buddhist meditations on the "decaying body" part. I did find that as a young man, it was not very successful (overwhelming sex-drive), but as an older man, it could be more effective and perhaps it has helped.

    Also, where once I would beat myself up over missing an opportunity with a woman, thinking she could have been "the one", as I've aged, I no longer care, and almost feel fortunate to avoid an entanglement, and being aware that a new desire could be right around the corner, thus having let "one" go, no longer causes any grief.

    I can't help but notice a lot of links between some of the Epicurean views and mgtow views of the present. I have seen this mgtow (men going their own way) movement grow over the years, and some of its common teachings is to be wary of romantic entrapments, and to focus on self-improvement that leads to greater pleasures down the years. I'm not sure how much longer Epicurean romance views could stand as an impediment for bringing youth to the philosophy, because I've noticed that this mgtow line of thinking is spreading like wildfire with young adults, to the point that these coming years will see interesting social dynamics taking place.

    Calling a man a SIMP is a "shaming" tactic used by men to in a sense, tell them to stop putting women on a pedestal. Basically doing things for women out of traditional cultural norms of which gains little to no benefit for the modern man himself in the climate of equality. I have seen this term used within the mgtow community. Examples can vary widely in extremes, from a man paying off a woman's student loan debt and/or raising another mans child, all the way to paying for a woman's dinner or even holding a door. Other examples I've seen are men intervening in violent disputes on behalf of a female stranger, or other life risky behaviors. Those men would be called SIMPs by a particular male community, while the mainstream and perhaps females would see them as "heroes", as they stand to benefit from this type of behavior by male strangers.

    I could imagine a Lucretius making the point that one shouldn't focus on "romance/lust" as the primary component to a relationship, though important, it is fleeting, therefore better to look at what a contract would provide, ie offspring, wealth, safety, history, familiarity, etc.. Where once relationships were treated as more of a business transaction to offer improved outcomes for future generations and a securing of generational wealth, modern day relationships have run wild with temporary lust and desires, of which when the flame dims out, have often left behind divorced marriages and broken families.

    On one of Elayne's comments of men having power over women during Roman times and not needing to use sex as a tool for manipulation, wasn't there a very high percentage of men that were slaves, who would not have held power over free women? And to mention female Roman citizens versus male non-Roman citizens. Though I don't have any exact historical references other than some historical fiction books I've read, as well as the "Spartacus" TV series.

    I recently finished the book: "Epicurus, My Master" - by Max Radin

    Written in 1949, Max puts himself into the shoes of Titus Pomponius Atticus; a wealthy Roman citizen and proclaimed Epicurean, who according to the author, had been friends with popular Romans such as: Sulla, Antony, Octavian, Cicero, Marius, Brutus, and Cicero etc. The book dives into his mind on how he successfully navigated a crashing Roman world unscathed, all while maintaining friendships with dangerous and opposing factions. There are several thought-provoking quotes from the book that I may make posts about in the future, but the one I am interested in today is around luck/chance. Comparing the quote from the book to some Epicurean quotes, and then my thoughts on it.

    “I believe I have directed my life. It would be unspeakably silly for me to say that I have directed it successfully. I have been successful but most of that is due to chance. My wealth was the gift of chance. Doubtless I was more competent in keeping it and in increasing it than other men might have been. But most of the risks that beset it were the results of acts and events with which I had nothing to do, which I could not have prevented or changed. Civil war and accidents, disease and calamities, all these I have known. Other men as wary and as skillful as I was, were destroyed or ruined by them. My success was as much due to chance as the successful resistance of one or two leaves that cling to a tree when a hurricane sweeps through it.” - Atticus (Radin)

    “The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool.”

    “Chance seldom interferes with the wise man; his greatest and highest interests have been, are, and will be, directed by reason throughout his whole life.”

    It seems to me that the author gives much to "chance" as an important part of Atticus's life, all while praising the mans own competence and direction as major factors to his success. How does an Epicurean look at luck and chance in the world? Could the swerve be split into two types for conscious beings, such as "Directed Swerve", the act of for example, purchasing the lottery ticket, versus "Undirected Swerve" (luck/chance), the act of winning. (Natural phenomena is all classified as Undirected Swerve).

    Or for another example, the fortune of luck that Epicurus was to be alive during a time of relative safety in Greece, with Alexander expanding battles to the frontiers, rather than being born several years prior during the Peloponnesian War and plague, of which his philosophy may never have taken root.

    Seems that the swerve has worked immensely in our favor, without giving credit to Fortuna or Tyche.

    I sometimes question my own successes in life. Certainly, I have made been successful due to my own competence and direction, but is my own competence and direction given up to the fortunate mindset I have been given (nature versus nurture) in this life, versus someone who does not have a fortunate mindset (non-Epicureans 8o).

    Any thoughts would be appreciated, thank you for taking the time to read, and forgive me if my ideas are noob.

    "Most people who have adopted Platonist or Stoic ideas are unaware of the source. They've absorbed it unconsciously through the culture. Most people who accept elements of modern physics know very little about the science involved. Non-religious people are statistically likely to be better educated... but there's a pretty high degree of doubt and metaphorical takes on religion even in those who don't know much about physics.

    To get most people to start putting pleasure first would be a lot easier if we aren't expecting them to also be interested in Epicurus or to need to learn the correct understanding of ataraxia in order to combat modern academics, etc."

    I am new to working within this forum, forgive me if I make mistakes. Elayne, to me it seems we are focused on "legacy" religion (still a danger), rather than say, a belief structure centered around collectivism and "selflessness". Many of the "educated" youth are being indoctrinated to almost despise pleasure, to view selflessness as a virtue, and to even hate themselves (white guilt, privilege etc.). I'm assuming the world is going to get on without them, and unfortunately, the beliefs they hold will lead to their own demise (imo), how would you suggest reaching them?

    “We must free ourselves from the prison of public education and politics.”

    I appreciate the responses and the concerns. I think I understand the risks involved and would not want the reputation of this group tarnished in any way. In order to create separation, let me disclose what I have in mind.

    I will start a group named "Epic Path", where I post my own spin on certain things. It won't solely be focused on Epicureanism, but I will throw it in from time to time, such as sharing some memes and videos. I won't shy away from that being a major part of the group/page, but for followers that have real interest in it, they will be referred here for further education.

    Outside of that, I will post on topics I find that could be subjectively related to Epicureanism, such as health, wealth, happiness promotion, and freedom from politics (if these sites are bastions of extremism, then maybe the Epic Path will lead some out).

    If it does get to the point where some of these alternatives become truly viable options for social media, and are becoming more diversified in their views, then I will post again here.

    Not sure how active I will be on it, but it'll be an interesting side hobby.

    Edit: I haven't had a chance to read Cassius's comment, even though I posted this after, had it up for some time. I will re-read what was posted later tonight or tomorrow.

    There are new green pastures out there among the social medias that are becoming an alternative to the major tech giants (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc.). What comes to mind is,, etc.

    One of the first things I do is search for Epicurus / Epicurean on these alternatives and there doesn't seem to be anything solid. This could be an opportunity to establish an Epicurean community and have a natural monopoly in the philosophy department among these sites by being the first.

    I am willing to start the groups, but my concern is that I am a novice at best within this philosophy, so am not sure how effective of an admin I would be.

    I mention those three alternatives specifically as I believe they are the front-runners.

    Let me know your thoughts on this, and if I do create a group, even if it is to be a place holder, should I name it "Epicurean Friends"?

    Hey Cassius, thank you for the welcome and forgive me for the delay.

    I will try to be more active within this group, as I am a continuous learner of Epicurus philosophy. I was occasionally active on Facebook, but recently decided to go without it, forcing myself to get involved in other avenues of media.

    My initial interest in Greek culture started off as a child with Greek mythos. My favorite movie growing up was the Odyssey (1997). I would discuss Greek mythos with my best friends dad, who was himself a Greek immigrant. Religiously I was raised Roman Catholic, but not strictly. Around my senior year in HS, I became agnostic. Afterwards I discovered Buddhism while deployed to the Middle East. Buddhist philosophy made a profound impact on my life, to the degree that I left the military and did a complete reversal of lifestyle and career choice. During college I initially discovered Stoicism, which I found interesting. During this time I was very apolitical and took that seriously. Stoicism did not meet my apolitical interests and neither did Buddhism, among other faults. It was while browsing a Facebook Stoic forum that I discovered Epicureanism; where the Stoic adherents were criticizing it. So I looked into it and found that Epicureanism resonated with me and that it was also in-line with my political philosophies.

    Aside from having browsed through Epicurus facebook groups, I have read "On The Nature of Things" and am currently reading "The Faith of Epicurus" by Benjamin Farrington (1967). I make it a point to scan used bookstores for any Epicurean gems I can find.