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Epicureanism?

Post  Leif MARTE on Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:09 pm

What do you think about the Epicureanism? i am an epicurean, is the philosophy than i practice. i love it.
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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:21 am

I think Epicurus got a few major details wrong in his beliefs, to put it bluntly xD but I'm very partial to Plato and his successors, so I may not be the best person to ask concerning him.

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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:49 pm

The Epicurean road to ataraxia does not compare with the Stoic or Pyrrhic, both philosophies I respect but must ultimately reject. To me Epicurus seems more like a figure to follow when looking back from a point in modernity, and trying to find a similarly hedonistic and materialistic figure so that one isn't immersed in anything too unfamiliar. Epicurus is a safe choice, like a Hellenic Carvaka; not too hedonistic to be irrational, not too atomistic to unethical. The Cyrenaics may ultimately have been more interesting, certainly there was more risk involved. In any case, in Epicurus I do not find the kind of metaphysical doctrine and spiritual beauty that I find in some of the Presocratics down to the Platonists of Late Antiquity like Plotinus and Proclus...

But don't listen to me anyways, as I'm in a rather confused philosophical state myself.
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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Erodius on Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:41 pm

Enough with the self-deprecation, Phlegethon.

You've clearly demonstrated your worth of being taken with a measure of ethos. Wink

The Epicurean road to ataraxia does not compare with the Stoic or Pyrrhic, both philosophies I respect but must ultimately reject. To me Epicurus seems more like a figure to follow when looking back from a point in modernity, and trying to find a similarly hedonistic and materialistic figure so that one isn't immersed in anything too unfamiliar. Epicurus is a safe choice, like a Hellenic Carvaka; not too hedonistic to be irrational, not too atomistic to unethical. The Cyrenaics may ultimately have been more interesting, certainly there was more risk involved. In any case, in Epicurus I do not find the kind of metaphysical doctrine and spiritual beauty that I find in some of the Presocratics down to the Platonists of Late Antiquity like Plotinus and Proclus...
I agree — especially with the Epicurean/Carvaka analogy.

I have, likewise, a measure of distaste for Epicureanism. For one thing, just as it certainly must have been in Antiquity, it gets often equated to simple hedonism, and, for another, I find excessively worldly and agnostic. I think slightly better of the Stoics, what with their recognition of the illusory and unproductive nature of emotions — but (and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter, Phlegethon) I tend to find the Stoics to be too much like a diluted/summarized Platonism directed at the equivalent of mass-consumption among the average population of the Roman Empire. It reminds me of the sort of 'Buddhism' that is so in vogue in the West nowadays. There are certainly some true and devoted converts to Buddhism, but the 'Buddhism' of the many seems often a 'childproofed/safety-ed' and 'diet Buddhism' that has had anything difficult, potentially objectionable, or hard to digest, removed for the sake of a Western audience.

But Orpheus is my Prophet, Pherecydes and Pythagoras, the greatest apostles, and Iamblichus and Proclus the doctores ecclesiae, who perfected the sagacity of Plato. These sages knew the Supreme firsthand.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:30 pm

So it may seem.  But I believe as we both know, a kind of inner knowing is superior to the mere accumulation of knowledge.  I spent a large part of my early 20s reading Hegel, Heidegger and others, and have unfortunately been infected with learning ever since.  Only now am I really beginning to open the eyes of the heart, coming to experience the truth and beauty of metaphysics, and it is difficult. But even those aporias and fissures lead us back to the path with renewed experience.

In this sense, Epicurus does not offer much.  One must have faith in one's soul, and the entire world of Platonism has more spiritual depth.  For the metaphysicians of German Idealism, metaphysics is this detached thing, bereft of serious spiritual meaning.  Much of modern philosophy, being totally hostile to metaphysics, has moved in a direction Epicurus did centuries ago.  I want to move in the opposite direction.

Consider the other thread Leif brought up about mjolnir, which brought us to the question of amulets and symbols.  Philosophical materialism appears to champion things for their own sake, leaves and trees without seeing a Nature Principle behind them, things without Forms.  But it depletes the symbol.  Before materialism, reality was pregnant with meaning, symbols and traces of the Gods were everywhere.  Materialism empties the symbol of its divine content, the "hieroglyphs of nature" (Iamblichus) are made into artistic creations.  The world loses its mystery and enters into an ongoing process of anthropomorphism, which we still have to cope with to this day, where the majority of the West has been pushed into basically admitting the meaninglessness of everything.
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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Erodius on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:45 pm

Certainly. I simply differentiate knowing and memorizing. I say that nothing is known until it is understood and realized. It is good to know for what you are headed, but you know nothing until you have arrived at the realization of its truth. I simply refrain from even such discussion about the phrase-able levels of such metaphysics in general, both out of lack of anyone to whom to speak, and to, proverbially, avoid casting pearls in such a place as they may be trampled under foot.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:17 pm

I am more or less in the same boat (or our boats are in the same fleet)-- Not easy to find people to talk to metaphysics about. And even those interested in modern philosophy are pretty much going to look at you like you're peddling some intellectual curio that is wholly platitudinous.
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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Erodius on Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:42 pm

Out of Phlegethon wrote:I am more or less in the same boat (or our boats are in the same fleet)-- Not easy to find people to talk to metaphysics about.  And even those interested in modern philosophy are pretty much going to look at you like you're peddling some intellectual curio that is wholly platitudinous.
Ita est. No philosophy student I've ever met is even the slightest bit interested in tossing about thoughts on Proclean, Iamblichean or even most Platonic philosophy, and certainly not theological philosophy. Such individuals hear a few things from my side, come to a realization along the lines of 'Yikes, this guy actually believes all this.' It becomes too real, anachronistic (from their perspective), and they get quite uncomfortable, in the way of an "they never taught us in philosophy classes that we'd ever run into one of these alive"

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Epicureanism?

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:25 pm

Yes, philosophy has become unrecognizable. We no longer accept it as intellectually respectable to read a philosopher and be changed by him. We want our own versions of philosophers, so we can dissect them dryly and compare them with others, nourish the egoism which starves our souls. But we do not want wisdom, we do not want to be changed. Thus the love of wisdom has become the rejection of wisdom. Anyone that needs any other kind of philosophy, one that offers illumination, beauty, and a doctrine of the soul: modern society has created therapy and self-help books just for you...
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