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  • This is a fascinating thread. Thanks for initiating a "fresh" one, Cassius ! I'll admit I'm a little intimidated by the depth of knowledge displayed by Nate. His grasp of early Indian philosophies is far deeper than I even realized was available! Thanks for sharing that! I find it fascinating that there was such a wide divergent spectrum of beliefs and philosophies. I also appreciate Kalosyni 's post. One of the things that had attracted me to Buddhism in the first place was its lists and outlin…
  • (Quote from Cassius) I find this an interesting parallel to the concept of the Buddhist Two Truths, "conventional" truth and "ultimate" truth. The Buddhist version goes "Provisional or conventional truth describes our daily experience of a concrete world, and Ultimate truth describes the ultimate reality as sunyata, empty of concrete and inherent characteristics." From my perspective, the Epicurean version goes something like "Provisional or conventional truth describes our daily experience of a…
  • (Quote from Matt) Yes! Looking back, I believe that was my mindset when I discovered Buddhism. I also found the concept of "rebirth" more palatable than the Christian "you're being tested in this life for the real prize in the afterlife." My go-to thought was "Rebirth just makes more sense" with the seasonal cycles of nature, for example. When compared to the Christian "One strike and you're out", the idea of rebirth was an intriguing alternative. But then I tried to wrap my brain around the con…
  • (Quote from Kalosyni) Well summarized! And, interestingly enough, there are some/many who would unfortunately describe Epicurean philosophy the same way: the removal of pain is the goal. I think your next statement, Kalosyni , is exactly on point: (Quote from Kalosyni) I wanted to say too that my understanding is that Buddha didn't seem to question the underlying cultural concept of rebirth. He taught that his path led to the cessation of rebirth. I suppose that could be understood as being rebo…
  • (Quote from Kalosyni) According to DeWitt (and some ancient sources?), Epicurus himself suffered from ill health and (according to DeWitt) had to to taken back and forth from home to the Garden in a 3-wheeled cart/chair. (Quote from Kalosyni) I think that's supposed to be the intent of the last two lines of the Tetrapharmakos: (Quote) But the last line has to be understood to include chronic pain in that, even then, some pleasure can be "easily" found if one looks for it and also remembers past …
  • https://www.academia.edu/resource/work/30207493 Just found this paper at Academia.edu: Was Epicurus a Buddhist? Haven't read it but the title was intriguing enough to post here. Don't know anything about the author's credentials.
  • (Quote from Godfrey) I figured as much. At least it shows what we continue to be up against. (Insert sad trombone here)
  • That seems to be a solid epitome to me! Well done! (Quote from Joshua) This always intrigued me about the Buddhist gods on the wheel of samsara: They're so blissed out and pleasure-filled, they can't conceive of not being reborn as a god (to greatly simplify the situation). Which got me thinking: How does this apply to the Epicurean gods? They are supposedly experiencing pleasure all the time. Is that correct? Isn't this just another form of "harps in heaven"? Would a blissful, pleasure-filled e…
  • (Quote from Kalosyni) According to Philodemus's On Piety, Epicurus regularly took part in the rites inherent to the city of Athens. And it seems the ancient Greeks had some kind of religious observance or festival on a regular basis.
  • (Quote from Sid) Although I wasn't a serious Buddhist (getting bestowed a refuge name being evidence to the contrary I suppose ) I found I eventually had some of the same initial attractions and then objections/misgivings as you in trying to reconcile myself with that philosophy/religion. Epicurus filled a void (no pun intended... Well, maybe unintentionally intended) in providing a completely material non-supernatural perspective. Welcome aboard the forum!