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  • (Quote from Godfrey) I had to investigate. It's appears the Life citations are to the verses in Diogenes Laertius, Book X, Life (of Epicurus). But they don't fall exactly every time. I'm using the one posted to Perseus Digital Library. But that has to be it after checking several, so take the verse number and +/- 1 verse. Could be here using a different translation.
  • (Quote) Okay, this is a prime example of why Dewitt drives me crazy in this book. His lack of a source for his quote of "the gods were friends of the wise and the wise were friends of the gods" does not allow us to see the context of the quote. Plus his assertion that "Friendship and love were one for the Greeks" is self-serving to his quote about the gods and the wise being friends, which makes me dubious. Of course, the Greeks had a different semantic spectrum when it came to love... And most …
  • I have additional thoughts but I wanted to share a time when I can say unequivocally that I experienced awe: On a family trip to California, we had spent the early afternoon at the giant redwoods south of Yosemite Valley. We drove north and went through one of the tunnels and pulled off to take in the view. Little did I know this was the famous Tunnel View. My first view of Yosemite Valley literally took my breath away! I literally - and I mean this - the view was so awesome (in its original sen…
  • Well said. The feeling - I might say reaction - of awe is real.
  • So where do I personally think this all leads... Or where it comes from? The more I think about prolepses, the more I'm convinced they have to be inborn and then evolve as we mature. The newborn and toddler sense of right and wrong grows into our Prolepsis of Justice. So where does our Prolepsis of the Gods or maybe of Divinity come from? Take a look at the rapt look on some babies and toddlers faces when they take part in some research studies where they pay attention to puppets. Take a look at…
  • Several references have been made to images - eidola - that Epicurus says we perceive as eminating from objects that impact our senses and mental perception. I've reinterpreted this as light - for sight at least - bouncing from the object to our eyes. Light is constantly bouncing off objects and striking our eyes. If something produces sound or odors, those too will spread out and if we're in the way we encounter a sound or smell. Now the idea of our minds perceiving concepts or encountering eid…
  • (Quote from Susan Hill) I wouldn't say that you're alone. Epicurus obviously saw the gods as important as evidenced by the Principal Doctrines, the letter to Menoikeus, etc. I think it behooves us to understand why. He took part in the community religious practices of his day. Why, if they were all based on empty opinions? How does this influence our practice as Epicureans? I find the topic quite worthy of investigation. I'm not sure we will come to the same conclusion, Susan, but I'm curious to…
  • (Quote from Elayne) I have source amnesia but I remember reading somewhere that while Epicurus and his followers took part in the rituals and public ceremonies (in part, I'm sure to not be executed), they used them as opportunities to contemplate the "true" nature of the gods as they understood them. So, yeah, sure, I'm pouring a libation to "Zeus" but I'm considering the libation a celebration of my ability to conceive of the gods correctly, to emulate their happiness, to... Etc. The gods don't…
  • In returning to the original texts concerning the gods: First, I found Dewitt's quote of the gods being friends of sages: Philodemus, On the Life of the Gods, Vol. Herc. 1, VI col. 1: ... to the gods, and he admires their nature and their condition and tries to approach them and, so to speak, yearns to touch them and to be together with them; and he calls Sages "friends of the gods" and the gods "friends of Sages." But also, here are some Fragments and their sources from Attalus's website: [ U38…
  • I'm still slightly uneasy about the word spirituality, but I like the closing "Paian Anax" However, if we're using spirituality in the sense of "spiritual practice" that seems to be a big tent. I'll be frank that the Stoic "Logos" is what turned me away from the Stoics and toward Epicurus. Too much Christian baggage with The Word/Logos. But I'm not against exploring what Hadot would broadly call "spiritual exercises."
  • Check out the length of this dictionary entry for λόγος: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/h…p%3D47%3Aentry%3Dlo%2Fgos
  • I vote for "divinity" since θεός theos can have that connotation in addition to "god."
  • (Quote from Cassius) That's Epicurus's favorite "expletive" using the name of the gods. See Thoughts on DeWitt, Chapter 5
  • I just checked and we have that volume in the library. I'll be checking it out today. Right now, I fall into the Sedley camp (if I remember his position correctly), but I'm looking forward to re-reading his chapter and Konstan's.
  • @Susan Hill : Are you aware of Academia.edu? https://www.academia.edu/ I know they have some of Konstan's papers there for download. Not sure if it's accessible in Canada but worth a try.
  • (Quote from Matt) That's the benefits of having a forum for all those asynchronous conversations I wanted to say that your point about "what a person does with this information" is an important one. Thanks for phrasing it that way! That's one of the reasons that I'm personally working through Obbink's Philodemus On Piety. I think it's important to get a better idea of both what Epicurus and the founders thought and what they did with it. Did they participate in the festivals? Why? What practical…
  • (Quote from Susan Hill) Hi, @Susan Hill . It's good to see your posting. I would encourage you to take a look at some of the posts I've been making on Obbink's Philodemus On Piety if you're interested. There's more there than I expected. But I do hear what you're saying when you write "anything further that makes Epicurus’ theology more robust, integral, or informative to human life." A huge problem is that we have SO many texts missing. If we had all 30+ volumes of On Nature and Philodemus's li…
  • Matt I think I see where you're coming from, but I had to react to your quote here: (Quote from Matt) I would probably agree with the first part. We aren't asked to become one with the Divine as in some forms of mysticism, but Epicurus and other texts do call us to emulate or even "imitate" (e.g., in On Piety) the gods. I'm still not sure what to do with that, although it seems I should continue to understand its significance. Which brings me to your second point. The "not really discussing the…
  • (Quote from Elayne) I generally agree with what you've posted, Elayne . I did want to say again (ad nauseum, mea culpa) that I think "piety" is SUCH a loaded word to use for ευσέβειας (eusebeia), the word the author (let's say Philodemus) of On Piety (let's call it ) uses in the text. Eusebeias is the "proper observation of tradition in relation to the gods." And Philodemus's text is an apologia of Epicurus's and the founders' eusebeias to counter those who would accuse them of acting otherwise.…
  • Matt , thank you for posting that! I was unaware of the terms apophatic and cataphatic. You raise some very interesting points and important personal anecdotes.